When Harry was born 2 years ago, it was a seasonal February, appropriately cold and I was happy to spend a month indoors nesting, getting to know our newest family member, having friends come over, napping whenever. I remember it being a quiet, peaceful time. After about a month, I was ready to get back to life and start moving. Spring was in the air, we had recently moved a few blocks away from the park and I didn’t have to worry about going in to work. I wanted to go for a walk, push my new baby in his new stroller and get some blood pumping back to my heart. At 8 weeks post partum, a friend told me about this woman who was starting a stroller fitness class – and twice a week Harry and I walked down to Grand Army Plaza and met up with a bunch of other new moms and we all worked out together. It was so much fun, the fresh air, the other moms, the exercise, the park in springtime. After the workout, sometimes I’d take an extra walk around the park just because I could, find a quiet spot to nurse the baby, go get a cup of coffee and head home, feeling like an accomplished, put together new mom. And this period of my life is what inspired me to start Stroller Strides in the first place, to bring new moms back to fitness, to inspire them to get out of the house with their kids and do something good for not only them but their kids too.
Flash forward to today – having endured a long HARSH January and part of February – where on some days I truly thought I was going to have to find some local gypsies to come over and take my child and sign him up for the circus, today it’s sunny and 50 degrees out and I am SO tired and feeling RIDICULOUSLY lazy. I truly feel as if I was in a situation that called for me to either walk the 2 blocks to the store to get a roll of toilet paper or use paper towels, I’d go for the recycled one ply kitchen option, that’s how supremely unmotivated I am (thankfully I bought in bulk last time at the store and currently do not have that issue). I KNOW that the best thing for me to do right now (and by right now I mean in an hour when Harry wakes up) is to stuff him into his stroller, put on my sneakers and go for a walk. OR, if I had my druthers, I’d sit on the couch and watch old Beverly Hills 90210 reruns and wish that the current weather wasn’t taunting me to be outside with it’s sunshiney happiness.
I’m hoping this post will guilt me into walking to the park and reminding myself of how much better it feels to get some exercise. Seriously, have you ever exercised and then afterwards, said to yourself, oh I wish I hadn’t done that. Isn’t the easy part not putting on those sneakers and making it out the door, the easy part is sitting on your couch drinking tea and watching old Bev niner episodes. Someone once told me that, the hardest part of exercise is lacing up those shoes and getting out the door, the rest comes naturally. And in just a few weeks I’ll have more than enough time where I won’t be able to go for a walk and maybe I’ll even think back to this day and say, oh you, why didn’t you go for a walk when you could…
Confession – I LOVE Keanu Reeves movies. Truly. The cheesier the better. He had this run of sports films at the turn of the century, maybe you remember The Replacements, where he plays a has-been quarterback and winds up dancing the Electric Slide with his teammates to “I Will Survive” in jail…following that movie, he made Hard Ball, where he plays a down on his luck gambler who agrees to coach a little league baseball team of misfits. It’s cute and sad at the end, and here’s my point to this…he’s trying to inspire the team and he says,
“What I’ve learned from you is that really one of the most important things in life is showing up. I’m blown away by your ability to show up through everything that’s gone on. The league never wanted you to play this game, but you showed up.”
And as cheese ball as it sounds, that quote really has inspired me more than I care to admit. That’s it though, the hardest part is to show up and once you do, you feel so much better about not only yourself, but life in general.