Time to shape up

6 Jun

Well, it was only a matter of time.

Having a baby, for me, is the ultimate in weightloss, as I don’t have crazy pregnancy cravings and have the miraculous transformation of all my lower body weight migrating up to help my baby belly grow.  Obviously, this time of life with pleasantly rearranged weight distribution cannot go on forever post-baby.  As I am breastfeeding Kristopher for longer than I did Gemma I’ve been able to hang on to the illusion of fitness for a solid 9 months, and I’m thankful for it.

However, this past weekend was a glaring reminder of that oft-ignored truth: thin does not equal fit.  This is one of the few math equations I know I’m right on.  Yes, you can BE thin and fit, but thinness on its own in no way implies fitness.  Neither does apparent muscle, as this story will also indicate.

It all began innocently enough – we decided to buy a double stroller.

I have been lamenting the loss of my almost-daily walks in Ottawa, when I had only one child to cart around and two grocery stores, the library and a park in easy walking distance.  In typical male problem-solving mode, Carl headed to the computer to research and purchase a double stroller for my walking pleasure.  About six days later my lamenting was forced to an abrupt end when this made an appearance in my home.

 Sometimes I should keep my mouth shut.
 
Obviously, I had no other choice but to try it out, and, finding it drives like a dream in our living room, I decided we should run our errand to the vegetable store sans auto.  This involves a walk that looks something like this:
Ok, I exaggerate a little.
 
There’s actually no water at the bottom, there’s a veggie store.  And a Walmart.
 
The funny thing is I used to work at the bottom of this hill, at Benjamin Moore Paints and Old Spaghetti Factory, and I walked to and from work no problem, until I was about 8 months pregnant with my first!  Those were the days.
 
Anyways, off we set, me thinking Carl could do the pushing and I could ease into the whole shaping-up business by walking alongside the stroller.  Unfortunately, Carl wrenched his knee that morning going for a jog (at least one of us is fit) and discovered that down and up hills were next to impossible.  Determined to see it through (and to prevent me from running back to the car) he hobbled along behind me swinging one leg straight out to the side every other step.  Needless to say, I had to walk quickly enough to avoid association with him.
 
Going downhill wasn’t actually so bad, so long as I didn’t gather any speed.  While my backwards lean elicited a few chuckles from Carl, and any gravel under my shoe led to heart-stopping skids, I managed to keep the beast under control and arrive safely at my destination.
 
At the store, I naturally wanted to load up on everything I would have bought had my car been in the parking lot, and was feeling rather high from my successful slide down the hill.  Then we started home.  Here’s another math equation for you:
30+ pound stroller + 35 pound child + 20 pound child + 10 lb bag of potatoes + 5 lb bag of grapefruit + approx 10 lbs in other assorted fruits and vegetables + first 25 degree day of the year = my situation.
 
The fact that I’m writing this tells you I made it home, and in fact it didn’t even take me long, as I discovered the only way to keep the stroller from beginning a backwards slide was to RUN with my body nearly horizontal to the pavement.  I feared if I stopped it would simply run me over and take my children and produce straight down into the busy intersection.  Looking back, my limping better-half could probably have caught it before that happened, as he was only about half the hill behind me with his special gait.
 
Needless to say, by the time I got us all safely to the top of the hill my lungs were burning, my thighs were burning, my bra cleavage was sweaty and, worst of all workout woes, my bangs were damp.  But we were there!
 
We made it home, had a quick dinner, and off I went to participate in a local Amazing Race.
 
HA.  My poor sister who had the misfortune to be my partner did the vast majority of the running that night, let me tell you.  But when my turn came to complete a roadblock, I did this: run to get a clue, then run across a soccer field and up and down grandstand bleachers 3 times.  By the time I got across the soccer field I was wondering where I stood in the cheating department.  Good thing another team was there at the same time as us, and she was loping up and down the steps like a bored gazelle, because there is nothing like pride to get your body to step up (no pun intended).
 
Well, if you’re still with me, really, the moral of the story is what I already stated – thin does not equal fit.  While I may weigh as much as my loaded stroller and have mad biceps from carrying the occupants of said stroller all over kingdom come, my lung capacity and lower body strength are, to put it mildly, weak.
 
I’ve been having a hard time getting motivated to get back in shape because I have no desire to lose weight, but this weekend of gasping and coughing gave me exactly the kick I needed to get my butt back in gear and back in shape, and now that I can walk anywhere with my new stroller I have no more excuses!
 
So feel free to challenge me to a run or squat-off sometime!  But maybe give me a month or so…I clearly have a ways to go.
In the meantime, I’m up for an arm-wrestle.
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9 Responses to “Time to shape up”

  1. Sara Ludwig June 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Wish someone had video-taped your whole story…I’m sorry but it must have looked pretty funny…:-)
    I’m up for arm-wrestling. My 9 year old keeps practicing with me and I haven’t lost yet (left or right) but I know I will soon enough since he’s getting a swimmer’s body already. If you push that stroller all summer, you’ll be fit in no time…try doing that with 2 in a stroller and pregnant with your 3rd…No, I only took two to swimming lessons then and had the fun job of getting them changed afterwards and hoping I wouldn’t drop anything and have to try to pick it up while they ran all over the changing room…:-)

    • hiddenponies June 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

      Haha, I can only imagine that in the changeroom! Carl figures the same, if I go up and down the hill every day I’ll be ready for anything in no time 🙂

  2. Kelly June 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    It’s so deceiving being naturally thin. I know I need to start working out but work always seems to get in the way..

  3. Tanya June 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Oh Anna. I laughed out loud so many times reading this, I’m sure Al is wondering what is going on in the computer room downstairs…
    Let me know if you ever want to go for a walk with our double strollers 😉

  4. Sharon June 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    LOVE IT!!!! Thanks again for the GREAT laugh!!! I can picture you and the whole hill saga…. do wish it was on video though.. FUNNIEST HOME VIDEO winner!!!! Pity that you live on the top of the hill with all the stores at the bottom… might have been a bit easier the other way!!! BUT… keep up the good work!!! I think I may have to join you on the getting in shape!!! I also did the 2 kids in a stroller exercise for a while…. NOW the kids are far to big… and I for sure am not pushing them up our hill!!!!

  5. Kim June 7, 2011 at 2:41 am #

    I made the same mistake ONCE taking you and Sarah in my old Gendron buggy down a big hill to the store and library in Houston. The only thing that kept me going back up was the inability to stop anywhere to rest without the buggy rolling back down…and my better half wasn’t anywhere near to catch you. Now I’m old and even less fit (if that is possible), I don’t even like the Abbotsford Superstore with its ridiculous ramp when I have a buggy full of grandchildren to push up or a buggy full of grandchildren and groceries to keep in control on the way down. Yes, there is an elevator but I am not only unfit, but also claustrophobic 😛

  6. Corien June 7, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    People! Move to the prairies! Problem solved!

  7. Andrea June 7, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    Oh man, this post was hilarious!! I, too, laughed out loud often. 🙂

  8. Heidi June 11, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    I’m a little late, but I have to say I almost peed my pants laughing at this one! So funny! But good for you for having the motivation to get fit now. You can do it! 🙂

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