Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Baby Boot Camp

Cross training tool for new parents?

I haven't been working out as often as I think I should, but my reasons for feeling bad about that are suddenly very different. For most of the past six months, losing baby weight has been my primary objective. But that goal just isn't very motivating. Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so If I exercise only a couple times a week I still manage to lose weight. Aside from this strange new fleshy paunch*, I'm pretty happy with how I look. Plus, life with an infant gives me plenty of great excuses for blowing off the gym.

But in just the past week or so, I've found fresh inspiration for resuming my fitness regime. This increasingly mobile baby is kicking my ass! Bernadette hasn't figured out the arm part of crawling, but I predict that she'll be on the move within days. I am half proud, half terrified. Presently, she can scoot like a mofo, but that ain't the half of it. She rolls, lunges, flails, grabs and twists. It's all my fault. I wished for her to be athletic. I didn't consider how her ability and ambition would affect me. Preventing her from hurting herself has made me a contortionist. At least a couple times a day, I find myself standing up from a cross legged floor position as I hold a squirming baby who is clenching my hair with her tiny fists. I'm worn out! I've worked with two incredibly fit personal trainers, and neither of them were this hard on me.

As she gets bigger and stronger it's only going to get tougher. I need to lift weights, work my core and run several times a week so I don't hurt myself while taking care of her. I'm up for the challenge. Hell, I consider it physical therapy. It's the best remedy for utter physical depletion. I got a flavor of that feeling during my first trimester of pregnancy, but I wasn't working this hard. As I mentioned in a post from a year ago, I'm used to having a natural font of energy. Being zonked bums me out.

Having just turned 35 and considering the years ahead of me, I now regard energy as a precious resource. I'm investing most of it in this kid, but I'd like to have a bit left over at the end of the day for myself. So, it's time to front plank, shoulder press, and stationary bike my way to a greater sense of wellness. I gotta do my homework if I'm gonna survive baby boot camp.

*I've had a prominent paunch for years. The fleshiness is the strange new part of it.