Both my husband and I were physically active before we became parents. I was teaching four yoga classes a week, practicing yoga at a studio just about everyday and walking a mile a day to and from work. My husband was hiking or snowboarding most weekends, and also was an avid yoga practitioner during the week.
When I was pregnant, I still continued to teach yoga until I was about five months pregnant, and took a prenatal yoga class until Moses was born.
I started back to yoga a couple of weeks after Moses was born, taking a weekly yoga class. Once Moses was three years old, I started teaching one yoga class a week (since I love teaching), but since I only had “night out” a week to myself, I stopped taking classes for me. (And the truth is that my home yoga practice is practically non-existent — I just can’t get motivated to practice yoga poses on my own. I can meditate on my own. I can do breathe work on my own. I can spend a few minutes doing a yoga pose here or there, but I haven’t been able to motivate myself to a full yoga practice at home — although, who knows, this could change).
When Moses was first born, we were renting a main floor of a house and didn’t have room for any home exercise equipment. Once we moved to Newfoundland and into our own home, we started to acquire exercise equipment: a vibration machine, a total gym (which we’ve since sold since we didn’t use it consistently), a treadmill and a 100 lb heavy (punching) bag. For a few months, I was motivated to use the vibration machine (at least 10 to 20 minutes of shaking to get the muscles moving), but after awhile, I got out of the habit of doing so.
Exercise helps with depression – my husband’s story
My husband on the other hand, has been exercising regularly for the last year, and he’s discovered that he *loves* running. He’s been training for a 16 km run (the Tely 10). He’s run the Tely 10 for the last two years, and plans to run it again this July, as well as his first half marathon (22 km) in October (the Cape to Cabot run).
He wanted me to share that since he’s been exercising regularly, he’s been able to wean himself off of a low-dose anti-depressant. So what they say is true — that exercise can help depression. I’m really proud of my husband for taking control of his health and really turning his mental state around.
He is in amazing phenomenal shape. And, he’s also been eating a healthy diet.
On the other hand, I haven’t been as motivated to exercise. Until now…
Something shifted in the last couple of weeks.
- Moses’ health stabilized, giving me more time to think about my own self care and fitness.
- We moved into a beautiful new home that has room for an exercise room. (In our last home, our exercise equipment was crammed into the unfinished laundry / storage room). It worked, but it wasn’t ideal.
- And something inside of me shifted.
I had a big mental block about getting physically active again. I was feeling sad that I wasn’t in shape anymore. It’s like I blinked and suddenly Moses is five years old and I am no longer in the same shape that I was before he was born. Old wounds from my childhood were coming up. (I wasn’t athletic when I was in school). Old thoughts and programs such as: “You are not good enough. You can’t do it,” were coming up. It was hugely emotional for me. To make matters worse, I was jealous of my husband’s physical fitness. I admitted it to myself, then a friend and then my husband. And then the charge went away.
I’ve never liked running. Even when I exercised regularly in the past, my cardiovascular fitness was never stellar. I had exercise-induced asthma, and it was never comfortable for my lungs. I hated running. Loathed running.
So guess what? I decided to try running on our treadmill last week, and I don’t mind it. I think I might even like it a bit. In fact, I’m finding it easier than it was when I used to run on a treadmill 10 years ago. I think I’m at the point that I can make running a part of my life!
This means that I’m exercising regularly again! Woo hoo!
My new evening routine after Moses goes to bed:
- Breathe work, meditate and feed my Spirit for 20 minutes. Connect within.
- Run for 20 minutes (not necessarily every night — I want this to be fun and don’t want to be too rigid with myself)
- Stretch for a few minutes.
- In addition, Moses and I are walking to his dayhome every morning, which gives me a about a 1 km walk before I start work (not a lot of walking, but it’s more walking than we used to do when his dayhome was across the street).
So simple. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it’s, of course, helping my inner world, my outer world and my fitness.
Oh, and some amazing news that I wanted to share is that my exercise-induced asthma seems to be gone. I think the only explanation for this is that my year of Heilkunst healing has also helped to heal me from the inside out. I still have a rash (which is generally the direction that Heilkunst healing works), but my lungs have healed!! Woo hoo!!
So that’s our back-to-fitness story. What’s your relationship with exercise and fitness?