This picture, of course, has nothing to do with the entry. But it’s a great one and I wanted to share.
I think what bugs me a lot about people who exercise, is when they say, “If you want to do it, you’ll make time.” Like, you know, it’s just that easy. I know they have good intentions, and I know that most of my irritation with that statement is more about me being bitter that they make it sound so easy, but I think that – truthfully? It’s a little more complicated than that. At least in my life, and I’m assuming in yours.
First – you have to find the exercise you want to do. That’s the most important. No one is going to do exercise unless there is some sort of appeal there. You won’t ever catch me riding a bike. Or swimming. So, if what you want to do doesn’t come with childcare, or isn’t easily doable with kids, then there are more factors than just making the time.
Running is about the only thing I can stick with, and usually only if I’m training for something. Like a 5K. Or a half-marathon. But there’s no childcare for running and I have no desire to try to run with a running stroller. So, I have to find time to run when MrZ is home. Then comes the battle of the guilt when, on some nights, he’s had a hard day at work and I’m not sure if it’s fair to leave the kids with him or not when he really needs a break. Or maybe there are 90 million other things going on because, once MrZ is home? That’s when all of the kid’s extracurriculars start. Soccer games, rehearsals, meetings – those things all happen after work hours, eating away at my running time.
Then there’s the dark issue. I am scared of the dark. SERIOUSLY. Now, last night I ran with Sweetie and that helps, but still. SCARED OF THE DARK. I don’t like it.
Finally – there’s the fact that if you’re adding a 30-minute or 1-hour workout into what is surely an already busy day. What do you shift to allow that? Do you stay up later to make sure you still get everything done you needed to get done, or do you not do some of it? Or do you beg for extra help from your family which – AGAIN – adds to the guilt issues. I don’t have guilt issues asking for help when I’m doing stuff for other people: carpooling the kids, volunteering, etc. But when I’m doing something solely for myself? Like working out? Total guilt issues.
I’m not saying any of the roadblocks I face getting out the door are insurmountable. And I know most of them are in my head – mainly the guilt issues and the fear of the dark. But my point? It’s not just about Making the Time. If you are already busy (and aren’t we all?) then you have to find a good system. It takes a lot of trial and error and a lot of times the errors make us quit. The do me, anyway. The gym with a daycare? FAIL. The getting up early to run? FAIL. The begging for help from family to help compensate for the hours I’m working out? SOMETIMES FAIL. It’s not always easy.
I guess I just want some people like me, who don’t feel like it’s that easy – JUST MAKE THE TIME – to know I understand. Too many factors besides time. But yesterday? I made it work. I took the dog to conquer my fear of the dark. I squeezed the run in between drop-off and pick-up of E from rehearsal. I took the guilt of leaving the kids home with Donnie when he had a long day at work AND was sick – and stuffed in somewhere in the back of my head to worry about later. (Try it, when the voice in your head says, “You’re being a shitty wife,” try to ignore it. Sometimes it works for me! Ignoring myself, who knew?) I put on my shoes, strapped on my iPhone queued up to Harry Potter and let Jim Dale talk me through a 2-mile run.
It took more than just making time. But I found a way around those other factors and did my run – ONE NIGHT. Will I make it work tomorrow? Who knows. That’s my point. You try. Try different scenarios until you find one that works one day. Maybe you’ll be lucky and the same scenario will work the next day. I don’t mind running so much. It’s the one form of exercise that doesn’t hurt me too bad. (Probably because my speed is just one small notch above walking.) I got to zone out to Jim Dale, bond with my dog, and get closer to the 5K distance I’ll be running on October 16th.
Will I be able to do the same thing again tonight? Who knows. That’s what I like about this bootcamp, it’s the “no excuses hour”. The kids are still in bed and I’m not making MrZ do anything. And I’m with other grownups so the dark is not scary. But the bootcamp is expensive and I can’t do it forever. Maybe another month, but not much more. I have to get used to doing other things too, hence the trial to find a good time to run.
I guess I’ll just try every day to do more than just Make The Time. I also find someone else to wash dishes or bathe the kids, get a bodyguard to save me from the boogeyman, hire a therapist that tells me it’s OKAY to leave the kids with the husband once in awhile while I do something selfish, and make sure I don’t leave anyone stranded at soccer, school, or rehearsal. And if I manage all of that? Then I totally deserve the beer I drink before going to bed. And, really – isn’t it always about earning your beer?