I think I have mentioned this before, but pregnancy is sort of like one long vacation. Not that it’s all fun and games, but that a lot of the normal routine things get paused for 3/4 of a year. Mostly in the fitness department – no contact sports, no pushing it with weights or cardio or heart rate. There’s a general slowing down and being gentle with the body. While I stayed active during my pregnancy, I also relaxed into “easier” workouts. After all, growing a human and carrying around all that extra weight in the front is a workout in itself! It all kind of comes to a grand finale when the baby arrives and your only exercise of the day is walking from the couch to the fridge and back.
Just like when I come home from a vacation craving sweaty workouts and salads, I ended those first six weeks after B was born, coupled with nine months of a changing body, with the biggest craving for workouts. I had a cycle teacher back in 2006 who used to yell out in her classes: “Increase that resistance because you CAN. There are people who wish they could be cycling right now but can’t.” This was a year after I had had foot surgery and my activity was very limited, so I was extra appreciative to be working out again.
I have that same gratitude mentality about workouts these days – I am so thankful to be able to run, jump, and play again that it makes me crave the activity even more. Getting out of breath feels so good. I am already addicted to the endorphins!
I’ve been running inside on the treadmill on cold days and outside on warm days with Aaptiv. I went to ACAC Afterburn athletic conditioning on Saturday and strength class on Monday. And indoor soccer started this week! Also because I can’t just escape to a class whenever I want, I appreciate each time I do get to one so much.
A few weeks ago, I had thrown on sweatpants and a hoodie when I got up and entertained both boys all morning. By 2 pm, I was feeling so gross and grumpy and in desperate need of a shower. It made me realize how much feeling clean with a little make-up on contributes to my mood. And so I started embracing the first-thing-in-the-morning-shower every day, even if I have a morning workout planned.
Before having Birch, I could workout out whenever I wanted. But since babies are so unpredictable, sometimes my plans for a workout and shower while he’s napping change 10 minutes into the nap. I HAVE to shower every day. So I have been showering first thing upon getting up even if I have plans to get a morning workout in during nap time. This results in what I have been calling “Clean Sweat.” The sweat that one produces 20 minutes into a workout after a shower is often scented with soap, deodorant, and sometimes perfume. The sweat without a shower first? Not so nice. So if B wakes up 15 minutes into my workout and I don’t get a chance to shower after, at least my sweat is somewhat clean. (If this happens I take a rinse-off one-minute shower later in the day.)
Showering first but dressing in workout clothes allows me to be spontaneous and roll with the punches of our unpredictable days.
Embrace the clean sweat!