Thursday, August 02, 2012

Physical Exercise and How the Heck can I Find Time?

I love to exercise. I really do. I was one of those crazy teenagers who would wake up and workout most days of the smarthy Houston summers. Smarthy is Latin for "it's so hot and humid you think your skin is going to evaporate." I would throw on sweat pants and 5 pound ankle weights and go running at noon. I had mental issues and maybe a few body images ones as well.

Now that I am a homeschooling mother of 5, I have found that exercise is just really hard to make happen. I also hate when people make excuses. I remember being younger and watching these young mothers walk around Barnes and Noble with their double strollers and complain about not having time to exercise. I would switch to inner monologue mode and decide that they were just being lazy. That if they had time to condemn themselves in the Martha Stewart magazine isle, they certainly had time to exercise. So very not-helpful is that inner monologue of mine.

I now find myself a mom that gets maybe 4 days of exercise a month. Yes, I walk a decent distance to drop my kids off at Chinese school. Yes, I walk to the market, up the stairs, and to most places that I need to go because of living in China. But I still don't have the elevated heart rate type of exercise that my body needs. Honestly, I just don't know how to fit it in. Unless I wake up at 2 in the morning and use my mad ninja skills on the bad guys at that hour, exercise just doesn't happen much. I exercised this morning and my only motivation was that I got to have a few minutes to myself. I had to do it before breakfast and that meant that I also skipped any semblance of devotional time this morning. So if I am to run AND spend time with Jesus before the kids get up, I'm literally needing to set my clock for 3 am.

There is no possible way to be a good mom with that type of wake up routine.

I'll be 36 this year and I realize that this has got to change, I just have no idea how to make that happen. All of our kids must be up by 6 am so that Chinese school can happen. I homeschool one in the morning and the other 4 in the afternoons. I sometimes go with my oldest daughter in the morning, but I'm not a great partner exerciser. As a matter of fact, I literally hit my husband (who was merely my boyfriend at the time) when we went running together because he was egging me on. It was not pretty.

This entire rant is to lead you to this post by John Piper about Exercise.

Physical Exercise and Why I Do It (his reasons are much more Christ centered than my "I just don't want to have arms that slap people upside the head when I raise my hands" type of reasons.)

Part 1

Part 2
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