For the past week I’ve worn workout clothes almost every day without actually, you know, working out. I learned long ago that one of the keys to me actually getting my ass out the door and onto the road for a run or some quality time with weights at the gym is laying out my workout clothes the night before. I know, it sounds insane but it’s one of those things I know about myself. So every night, before I finally get to go to sleep, I go through the motions of laying out my gear. I choose my sports bras (yes, bras! I gotta double bag these girls!), the shirt I’m going to sport (usually my CCM shirt, let’s be honest) and whichever pants don’t make me look too much like an overstuffed sausage. I pause a moment to gaze longingly at the workout attire that I would wear last year when I was a crazy person. The cute Nike t shirts with sassy sayings, the vibrant running pants and shorts. You guys, last year (when I was a crazy person) I wore SHORTS! This boggles my mind. With a sigh, I close the drawer and stack my chubby girl workout wear, socks and shoes on my dresser where I can whisk them away to the other room when I get up before dawn because that is the only time I have to work out.
Except, even though the clothes have been getting laid out, and I’ve been putting them on, I haven’t been actually getting out the door. My stupid life keeps getting in the way! And when it’s not that life of mine, it’s the asshole who lives in my head and is constantly talking shit to me ABOUT me. Either way, the clothes are getting worn, but the work is not getting done. I can’t tell you how shameful I feel getting out of those unsullied workout clothes every night. It’s pretty darn demoralizing.
I could tell you about all the crazy life stuff that keeps happening – how my mom had a heart attack while picking my nephew up from school, or how my work is eating up every spare second and there is no relief in sight. I could tell you about how I’ve driven over 1200 miles this week, and it’s THURSDAY. How my kid started at a new school, and clients cancelled gigs that made my rent late and dinner ideas really creative (I call it pantry roulette). I could tell you all this stuff, and you’d get it! Because you’re a mom, and sometimes your life is just one 100 mile an hour curveball after another. You try to maintain some grace and a shred or two of dignity, but sometimes you’re hanging on by a fingernail. And when that happens, when life throws everything it’s got at me and spins me till I’m sick, that’s when the VERY FIRST THING I will do is stop taking care of myself. I immediately prioritize EVERYTHING else above me.
My alarm still goes off at 5am every morning. I still step into my lycra and spandex pants and moisture wicking tee. I still lace up my expensive running shoes that glow in the dark. But as I wait for that cup of coffee to fill before I head out the door, the voice in my head that thinks I am the LAST person I should be worried about somehow convinces me that I’ll find 30 minutes later in the day to get those miles in. It tells me that right now, in the quiet dark of my house before anyone else wakes up, I could be getting SO MUCH work done. So instead of going out the front door I open my office door, flip on my computer and fall into the rabbit hole of work. Or I’ll have stayed up so late the night before working on a project after the kids were FINALLY in bed, or maybe I’ll have another night of anxiety insomnia where I wake up at 3am in a total panic because of the aforementioned lack of funds and sick parent and all the places to drive, and when that alarm goes off I think, FUCK THAT! Turn it off and hope I wake up before the kids are supposed to be at school. No matter the reason, the reality is I am not getting the work of keeping myself healthy done. I am not giving myself an hour a day to just work on me. I am not meditating through the miles, or finding that happy place on the weight room floor. I have, once again, put myself last and beating the holy living crap outta myself about it.
Tonight, before I climbed into bed with my laptop so I could finish this confession up, I took off my workout clothes that hadn’t seen even a brisk walk to the mailbox and laid them out on my dresser for tomorrow. I checked the CIM training schedule and saw 2 miles and strength on the calendar for tomorrow. I sat down, heavy heart and heavy body, making myself promises about how tomorrow I get my miles in. Tomorrow I take care of me. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. And honestly, I’m not sure it’s going to happen. There may very well be a tornado or some other disaster that will keep me from it. But my clothes are laid out, and my intentions are there. So hopefully, I’ll give myself some much needed time tomorrow morning.