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Imperfect Progress: A Working Mom's Tale of Going Back to Boot Camp

by Ashley Garrett  |  815 views  |  0 comments  |      Rate this now! 

At 5:30 a.m., on a chilly October morning in 2008, I showed up for boot camp on the soccer field at the Y.  I hadn't exercised in 20 years and was terrified of making a fool of myself, but I had a specific goal in mind--I wanted to do "real" push-ups by the time I was 40.  And my fortieth birthday was 20 days away.

Success. After dragging myself out of bed at that ungodly hour for three weeks, I did THREE real push-ups on my 40th birthday!  I was hooked.  For the next two years, I stuck with it.  I learned to run again!  I worked out in the rain and cold and heat and fog.  I made friends who spent their Saturday mornings on long runs.  I did, too.  Neighborhood 5Ks, fun runs.  Then I committed to a half marathon.  And another one.

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Then came that couple of weeks in May when I just didn't have the energy.  Even when I tried to kick in my afterburners, they weren't there.  Something was up.  I peed on a stick and whaddaya know...I was pregnant.  I quit boot camping and threw myself into eating chicken burritos at a marathon pace.

Fast forward three years to January 2014.  I'm 45 with two little kids, full-time job, lots of volunteer duties, and 50 extra pounds of blah.  It seems lame to call it "baby weight" when the baby is THREE.  So I signed myself up for boot camp again.

January was AWESOME.  I got a perfect attendance prize.  I felt good about myself again.  Lost four pounds and started making better choices for myself.  Choosing the fruit for breakfast instead of the biscuit.  Saying no to the midnight snack.  Saying yes to a walk around the block when I felt stressed at work and really wanted a cookie.  I was making PROGRESS.

It takes so much effort to get started and so little to bring it all to a crashing halt, right?  In February, I made it to one workout.  One.  The first week of class, my son got a stomach bug.  The second week we had an ice storm and classes were canceled.  The third week, my husband was out of town at a conference and it is HARD to find a babysitter at 5:30 in the morning.  This past Tuesday, I could have gone.  I had my workout clothes all packed.  My husband was picking up the kids.  But by then, I felt so bad about myself that I was back to eating cookies.  I skipped class and sat in my car to feel bad about it.





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