Thursday, December 14, 2006

Working It In, Working It Out

For a number of reasons, I am finding it nearly impossible to find time to work out.  There's the end-of-semester rush, the holiday mania, the two-small-children-under-the-age-of-three thing.  Eric's got practices and his first solo gig coming up, so he's busier than usual, and then there just seems to be a million little things that have to get done.  Get the dog's heartworm pills, go to the dentist, watch Season 2 of Lost.  And so on.

But I have to fit in a workout somehow, or I become a poor excuse for a human being.  I can feel my cognitive functions slowing, my waistline increasing, my sleep becoming more fraught with stressful dreams.  So, this week, I decided to try some unconventional workout times.  I did yoga one evening at 9pm; that night, I slept beautifully, but didn't get some work done because I was working out.  I got up at 6 another day and did an abbreviated yoga routine--that was okay, though I felt so stiff from sleep that it was really challenging to stretch anything.  I got up yesterday morning at 6:30 to take the dog for a walk, which precipitated my first asthma attack in a year and gave me really sore hips today.

What the hell, I ask you!  I am 31 years old!  Why is a walk with the dog making me sore and asthmatic?  Something is seriously wrong here.

I think part of it is that I am just not made to exercise in the morning.  To say that I am not a morning person is putting it mildly.  The only reason I am up before 9am is because my children wake up and require my attention.  Otherwise I would perennially sleep in.  When I do get up early, it takes me a while to ease into wakefulness.  This makes morning workouts hard.  I refuse to get up before 6 in order to avoid total exhaustion for the rest of the day, but if I get up at 6, I have to start exercising immediately in order to finish before the kids wake up and demand my attention.

Normally, working out at night would probably be fine.  Eric would probably agree to watch the kids for 45 minutes while I walk or run or do yoga.  But it's getting cold and dark here before he even gets home, and I'm a little scared to run in the dark.  I tried doing yoga Tuesday night, but both kids were meltdown mode and just ignoring the melee wasn't an option.

I could work out at 9 more often, I suppose.  Though I'm pretty comatose by that point, after a full day of working and childcare and housework.

The most workable solution would probably be for us to get a double jogger, and for me to bundle the kids up and take them out for a spin.  I'm just resentful of having to buy yet more huge baby gear that is expensive and which we have to store (especially painful when we don't have a garage).  I want to simplify my life--not weigh it down with more stuff.

For a while, I was taking the kids to the gym--they camped out in the daycare for an hour while I worked out.  But the cost of my membership and the daycare was getting prohibitive, and the stress of getting them there and back before naptime wasn't worth it--I would work off the stress of the drive, then have a stressful drive home and undo the workout.  And the kids were fried.

My local yoga studio doesn't have childcare, so Eric has to watch the kids if I want to go.  Which means one more night we don't have together.

These sound like excuses.  They are excuses.  But I'm having trouble finding workable solutions here.  Even those of you without kids must understand--some of you have insane schedules, too.  What do you do?  How do you fit it in?  Help!


  1. I don't have a (human) kid, but what about this? What about we have a walking date? We could walk together in the dark. :) I'm not a morning person either, and I've been so busy that I look longingly at the gym entrance as I leave work, fried. Whaddys say? We leave the 19th, but you and me, would could usher in the new year as Whackjobs Who Walk on Wednesdays. Or something like that.

  2. Wow! Ask and ye shall receive! This would be a great solution! Let's reconvene in January. Maybe the whackjobs could also talk about unchurch while we're walking :).

  3. For what it's worth, sans kids and sans having to be at the office every day (being on break), I STILL find it a bitch to fit exercise in between the writing, editing, meetings, social stuff, cleaning the house, running errands, etc. I do okay sometimes, but I'm amazed how hard it is, especially if a writing deadline is looming, like now. (Unless I'm really angry--then I can find time to try to run it out of my system. I think I'll do that this afternoon.)

    The only person I know who pulls it off regularly is our D.A. friend Dawn, who attends a 5:30 (what???) spin class 5 days a week, sometimes on Saturdays. There is no doubt in my mind that she's insane.

    Anyway, I'd join Whackjobs Walking if invited. Occasionally I attend unchurch on Wednesdays, but it's not mandatory.


  4. I didn't mention that it is 5:30 AM.

  5. I've had a real hard time finding room to exercise, and I basically just have the one job and the two kids. (You guys seem to have these other projects.) I think I went for a jog last weekend (oops -- weekend before last), but that was made possible by a visit from Julie's mom and brother.

    We have one of those enormous double strollers. It is definitely more stuff and difficult to store, but it is just the thing. It works pretty well at the supermarket (there's room for quite a few groceries as well as the kids) and you can even jog with it. I've had mixed results with the actual jogging though: the kids aren't always content to sit through an entire jog, and I wind up trundling home.

    Added advantage of the double stroller: people just _assume_ that you have twins.