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What To Do When Your Workout Plans Get Thwarted

Posted Nov 18 2008 8:48pm
Every family has their seasonal traditions and today we are commemorating a big one at our house. It's annual Pink Eye Day. We celebrate this special day every year come winter - sometimes more than once! While this day doesn't usually involve festive decorations or special foods, it does involve missing school (and, for me, the gym, the store, and all adult company). Pink is the color of the day and each child is gifted with his own bottle of Purel, a box of Kleenexes and the admonition to touch nothing, including themselves.

The first thing we always do on this great day (and every 4 hours afterward) is the Ceremony of the Eye Drops. Some parents think this ceremony is not very fun as it often involves kicking, screaming, scratching and crying. The children often behave no better. However, since this ceremony is required to celebrate Pink Eye Day, not to mention the Great Day of Returning To School, I have developed a patented eye drop administration technique. First you place the child on their back on a padded floor. Next you place both legs over their body, pinning their arms to their sides. You have to really use those quad muscles here. Just ignore any protestations from the child - remember it was them and their germy fingers that got you into this mess in the first place. Use one hand to hold their head and hold the other at the ready with the eye drops. Now here's the trick: hold a piece of candy between your teeth and yell "Look! A treat!!" As soon as they open their eyes to see that Tootsie Roll dangling above them, strike with the eye drops. Then - don't be a jerk - give them the treat.

Despite the fact that the Eye Drop Ceremony usually gets me all sweaty, I was still bummed to have to miss my daily sweat fest at the gym. Today was supposed to be boot camp and I was greatly looking forward to doing my best to reinact those Gatorade commericals with the colored sweat (I ate beets last night, it was a possibility!) but thanks to my disease-carrying progeny I am stuck at home. So instead I pulled a Workout Mommy and turned to one of my favorite home workouts ever: The Monkey Bar Gym.

Looking back through their archives, I finally came up with a circuit that looked like this:
  1. High Knees to Hindu Squats
  2. Lateral Slides to Skaters
  3. Butt Kickers to Mountain Climbers
  4. Cariocas to Jumping Jacks
  5. Crawling to Sprint in Place
Do 30 seconds of the first exercise immediately followed by 30 seconds of the second. Proceed through the list 5 times taking a one minute rest after completeing the circuit for a total of 25 minutes of work, 30 minutes total workout time.

So okay, it wasn't boot camp but, as the exercise gurus are fond of saying, anything is better than nothing, right? Plus it sure beat running in place on my pretend treadmill for 30 minutes. I threw on some clothes (it's amazing how little care I put into wardrobe selection when I know no one is going to see me!), set up a fort to keep the wee ones occupied and went to work!

At first the kiddos (a.k.a. The Lepers) stayed holed up in their den with a bag of contraband Teddy Grahams and watched mommy go all Flashdance on the 6-square feet of carpet their fort did not take up.

But then they saw how much fun I was having as evidenced by the sweat drops splattering their tent off my elbows and my heavy breathing and decided to further investigate. (Note protective eyewear. Their idea, not mine. I figure if you're in our house during the Pink Eye Festival, you're just doomed. Admit it, your eyes are suddenly feeling itchy.)

The four-year-old decided he wanted to be the official photographer of our group exercise event so he chronicled the fun. Here's me doing Hindu squats (the tongue is part of having good form, trust me.)

Momentary distraction to take a picture of an owie incurred when Mommy stepped on his foot while doing skaters. Don't worry, he'll live.

While the four-year-old could basically follow along (Monkey Bar Gym - So Simple a Preschooler Can Do It!), the two-year-old's favorite activity was crawling through my legs when I did the crawl. It's like reverse birthing. I'm sure we just saved money on therapy there.

We ended with the baby's impersonation of me doing the Carioca. (Notice the broom? The four-year-old apparently thought that random dancing around the room meant limbo time.) Personally, I did his choice of workout wear. Tomorrow I'm totally going to the gym in my pajama shirt, no pants, one sock and ski goggles.

What do you do when your planned workout gets foiled? Do you have a favorite at-home workout? Or do you call it a rest day? Anyone had pinkeye as an adult? I have (during the Pink Eye Fest last year) and trust me it's way worse than you remember. Took me two solid weeks to get over that. This year I'm wearing surgical gloves.

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