It's no secret that I hate missing a workout. I'm the type who plans my day around my workouts, not my workouts around my day. Signing The Boy up for preschool really threw me for a loop. I had to re-arrange my workout schedule to accommodate his new schedule. Preschool would not change her schedule for me. (Rude, no?) In the normal, not-stay-at-home-mom world, people have to actually arrange workouts around other commitments. What a concept!
Working out has just become a normal, routine part of my daily life. It has been for several years, but it wasn't always. Though I've always enjoyed physical activity, before joining the gym after gaining the Missionary-Woman-30 (on top of the Freshwoman 15 I'd gained three years earlier), I was definitely just a sporadic worker-outer. My daily trek to and from campus had to count for something, right?
I have fond memories of college (and of Finnish pastries on my mission). From those years, however, I have actually very few memories of working out. My freshman year, some roommates and I joined a kickboxing class. We laughed at each other as we fumbled our way through it, but if something more fun was happening on kickboxing night, we'd skip the workout in a heartbeat. My first date with my now-husband was actually a 3-mile run (that almost killed me) as he was training for his first marathon. But we all know that the run wasn't just a run. Any exercise I did in college was more for the social benefits than the physical.
If I could go back, would I work out more? No way! I'm glad I had that time in life to socialize, be crazy, eat junk food, and occasionally fit in a workout with friends. I was in a completely different season of life, with very little worry about my physical health. I'm glad I wasn't obsessing over every slice of pizza-brownie-vending machine purchase. I enjoyed life. I was happy. I honestly barely noticed that the pounds were creeping on. I was too busy!
My life is completely different now than it was back then. I had so many outlets as a student that I really didn't need to set aside ME time. Everything in my life was about ME. I had no idea how different life as a mom would be. I only thought about dressing my perfectly behaved children in the cutest clothes, and wearing them on my hip as I would wear any new accessory. I didn't realize that in reality, NOTHING would be about ME anymore. Honestly, my workout is just about the only thing. So even if it means waking up at the crack o' dawn to get it, I'm going to get it. I can't live without it. As my kids get older, and my schedule more and more is merely a reflection of their schedule, I will still find a way to fit exercise in. I have to.
When I joined the gym 6 1/2 years ago, I knew I was making a lifetime commitment. So now that life has changed (as it always does), I'm not going to let the routine slip. Sure, I'm changing from working my life around my workouts. But I knew that one day my kids would start growing up, and I'd have to fit my workouts around my life. And I guess I'm OK with that. As I learned in college, living is really what it's all about. Exercising just helps me live better.