Wednesday, October 2, 2019

On cycling and Exercise and all the things

Pretty much walking the dog is all the exercise I get
on a daily basis right now.
Having a baby feels a little bit like a re-birth. I'm sure it's totally normal, but it feels like I now had 'life before pregnancy' and 'life after the baby was born'. I compare everything, like how much I weigh, how much sleep we got/get, who I am as a person, what I was/am interested in and of course how much I exercised/exercise. And that last little bit is on my mind more and more as the days post birth add up, two weeks, a month... and I start to wonder if and HOW I will exercise now that we have a baby, and what it will look like. Add to that the constant question in the back of my mind, will I race my bike ever again and it's quite an interesting time in my life. I'm not complaining/upset at all about this situation, just there is so much going on in our life and my mind and I want to make sense of it through writing as well as record what I'm feeling so I can go back and read this in the future and laugh about how critical these things seemed once upon a time :)

So here's the thing, when Addy was born I had no expectations about exercise and training. I figured I would play it by ear and jump back in when it felt right. The hard thing is that we are approaching 6 weeks and not only am I not back to working out on a regular basis, but I feel so conflicted about how I spend my time that I'm not sure I ever will be back to working out. Every day I think about going for a ride, knocking out a short run, doing yoga in the living room, and every day it feels like today just isn't the day. I have ridden my bike twice since the baby was born, and it felt amazing (more on that in a sec) but the baby only naps alone for 3 hours each morning, so scheduling an hour bike ride a few times a week is hard when I feel like every nap should be spent working on the kitchen or cleaning. I feel selfish running off in the afternoon on any given day, leaving Brendan to take care of the bebe when he is likely doing work for his contracting job, and on top of all that I know maternity leave and baby bonding leave is supposed to be spent doing just that, bonding with the baby. On the other hand I do complete 80-85% of the diaper changes and 95% of the feedings, plus I do all the laundry, dishes, cleaning... so I do deserve to take some me time every day, but I find myself the same physical human with a crazyily different brain, a person who suddenly loves vacuuming and laundry, and who has a hard time being still/selfish (I'm not trying to sound like a saint, there is a HUGE component of control freak going on), for example when I'm holding the baby Brendan has no problem reading reddit/taking a nap/researching a new mouse for his computer, but as soon as I hand him the kid I feel compelled to fold laundry, quickly unload the dishwasher, do any chore because I almost feel guilty that he has to take care of the baby, so I should work too. I'm sure that's not a healthy attitude, but it's probably pretty normal as well. And on top of all that, when there does seem to be a window of free time I could kit up I feel compelled to or guilty that I should be staring at our daughter, holding her against my chest, bonding with and savoring every second with her. All that to say I don't see a time when I can commit an hour to yoga/running/riding each day in the near future. And the extra scary thing is I'm kinda ok with that. Even as I write this it seems more and more ok that my priority is chilling with the babe, there is just this pressure/stress in my mind that if I don't start working out soon I never will, and I will loose any hope of ever being an athlete again. An interesting time in my life for sure.
First bike ride feels. 

The two times I did ride my bike were absolutely fantastic though! And the whole time, each hour and fifteen minutes of pedaling was glorious feeling. Think cheeks hurting from smiling, stuff dreams are made of feeling. I think the wind in your face freedom of cycling is amplified when you haven't done it in 3 months. I did think on that ride about all the QOMs I've lost while I was preggo and not riding, and I thought about how I may never be fast enough to get them back. I thought about how I have now lost every title I held, like defending Leadville champion, but somehow it feels liberating to be taken back to the beginning (like no fitness whatsoever haha). I decided on the first of those rides that for now I don't care about power or distance or speed, I am QOH hunting. QOH standing for Queen of Happiness. I'm not going to be fast for a long long time, but I can enjoy every freaking second of each ride I sneak in, and that's what's important. I guess cycling is now just as much a workout for my body as it is an act of mental health for my mind.

So while I currently don't see what my future holds, while I can't imagine when I will start training or how, I will be living this strange awesome new post baby life. Who knows what post baby me will accomplish, for now I'm just happy if it includes keeping this kid alive and not killing my husband in the process :)
Bike ride #2 with Tori = all the smiles. 


  1. As soon as the kid is a little bit older, dude, riding with a trailer is life changing! It's so awesome.

  2. Sounds like you are in a great place! Enjoy every minute of that little baby; in 3-5 years she will be in school and running and screaming:)

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