I Truly Despise Exercise

During any of my periods of fitness in my life – whether it be training for a distance race or getting thin for my wedding –  I’ve never been able to fully embrace exercise.

(SIDENOTE: Exercise is one of those words I never EVER spell correctly. I always have to see the red squiggly line and correct it. But just then? In that paragraph above? ALL ME, BABY. I didn’t type exc- like I normally do. Next up? TUESDAY. Which I always type teu- on instinct.)

You always read all of these articles from people who are fit – especially people newly fit – who talk about how much better they feel when they exercise. More energy! Better moods! They get cranky on days they skip! But me? I never really felt any of that. I never had that extra energy. I usually was too busy dreading the next run/workout to enjoy any mood benefit. And on the days I skipped? PURE JOY.

This is what I refer to when I say I really DO hate exercise.

Now – on the other hand – when I did long runs? I did at least enjoy the weird quiet that occurred in my mind and allowed me to think about things I never had time to think about otherwise. The blog entries I’d write in my head on a run – always brilliant, of course.

But the other stuff? I just never felt that. I’ve been thinking about that this week as I’m back in a program. I’ve joined a 4-week boot camp for women that meets every day at 5:30am, M-F. It’s a little pricey for our budget, but since Donnie spent a chunk on his training/gear for the triathlon; we decided it was fair I could take a class or two to try to get back in shape.

I’ve done it for two days now and I remember why I hate working out: It makes me feel like ass. I mean – don’t get me wrong – I’m glad I’m doing it. I need some tone and some strength in areas long forgotten. But do I feel better in general? No. I’m hurting and I’m tired and I’m grumpy because I have to do it again tomorrow. This is why I tell people I’m inherently lazy – I think my body is actually happier when I’m sitting on my ass.

Therefore – this becomes all about the mental to me. I have to force myself to go because I know I should go. But in reality? No matter how long I’ve ever stuck to a workout program? I never feel better. I might be happy I lose weight or look better and that gives me motivation to stick with it.  But the boost of energy people talk about when they exercise? I never get it. That dependence on exercise that develops? Well – I’ve stuck to programs for almost an entire year and never ever got to the point where I would be cranky to skip a day. Deep down? I just hate exercise.

So. I’m doing it. I don’t want to be. I hate it. But I’m doing it. I feel like crap. I’m worn out. I am craving Saturday when I finally get a day off. But I’m doing it. And I know even 4 weeks from now, I’ll still feel like crap. I’ll still have to force myself grumpily out of bed for class and if I find something else to do in 4-weeks I’ll have to grumpily do that, too. Because my body never seems to be happy when I’m fit. My body and mind prefer me to sit on my butt watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Well, that’s enough moaning. I have to leave for another class in 15 minutes. I KNOW THIS IS GOOD FOR ME. I just have to keep telling myself that over and over again. Because deep down inside? I always hate it. No matter what form the exercise takes (I’ve done them all) I hate it. I hate being stiff or sore or tired. I hate spending an hour doing something that makes me grumpy when I could be sitting on the couch watching last night’s NCIS: LA. (What?) But I do it. HORRIBLY GRUDGINGLY AND BITTERLY. Because I have weight to lose. I need to be stronger. It’s what everyone says a healthy person should do: Exercise. I want to be a good example for my kids. I want them not to hate it. So I go. And maybe feel a tiny bit proud when it’s all done.

A TINY BIT.

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Case Of The Mondays: SAHM Style. (Or Maybe Just Zoot Style?)

Grumpy Face

I agree with Linda that Fridays changed when I became a Stay At Home Mom. It didn’t signify the end of the workweek and the start of the “break” anymore. It was just a different variation of the same thing. Extra person at home (spouse) meaning – depending on your family chemistry – more help or more work. Sometimes both. But basically? Still the same daily routine. Maybe no school if you have school-aged children – and not having to do carpool is a blessing – but basically? You’re still caring for the kids, the home, the family and maybe – yourself. Weekends are just a little different.

However, I had a revelation yesterday. Since I’ve been a SAHM, Monday suck in entirely different ways.

See, it used to be like this: Ugh. Mondays. Start of the 5-day workweek. 5 FULL DAYS until the weekend. UGH. Because, weekends were a break. But I’ve realized that in my life? Weekends are the busiest time for me. We schedule a lot more activities because there are usually a lot more options on the Saturdays. Sundays we do family dinner at our house which is a very good thing because it motivates me to do actually cleaning and not just picking up. There is an extra person around and this usually inspires me to do more activities because we can do them as a family. My weekdays? Basic domestic activities involved with raising a family and keeping a house. My weekends? All of that on steroids times 4 Martha Stewarts.

This means that Mondays have become…my weekend? It’s now a day that signifies the busiest part of my week is over. But because it’s a Monday, it means everyone else is starting their week. Back to carpools and laundry and packing lunches. In other words, it’s the day my body really wants a break, but because it’s a Monday? There’s no way to do that.

So I typically stumble through my Mondays. I do what has to be done. Go to the store and get notebooks like E asked. (Donnie: Don’t forget the lemons!) Change out the laundry. Get dinner ready. Pack lunches. Do carpool. But beyond that? I have major troubles. Yesterday I was moody and depressed and just worn the hell out. And it occurred to me: This is my Case Of The Mondays now. And it’s an entirely different Case Of The Mondays than when I worked. Before? Stumbling into the 5-day workweek ahead. Now? Stumbling out of the 6.5-day workweek behind. (Allowing the .5-day break for my Case Of The Mondays.)

Is it just me? Am I the only one who actually has busier weekends than weekdays? Am I the only one that has somehow found a way to make Mondays suck worse now that I’m a SAHM? Or is this another thing all of us SAHMs suffer from but just don’t talk about because it kinda feels…lame. Because I feel kinda lame:

Oh! Mondays are so hard because I’m worn out from my job changing diapers and cooking dinner and the weekends are harder with the soccer games and the trips to the park! Mondays! EEK!

Yeah. LAME. But, still – TRUE. Yesterday was hard. I almost went to bed with a sink full of dishes I was so zapped. AND I NEVER DO THAT. I may leave some soaking overnight but that’s one of my things, I don’t leave dishes in the sink. They get washed and put out to dry, or they get put in the dishwasher. But last night? BAH. SO ZAPPED FROM THE WEEKEND.

Just me?

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Unforgettable

Those of us Moms Who Blog And Also Have Teenagers don’t do a lot of writing about our teens. Partly because they’re old enough to object, and my son kinda likes my blog and I have no desire to change that on the off chance there’s something to write about. Because most of the time? They don’t provide the best writing material. They’re kinda boring. And not very cute.

I mean – let’s face it. Who wants to hear about my teenage son’s t-shirt and jeans when I could be writing about Nikki’s bold fashion choices. Which is more entertaining: E’s thoughts on putting a year between taking Latin I and Latin II or Wes’s reaction to having the garbage man honk at him? The teenagers, while interesting? (Sometimes.) Are rarely cute and entertaining.

But today – I’m writing about the most fantastically cute and PLEASE DON’T EVER LET ME FORGET THIS moment that E had on Friday. He may kill me for writing about it; but I may also not care. Who knows.

He was at callbacks for Beauty and the Beast late Friday. Since he was just desperately hoping to be part of the ensemble like last year, this was a good thing. However, since his Mom is old and wakes up at 4am most mornings, this was a bad thing. A little after 10pm I decided to get in the car and drive to the school and just sleep there while waiting on E to finish. I used this technique often during Seussical rehearsals – it allows me to get a little sleep but doesn’t risk E not being able to wake me up when things are done and he calls.

I’m on my way there when he calls on my cell. The conversation went something like this:

Him: In squeaky excitable whisper voice OH MY GOD. GUESS WHAT? I GOT A REAL PART!

Me: in squeaky excitable SCREAMING voice WHAT? HUH?

Him: Me. I got a part. With lines. And my own parts in a song. ME. I DID IT.

Me: WHAT? WHAT? No.

Him: Yes!

Me: NO. WAY?!

Him: YES!

Me: Wait. Tell me again. WHAT? YOU GOT A PART? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Him: YES!!!!!!!!!! The creepy asylum guy – Monsieur D’Arque – who Gaston bribes to take Belle’s Dad. He has a song he sings with Gaston in the musical. He’s super creepy. AND I GOT THAT PART.

Me: WHHHHAAAAATTTTT? WHAT? No. What? WHAT? NO!

Him: Yes! I SWEAR.

Me: OH MY GOD. Okay. I’m on my way already. Like one minute away. I’m CRYING I’m so happy for you!

Him: EEEEEEEEEEEK!

Seriously. It’s not verbatim? But that’s about it. I was unable to say anything coherent or remotely intelligent because I was so excited and in shock. Not because he’s not good – he is – but there are a LOT of good guys in the program. But I was also incoherent because I’ve never – IN THE 15 YEARS I’VE KNOWN HIM – heard him that excited about anything. I mean – his voice? The amount of joy coming through the phone? Was intoxicating. I was so happy for him in that moment I could have conquered the world. I think I’ve forgotten how to be that happy because I’ve had trouble erasing The Sad in my life since Dad died. But in that moment? And the entire squealing car ride home when I made him tell me EVERY THING THAT HAPPENED – He and I were both truly happy.

And I never, in one million years, want to forget it. First steps? First words? First hugs and kisses? All memorable and joyful. But after 15 years of parenting this wonderful kid? That moment. That voice filled with such excitement and glee and shock and happiness – that is the moment I will choose to hold onto if anyone ever threatens to take the rest away. I’ll give them up. All of them, if I have to. All of the firsts, All of the sweet, all of the cute – just for that one phone call. I will never give that up and have already replayed it in my head 100 million times since Friday because – well? It just makes my heart soar.

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And So It Begins…(Again)

Anyone of you around this area (As in…my blog, not North Alabama) last Spring probably remembers a little musical that took over our lives called Seussical. Although E spent his entire freshman year exploring the world of Theatre, the last few weeks before that musical was my baptism by fire. I found myself doing things I never knew I could do: Painting sets, pinning costumes, and doing makeup. I learned new vocabulary and terminology. (Note: A “costume parade” is not an actual parade of kids in their costumes around the school. If you tell your drama kid child you thought that’s what it was, he will laugh at you and the idea of having a parade in high school. A “costume parade” is simply when the characters line up on stage in their costumes and the costumer and director make final touches/adjustments.) E’s hobby, which he explored and developed without any help from any of us, basically changed my life. I made new friends and had a world full of experiences I’ll never forget.

Late last year I was invited to join the board for the theatre parents association for the high school. I was so excited I screamed a little. These parents do not mess around. As anyone in the drama department will tell you – the productions couldn’t happen without the parents. The theatre program gets no extra money or even staff – it’s basically run by parents, students, and the few theatre teachers who work gobs of overtime for no extra pay. To be invited to join that team? Was an honor.

THEN…this week I got an email from the woman I have watched basically run everything during Seussical. She was one of the producers of that musical and she was the president of the theatre parents association last year. This year, her daughter is a senior so she’s winding down her obligations. She sent me an email…asking me to shadow her during this year’s musical so I can take over as producer next year.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Next year I’ll be a producer for the spring musical for my son’s high school. E’s hobby, which I’ve watched him thrive at, has totally given me my own world to be proud of. I don’t have to be proud of only him anymore, I get to be proud of us. This is officially our thing now. And if you have a teenager? You know how hard those unifying things are to come by. As your child gets older, you just don’t do stuff together anymore. No matter how close you are. But this? He was almost (ALMOST) as excited as I was. Next year, the year he’ll need me NOT AT ALL as he’ll be able to drive, that will be the year we do this as a team. And I can’t wait.

Headshot for Beauty and the Beast AuditionsAnd that? That brings me to the point of this entry. Today? Are the auditions for this year’s musical: Beauty and the Beast. This is the headshot E has attached to his audition papers. The papers I’ll be collecting as a volunteer parent along with other volunteer parents who I now call friends. I didn’t sleep well last night I was so nervous, and I am positive he didn’t either. We’ll find out first thing tomorrow if he made it for call-backs (which I’m sure he will!) and then we’ll find out first thing Monday if he got cast. Everyone keeps asking him what he’s auditioning for and he says, “I’ll take anything.” And he means that. He loved being part of the ensemble last year and if that’s where he gets put again this year? He’ll be 100% fine with that.

So…I tell him and all of the other amazing kids…to break a leg. That was the hardest thing last year, getting myself out of the habit of saying, “Good L&ck” to these kids. (I’m not sure if the superstition that it’s bad luck extends to random parent’s blogs in type, so I’m covering my bases as to not ruin E’s audition.) BREAK A LEG. BREAK A LEG. BREAK A LEG. Rule #1 of being a theatre parent – Don’t wish anyone good l&ck! I did accidentally several times last spring and no one said anything, but I could tell they all wanted to. Damn newbie.

BUT NO MORE. Now I can’t even tell MrZ good l&ck for his triathlons because I’m worried I’ll jinx him. I don’t say, “Break a leg,” either though – that just seems cruel. I just smile and mumble something indecipherable. Because that’s supportive.

Anyway…auditions. Today. Break a leg, E. I know you’ll do great.

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