Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Road Runner (minus the road)

I am what you'd consider an older mom.  Those words don't leave my mouth without stumbling, tangling up on the tip of my tongue as they leave a funny, unfamiliar taste.  In my mind, I'm still under 30, idealistic, silly, and so very immature.  Sometimes, when I'm with other mothers who are my age or younger, I feel...wrong.  Like not quite worthy of being in their stately presences, these women who seem to have it all together, who take responsibility seriously and see the world in a different, more serious light.  I don't know what it is.  Perhaps it's because I only have one child and was allowed to be a kid for so much longer than many of them.  Perhaps it's because I'm missing some critical part of my genetic make-up that says to most people, Grow up, damnit!  I often feel like I don't have anything in common with these people, like 1985 is still calling my name (although not my wardrobe, certainly...), like I can giggle like the best of the 17 year olds out there, like I can still eat whatever I want and not gain weight...  Maybe these other moms feel the same as I do inside, and maybe they, too, feel like they need to play at being grown-ups for the sake of the rest of us.  I was so, so flattered at NDSC this summer when a mother of a young lady with Down syndrome asked me, "So, are you a sibling?"  Flattered, and speechless.  Maybe it was what I was wearing...

But the old adage says, you're as old as you feel

Ain't that the truth.

And, in the last couple of years, I've been feeling pretty damn old.  Well, at least my body has. 

After I had Samantha, I rejoiced in the fact that for the next 2 years, I managed to get rid of all of the baby fat, to get my body into some semblance of what it had been before.  And I managed to do it without actually doing anything.  Can't credit breastfeeding - only did that for about 4 months.  Guess it was just my super-fabulous genetic ability to unconsciously control my metabolism.

And, after changing jobs 5 years ago (oh, and hitting the big 4-0), after leaving the rigors of fast-paced retail management for a desk job in which sitting on my ass is pretty much the sum total of my activity for the day and all of my energy and weight loss is concentrated in my fingertips racing across my computer keyboard, I was proven wrong.

No longer super-fabulously slim, no longer super-fabulously able to eat what I wanted without feeling massive pangs of guilt and remorse, no longer super-fabulously comfortable in my new, flabby and expanding skin, I knew I had to do something.  When the aches and pains of a body at rest staying at rest were just too much, when the slim, active self trapped inside my body that no longer had time to exercise at all (wake, kid to school, work, kid to bed, dinner, bed) was just screaming for release, the stars aligned and I bought a treadmill from a friend.

Funny story, really - she had just posted that she was selling it when I texted her to let her know I was interested, but needed to consult my husband (who would surely tell me no way, no how do we have anywhere to put it).  I called him, and he shocked me by telling me, here at 2 days before our 22nd anniversary, that he had planned on buying me a treadmill for our anniversary (just because he knew I wanted one, not because he thought I needed one, btw...)!  The exchange of money for goods was made, we got it home, and crammed it into the basement...

...where I have absolutely surprised the hell out of myself by loving it and running nearly every day. 

Oh, how the birds sing when I exercise, how my muscles no longer ache when I drag my sorry body out of bed each morning, how productive I feel!  And, as I have discovered, having 60-some episodes of Breaking Bad on my DVR to watch on the TV directly in front of the treadmill makes my morning runs go by really quickly.  It's win/win.

And I am proud of myself.  I look forward to running every morning, a far cry from the efforts I used to make several years ago, for a brief moment in time, when I forced myself to wake at 4:45 and haul my half-asleep self to the gym to run on their treadmill.  I'm still too anxious to consider running on the road, though (I feel like the rules are all so different!  And what do I wear?), so at least for now, the machine will be it. 

I haven't weighed myself, have no baseline for comparison other than how I feel, and how my clothes fit.  Okay, well, how my clothes will surely fit soon.  It's only been a few weeks, after all.

And this older mom, this sedentary person who still lives with one foot in the past, is determined to continue to search for the fountain of youth in my physical being (I'm eternally grateful for the fountain of Revlon Colorsilk #49, available at my local CVS), determined to run a 5k sometime this spring (uh, if I can get over my fear of the road). 

And at this rate, it's gonna be a breeze.   


wendy said...

I'm also what they call an older mom and have a lot of the same feelings, but I think I have more patience then I did with my other two! I'm also looking for a way to exercise more now that the cold weather is here. I wouldn't have anywhere to put a treadmill so it will probably be walking, I need to get back in the habit.

Rochelle said...

You rock sister! Keep up the good work and do a mile for me. I haven't been able to work myself up to my nordic track yet! But, I will soon ;)

sally carter said...

Same, same, except I've joined beach boot camp and been running in the sand. Progress is slow, but I do feel better again. Surely I'm a hundred years older than you though?? And I'm 40 next birthday. And last birthday. And the year before that. Weird how the math works when it comes to my age... :)