Cold weather is ridiculous.
Snow is ridiculous.
Ice is ridiculous.
Want to know what I think? I think we should hibernate for the cold winter months (those of you in the southern states are not allowed to hibernate). I’m serious. My five year old asked me the other day why there was smoke coming out of all of the cars on the road and why it looked like the football players were smoking. That, my friends, is winter weather. I command that we all stay in the warmth of our pajamas and homes until spring.
Ha! C’mon! Do you really think I’m going to write a blog post, for a fitness organization nonetheless, about NOT working out? Click bait, my friends, because let’s be real---if there’s any time of the year that I would encourage you to exercise, it would be right now. I am right there with you about it being a challenge. The weather can be less than ideal. Kids actually require coats and hats and boots. You have to replace the LuLaRoe leggings with activewear. And it’s just cold outside. But while the weather and road conditions may be changing, our needs as people/women/moms are not. We still need to be taking care of ourselves so that we can continue to care for others to the best of our abilities. What was that quote I shared a few weeks ago? “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” (Eleanor Brownn)
So in the midst of a very snowy December here in Michigan, when my motivation to leave the house and attend Stroller Strides can be waning, how on earth do I make that final push to consistently make it to class? Well, for me, it’s fairly simple (not to be confused with easy). Attending Stroller Strides is an essential part of how I care for myself. Far too often, we perceive “working out” or “exercising” as a chore. It’s just something that we need to check off of our list for the day. And, hey, I am a list maker so if that motivates you and brings you joy, please continue to check it off your list! But I think that we need to shift our mindset from, “This is a task to complete,” to, “This is something I GET to do to take care of myself.” It may seem minute but such a change can make a major difference.
That mindset shift completely happened for me during the session of Body Back that I did in September/October 2015. When I started that session, I had been very consistently attending Stroller Strides classes for almost three and a half years. I was in the best shape of my life and Stroller Strides was an essential part of my life but, looking back, I don’t think I fully embraced how important of a role it played in my life. Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely recognized the profound impact the program had on my physical, emotional, and mental well being but something was holding me back. It took Body Back to realize what it was---I was always the “non-athletic girl” and simply making a fitness program part of my everyday life felt like enough for me. What I didn’t realize was that I was even more than I was giving myself credit for. When my husband and I got married, I couldn’t do a single push up. (Seriously.) At the end of that Body Back session, I could do twenty in one minute. I could go on and on about all of the things that I realized I was capable of. I possess the great power to influence change if I choose to use that power. The thing about power and the thing about change is that it doesn’t just happen. You have to consistently work towards it. And, yes, that consistency applies to the ridiculously cold winter months, too. A major perk about Stroller Strides during the winter (and any time of year!): amazing workout and play date rolled in one. Where else are you going to get that? I love that I get to do something wonderful for myself and that, in doing so, I am doing something fantastic for my child/children. They learn all kinds of things during class, play with friends after class, and they are able to witness their mom taking care of herself.
I get that the cold months add an extra layer of complication to getting out of the house with young kids. I’m certainly not proclaiming to have never skipped out on a winter class I probably could have attended (Sorry, Marissa….) and I’m not saying that I attend each class with ease and joy. What I will say is that I always leave class thankful that I made the choice to attend. My mental state is always noticeably better after attending class and focusing on my needs. Did you know that four out of five people who experience Seasonal Depression/Seasonal Affective Disorder are women?? (source: mentalhealthamerica.net) Please please take care of yourselves, especially during this time of the year that sees an increase in depression. I realize that I might be a bit biased but I think that FIT4MOM does an amazing job of addressing the many wants and needs that mothers have and we would absolutely love to have you as part of Our Village. If there’s anything FIT4MOM Grand Rapids can do to help or support you, please let us know. I’m not able to attend as many classes I used to but I do hope that I will be seeing many of you in class soon!
YOU are always worth the time. Bundle up and head on over to class tomorrow!
p.s. The next FIT4MOM Grand Rapids session of Body Back Transformation is starting in January! FREE preview session on Monday, January 9, at 7:30pm!
p.p.s. (or is it p.s.s.??) The new FIT4MOM Grand Rapids program, Stroller Barre, starts on Monday, January 9, at 11am with a FREE preview!
p.p.s.s. (is that even a thing??) The next FIT4MOM Grand Rapids session of Fit4Baby starts Tuesday, January 10, at 6pm!