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Run Jane Run

I have been attending an exercise class since February. Prior to having master x I attended a gym to train with a personal trainer. He was like a girlfriend and I looked forward to our twice weekly chats and laughs while he tortured me with his bag of tricks. I was never one of those taut, slim girls but I loved that I felt stronger and my fitness was always improving. I was especially pleased that after giving birth to my 4.5kg (10lb) master x, there was no separation of my stomach muscles, which was amazing. My labour was relatively short and for the third time I had had a natural and drug free experience.

Getting back into exercise however has had its challenges. Breastfeeding hormones caused my pelvis to become unstable and the pain in my neck (yes it is all related I now know), lead me to a chiropracter for treatment several times a week. I was limited to the movements I could do and exercise took a back seat. After six months I ventured back to the gym and for the first four times one of the girls in the creche came into the gym to tell me master x was inconsolable. The longest a session away from him lasted was 12 minutes! I felt it wasn’t worth the effort to go and not get anything done – or get my creche money back!

In January I was talking to a super fit looking Mum at Surf Lifesaving while watching miss e and miss i tackle the waves when I realised she was a personal trainer who ran a fitness group at my local footy oval. She offers a creche service three days a week. I was keen to get back on the horse so as soon as school started back I turned up. Oh boy! How quickly one’s fitness leaves one. Session one saw me have a small vomit in my gym towel after 50 minutes of hell. Master x still grizzled in the park the whole time I was away from him, but I figured a happy mummy is a happy baby so I decided to return two days later.

The problem of turning up to exercise two days later when one has not done so in a long time, is that it hurts to walk let alone run, cylce, step ……

I persisted with the class, managing to attend two sessions a week, working around school committments and the like. Master x continued to be less than impressed but as long as I didn’t run past him, he could be consoled with snacks and cuddles.

The classes involve lots of running. No two sessions are the same, but there are always combinations of cardio equipment and push ups/planks/crunches/lunges/dips, and runs. They all have names based on the geographical features of the footy oval, or adjoining streets. For example, lightpoles means to run diagonally across the oval from one pole to the next. I have never enjoyed running. Actually that is not entirely true. Seven years ago I forced myself to power walk daily and got bored with this, so I started jogging. I realised that after the initial kilometre of discomfort, I found a rhythm and although I can’t say I enjoyed running, I enjoyed the post-running feeling. I also felt anxious if I went for more than two days without jogging. This lasted for a year and I actually saw positive changes in my body shape. This routine was halted though as homme’s working hours (often away at that stage also) meant I had to run at 6am to be child free. With winter, the enthusiasm died and old habits returned.

Last week I had a running revelation. I turned up to the class and first off we had to run a Turton Grande. This means you run uphill along a street called Turton. The ‘Grande’ means you run the whole length of the street, turn around and run back. It is a total length of 2kms, with several uphills. For the first time since I have been attending, I ran the whole distance non stop. I wasn’t fast by any means, but I jogged non stop, and actually enjoyed it. The difference in me was definitely mental. There was no negative mind talk and self whinging or trying to negotiate with myself about walking. I was having a good time!

Upon returning to the shed at the oval, I had to do 8 mins on the cross trainer, going steady for 45 seconds, then flat out for 15 seconds until the 8 minutes were up. Then I had to run 4 times Little Turtons. Same street, but you only run the first 250m which is classically called heartbreak hill. You run downhill and repeat three times. Again I shuffled my way up and down clicking over another two kms. Head back to the shed for a repeat 8 mins but this time on the bike. Throw in some planks and dips and 100 lunges and the session was over. I felt great!

Unfortunately my body shape and weight is not changing rapidly, mostly to do with my lack of willpower around food but Alex our hard ass trainer tells me I will drop 4kg as soon as I stop breastfeeding and start to get some regular sleep.  Best news is that the new girl in the creche is a baby whisperer and for the second session in a row, she has put master x to sleep while I have sweated.

When I reflect on my word for 2010, Journey, I can sum this exercise class up as part of a journey for me. The journey to better health and fitness, the journey for master x to feel secure without his mummy or daddy, and most importantly, with the eight year gap between children, I had forgotten just how much you can value mental “quiet” time. The journey of the running is just that at the moment, mental quiet time.


2 Responses

  1. I think you should be very proud of yourself, Vanessa. Working out is hard. Bloody hard, especially if you’ve still got a baby nearby.

    ….I remember getting up at 5.30am to ride my exercise bike in our freezing shed in the middle of winter and then do some half-hearted aerobics (by myself! I would have looked insane if seen by anybody) before trudging back inside, feeding baby Sapphire and farewelling Love Chunks off to work.

    Your trainer’s regime sounds hard but brilliant and if that photo of you is any indication, you already look awesome and are only going to get MORE awesome!

    • How sweet are you! Master x started his day at 4.30am this morning and I contemplated a power walk for a nano second. It seems such a waste not being able to use that time effectively. I just have to try and keep him from waking his sisters, and give homme some extra sleep on weekdays (I get makeup sleep-in on weekends when homme and x watch afl and Seinfeld reruns on tv hahaha)

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