Monday, December 08, 2008

Running against the odds


In the days before kids, if we had to leave the house, it went something like this:

"Hey, let's go to [wherever]."
"OK. Just let me grab my coat/brush my teeth/go to the bathroom/get a drink. I'll be right there."

Now, of course, it's more like:
"Hey, let's go to [wherever]"
"OK. Just let me-
  • make sure all children are dressed appropriately for the weather,
  • put shoes on children,
  • change a diaper or encourage a bathroom trip, or both,
  • pack snacks and drinks,
  • bring along all the baby hud, and
  • have the kids pick out a toy to bring in the car.
I'll be there in 30 minutes."

Did I miss anything? I'm sure I did.

The worst time for this to happen is when I'm trying to get out the door to go running. It's not always easy to work up the motivation to go exercise, and even the smallest obstacle can turn into a good enough excuse to just stay home. When I could decide to go running and be able to leave the house within two minutes, it was so easy. Now, each workout is a major ordeal involving three people.

First, I have to make sure Magdalena has been fed recently enough that she won't freak out once she's in the jogging stroller. Miriam can take along a snack and a drink, but I have to go pack it for her. If I forget, it will cause major drama once we're on the road. These days, I need to make sure they have a blanket in the stroller, too. Miriam needs her sunglasses. I need keys, my phone, and my Shuffle. Hopefully, Magdalena hasn't been fussing the whole time I'm getting all the above ready. Then it's time to load up.

There's still no guarantee that everything will go smoothly once we're out the door. Most days, one or the other (or, heaven forbid, BOTH) of the girls will fuss for one reason or another. Magdalena hates it when the sun gets in her eyes. Miriam gets upset if I go a different route than the one she has in mind. Life sure gets harder when kids start to form opinions.

Sometimes I feel bad because to the casual observer, I'm sure it looks like I'm running with earphones in, oblivious to my crying kids. The truth is that there's nothing I can do about it except run really fast to try to get home sooner.

Once we do get home, the entire process gets repeated in reverse, with the added complication of trying to keep Magdalena asleep if she's dozing. It's also nice if I can get a few minutes of stretching in, but that almost never happens immediately. Some days, a couple of hours pass and I look down and realize I'm still wearing my workout clothes.

All things considered, it's a miracle I ever go on a successful run. And yet I do manage it, most of the time. Despite the girls' best efforts at sabotage.

10 comments:

Liz Johnson said...

I am way impressed. I find myself wishing it were warm enough to run here, but I'm slowly realizing that perhaps I wouldn't be doing it anyways... sadly, it's just TOO MUCH WORK. Arrgh.

Lindsay said...

I'm experienceing the same thing lately. I want to excercise, but it is quite the ordeal to get it done. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm very impressed. I don't even have children yet, and I find it difficult enough to make myself exercise. : )

Hannah

Susanne said...

That stroller looks bigger than you! Wow!

Cute post. :-)

Mikael said...

good for you for getting out there!!! I just skip the whole "leaving the house for exersize" and run on my treadmill when the twins are asleep. But even then I have Makenzie sitting right next to me asking me to sing songs and read her books. And I actually do while trying to breath!

Jeanerbee said...

I think it's a miraculous undertaking and I'm quite impressed that you do it! These days I consider myself exercised if I've gone up and down the stairs a few times...lol. I really want to start swimming when I'm officially "healed" and in the clear!

Kristen said...

I often reminisce about the good ol' days of being able to make midnight Taco Bell or donut runs and other spontaneous outings.

This would be the precise reason I decided NOT to get a jogging stroller. So while I don't have to deal with the preparations and interruptions involved with having a kid along, it means I have to make quite an effort to be sure I go. I could never do the treadmill thing, Mikael. Instead, I go running in 41 degree, foggy, dark nights after my gal is asleep!

And lastly, when I walk with her in the stroller, I am always paranoid about people driving or walking by and thinking she is fussing, has the sun in her eyes, or is cold and I'm ignoring her. But what they don't know is that I've already tried giving her every book/toy/snack available and she is still crying, I tried putting the sun shade down but she pushed it up, and without means involving duct tape, you can't force a toddler to wear a warm hat and mittens unless she feels like it. But the reason I'm so paranoid? Because I used to be that person judging moms like me! Before I had a kid and started to understand.

Brittany Cornett said...

I have bad days and good days running with Lizzy. I can only imagine what it is like having two. When Lizzy was Magdalena's age she was the best, she would always fall asleep and I could do whatever I wanted. But when you have two you don't get a break.
Before I go workout I always try to leave the house 6+ times before I get everything I need.

Bridget said...

Yeah, I feel kind of ridiculous pushing this thing around. There are definitely better-looking double joggers out there but this one is very functional.

Kristen, I'm glad you're finally getting what you deserve (nasty looks from strangers that you used to dole out yourself). :)

I realize that there is an alternative to all this, and that is going at night when they're asleep. But Tucson is way too dangerous for that so for now, the jogging stroller it is. I'm just glad to have it so that I don't have to get a babysitter every time I want to exercise.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

It is an ordeal to get out w/ kids, and that probably will never change. But one great thing about being a young mom now is: the jogging stroller. I would have killed for something like that when my kids were small. All we had were these horrible strollers w/ wheels about as functional as doll carriage wheels. They caught on every sidewalk crack & pebble along the way, so it was impossible to run, and almost impossible to walk your kids in them. So, when each of our kids has a baby, we buy them a jogging stroller. It's an insanity-prevention device.

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