So what happens to women after we have kids? We used to be cool and wear hipster jeans and now… what? Do we search out pleated pants, buy mini-vans, and make Rice Crispy treats all day long? (Hold on just a sec while I finish putting the appliqués on my 4th of July cardigan….)
Being a mom changes you. It’s hard to maintain your dignity, your body, your ability to speak in full sentences when you have a baby around.
That’s why I love Baby Boot Camp.
Baby Boot Camp is where moms with flexible schedules meet up in the mornings to work out with kids in tow (not where you take your child so he doesn’t end up in Baby Spanx). No need to arrange childcare or make sure your bambino is an angel. Just show up in some workout shoes with your stroller and pack snacks. I go three times per week. They still haven’t kicked me out even though Mr. Pants’s preferred method of communication is a high-pitched scream.
I’ve tried to workout post–baby before, but ask my formerly atrophied muscles how that went. Intrinsic motivation is difficult, and the childcare people at the YMCA are only helpful as long as your baby doesn’t cry or need a diaper change (which comprise about 90% of baby’s activities).
I ran into Baby Boot Camp Beaverton right after we’d moved to our new Cleaver-family suburban digs. I went out for a walk and saw some women with strollers.
I was new in town, vulnerable, pregnant. If they’d said they were crocheting hats for bonsai trees with guinea pig wool, I would have said Yes! to that, too. But good fortune was on my side: This is wayyyyyy better.
I’d heard a study recently about how women feel more positive about themselves after just working out once, even if there’s no noticeable physical change. And as I’m sure other moms who spend most of their days with kids can relate to, there’s more benefit to Baby Boot Camp than just the workout (although the workout kicks ass! My husband came once and his verdict was, “I need to do more cardio.”).
Three mornings a week I’m sure to get out of the house right away. I get a built-in social network of other parents. I get to do something that’s for me, not just for Mr. Pants (you can only hit the park and the children’s museum so many times before going crazy).
When something is designed for parents and accepts you exactly as you are, it’s like the clouds part and “Let the Sun Shine In” starts to play, which in rainy Portland is a big deal.
Also, did I forget to mention that the Portland Timbers practice at our location? Seriously. We’re pretty much best friends.
(We meet Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m., rain or shine. Usually the Timbers are there, too.)
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