Reflections on my chaotic life of minivans, tantrums, deadlines, and diets ... a life I wouldn't trade for the world.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Back in the Not-So-Fast Lane

Who is that--Missy Franklin? No, that's just Meg gliding effortlessly through the water like someone half her age. It's hard to tell the two apart, really.

Ah, one can dream.

But seriously, my re-entry into the familiar world of Masters swimming 3 weeks ago was an easier one than I'd anticipated. I'd envisioned myself collapsing on the deck after 500 yards; instead, I managed to push through 2,000. I'd worried I'd have to be introduced to a whole new crew of swimmers; instead, I was warmly welcomed by a familiar crowd, who barely recognized me without a pregnant belly (there is something in that water, I swear).

Getting back in the pool has done worlds for me. Sports and exercise are such important aspects of my mental well-being that, up until a few weeks ago, I was starting to feel a bit depressed about losing the athlete in me. I am sure there are many moms who feel the same way--with pregnancy comes exhaustion and discomfort that makes exercise dreadful, and life certainly doesn't get any easier after the kids arrive. We become mom-bots, mothering all day and all night, leaving little room for sleep, let alone such luxuries as exercise.

But I have gained some perspective on the matter lately. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. I don't have to train for a half-ironman or break my PB in a 100-yard sprint to reap the mental health benefits of sports. I can bike to work a couple times a week and join my Masters friends for a good workout when I can. And if I am lucky, in a few years my kids will want to join me.

P.S. I'd like to give a shout-out to my husband, who has endured, without complaint, multiple chaotic dinners and bedtimes as a "single dad" while I swim in endless circles for an hour. You rock.

Pre-kid athletic luxuries, like multi-hour rides with friends,
have become a thing of the past.

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