In March 2016 my husband wrote, “I’ve hit a wall where my personal health has declined to the point that I’m very aware of it.” I can relate.
I thought about listing out the stresses that have immobilised me over the last several years, including multiple pregnancies; but truly the life of a couch potato wasn’t one that was suddenly sprung on me. In University my friend Cookie would strategize on what fitness should look like for me, she’d encourage me to hit the gym with her, and then my attention would wane soon after whether from boredom, sore muscles, or laziness.
The number of fitness classes I have invested in, and then only attended one or two sessions for, is frustrating for me to reflect upon: kickboxing, pilates, boxing, Zumba, Jazzercise, boot camp, H.I.I.T, step, etc. Hot Yoga is the only thing I ever managed to stick with and that was simply because I desperately wanted my then partner to accompany to classes to further my motivation to persist through the uncomfortable bits. He told me he would attend a class if I went 30 days in a row (I did, he didn’t). He told me he would attend a week of classes if I went 50 days in a row ( I did, he didn’t). He told me he would attend a month of classes with me if I attended 90 days in a row. On the 90th day, I was in a serious collision and have only just returned to a practice, many, many, many years later.
Over my two pregnancies, I have added weight, decreased activity, stopped making particularly healthy nutritional choices, and generally became exponentially more sedentary.
My increasing inactivity has impacted my mood, energy, self-esteem, pain regulation, and family. It’s a negative feedback loop: The discomfort from my Fibromyalgia is worse because I’m not active. I’m not active because of how my Fibromyalgia makes me feel. There are two options: a. let it pull me under or, b. suck it up, push through, and set an example for my family.
Last month I opted for sucking it up.
I signed up for a 5 visit pass with Fitset. Fitset is this awesome no contract subscription multi-studio fitness membership. For $59 a month I can have 5 visits* at any of the 70+ partner studios; quenching my thirst for yoga, pilates, meditation, interval training, barre, pole dancing, surfing, and much more.
Last month I attended Hot Happy Hips class at bē HOT YOGA; I laughed my way through multiple surf sessions with both kids in tow at The Surf Studio’s Kid Friendly Surf class; and I treated my body to a healthy dose of self care during a particularly relaxing and accommodating Yin class at Above Average Yoga.
Beth Chillin’ at The Surf Studio
This month I’ve strived to include the kids in tot friendly fitness activities. The kids and I went to a Mommy & Me class from Fit Your Life. Valdy met another little friend and ran himself into a happy state of exuberance while Beth happily babbled at the other babies lining the edge of the park sitting on blankets and chilling in strollers. We hit up The Surf Studio for more Kid Friendly Surf. Finally, I braved a trip to Healthy Rhino to have my ass handed to me on a very fine “you are ridiculously out of shape” and fun platter.
Everyone at Healthy Rhino was exceptional. The owners, Kathryn and Ryan Morrow, introduced themselves and gave me the 4-1-1 on what to expect. Ryan warned me he wanted everyone to enjoy their long weekend, so had a particularly cardio heavy class prepared. He said “you don’t have to throw up, but you may feel like you want to.” At one point he looked over and said “Elizabeth, I’m not going to say this to you very often in the future, but for today only, you can stop…for a moment. ”
There were kids of all ages running (and crawling) EVERYWHERE. Healthy Rhino has enough fun toys available that my son was brought to his knees in a toddleriffic we can’t leave I’m having way too much fashion at the end of class. I appreciated that when my son was shouting or relentlessly resisting sharing it was Kathryn and Ryan that addressed it with him, so I didn’t need to stop my workout to focus on the little bumps.
At my first class I accidentally burpeed the baby. Think heel thrust into forehead. She began to cry, relentlessly, Kathryn came over and scooped her up. Kathryn and Ryan carried and cuddled her for the rest of the class. At the end of class Ryan handed me back a sleeping baby. This exhausted mama was particularly appreciative. I spent a good 15-20 minutes bawling in my car after I left the studio, as I released frustration that I hadn’t understood that prioritizing my health would benefit my family, for being so darn uncomfortable in this body that has forgotten how to move, and for being able to share the weight and responsibility of taking care of the kids without guilt while working on myself.
The class was fun, and very, VERY hard. It took me 5 days to be able to lift my arms over my head again. I braved another class on Wednesday and was equally impressed (and equally punished). Valdy asks daily if we’re going back to see all of his friends. I think I have even convinced The Undad to join me.
Once my family is able to find a strategy that ensures both The Undad and I are getting enough time to pursue the things that make our hearts happy and our bodies healthier, I would like to upgrade to the 10 visit Fitset pass and see if I can turn the clock back a few years.
Stay tuned, I don’t suspect this is the last time I will write about fitness and family in Edmonton.
If you’re interested in trying out a Fitset pass let me know. Until July 20th I can gift you with a free one month, 5 visit, pass, just dm me on twitter @riz_b, leave a comment below, or email me at lizisartsy [at] gmail.com with your name and email address and I’ll make sure Fitset emails you access information for a free trial month.
* up to 4 visits at any one studio partner per month