I've been saving this one up for the right time. And because today is my birthday (whoop!) I feel less conscientious about shameless self-promotion and more open to receiving attention. OK, sure, I love all that any day of the week, but I'm officially an adult now (or so says my age) so I think that means I'm supposed to temper my enthusiasm for said attention and thus have been waiting to share the accolades bestowed on me by my friend Kate who blogs at Mother Words. She sent this my way:
Now I need to pay it forward to seven more blogs. My Lovely Blog picks:
Go Tribal Now: Technically this isn't a blog, it's more of a community, but there are blogs on the site you can read. The site was created to "Empower Women Through the Journey of Sport." Usually I check into things like this and don't necessarily check back. I keep finding myself checking back here. I like what they're doing.
Small Wonders: This blog comes from my friend Patty who is a naturalist and environmental educator (and runner and mama). If you ever loved to play outdoors as a child, if you encourage your children to play outdoors, if you appreciate nature and want your children to, too, you'll love this blog. Plus, Patty has a lovely way with words, and so it is literally, one lovely blog. I'm always amused and also motivated to get outdoors, no easy feat with negative wind chills around these parts.
Sister Sharing: I am lucky enough to have a mother-in-law who is a writer, too. If it's true that men do marry their mothers then I'm flattered. Libbie is working on her second novel, about two sisters, and started this blog to keep her motivated, to get inspiration from readers' own stories of their sisters and to share her progress on the book.
The Great Fitness Experiment: What can I say? Charlotte is one of the best bloggers out there and I'm proud to call her my blog mentor. Charlotte is a riot. And where does she find all those pictures? The crazy small world thing is she lives about 10 minutes away from me so I've been lucky enough to see her in the flesh! All those crazy experiments happen so close and I am so tempted to join her in a Turbo Kick Boxing class one of these days.
Tales from the Pod: This is my blog splurge of late. Janine, a friend from my childhood, is pregnant with monochorionic/monamniotic twins (dumbed down her identical twins share an amniotic sac and placenta, and this is very rare, so rare her first doctor referred to it as a "birth defect," and I say "first doctor" because she had the good sense to find a new one). While I can attest that even an uneventful twin pregnancy is a challenge, Janine is handling her pregnancy with aplomb. (Doesn't it seem that "aplomb" should have double meaning and describe the physical appearance of her belly, too?) You should start from her first hilarious post, but if you read her latest post, "Survivor Mom," I promise you'll laugh out loud, too. Oh, but don't miss the post where she names her placenta "Fat Shari." Oh man, it feels like a lost opportunity not having named my placentas... BTW, Janine is a former professional ballet dancer, but I predict a blog-to-book deal in her future.
Running Diva Mom: Another fit mama balancing the joys of motherhood with her desire to sweat. This mama is fast approaching her goal to run 1200 miles this year--she has less than 50 miles to go. Impressive goal, and then to know she is accomplishing most of that these days on the dreadmill. She will inspire me next time I have to face the prospect of playing hamster. Will she make it with 10 days to go? Check in and find out!
Fast at Forty: Here we go. As I move steadily (and a little tentatively today) into my forties, I give you Joanna Zeiger's new blog. Joanna is a pro triathlete (one more plug--c'mon it's my birthday!--her first ironman story is in my book: Becoming an Ironman: First Encounters with the Ultimate Endurance Event) who is blogging about her comeback since breaking her collarbone defending her title at the 70.3 World Championships. Joanna knows a thing or two about coming back after injuries and I give her a lot of credit for my comeback after childbirth. Oddly enough our back pain was nearly identical--hers after so many back-to-back Ironman races, mine after back-to-back births. She shared with me her winning physical therapy formula and, four years later, it still keeps me out of harms way. I'll keep my eye on her blog, but she says a website by the same name is forthcoming: "I also plan on creating a website also called fastatforty, which will be geared toward women in their 40's looking to become active or to hone their athletic skills." Bring it Joanna!
For the second part of this award (yes, these awards are a HUGE responsibility, or the blogosphere's version of chain letters) I am supposed to share seven things about myself, but after last week's post, what more could you possibly need to know? So, I give you seven things I know about balancing motherhood and fitness:
1) Whenever I can workout early in the morning I know it's a guaranteed workout. Those early morning workouts are the anchor for my fitness plan. If I need to workout a minimum of two days a week, I need a minimum of two early morning workouts.
2) Every little bit counts: 10 pushups here, 20 calf raises there, 15 minutes on my bike trainer or a 20 minute walk. I don't turn my nose up at anything anymore (and yes, before kids I wouldn't have believed a 20-minute walk was worth my time).
3) Before having kids my main motivation was one fitness goal after another. Now, it's stress relief. These two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, either. There is a difference between stress inducing workouts and stress reducing workouts. This varies from person to person. Some people might need one or the other at various stages in life or just on different days of the week.
4) The more options you have for workouts, the more likely you are to workout. That's why I have a gym membership, workout dvds, fitness websites bookmarked, a jogging stroller and babysitters who don't think I'm strange when I leave them with my children and literally run away.
5) Let's face it. We all need therapy. We all struggle with various challenges. However, you do not need a therapist if you have friends to workout with you. This was true before having kids, too. Life's annoyances seem to work its way out along with the sweat.
6) I don't have any guilt about leaving my children to workout because I want them to know that fitness is an integral part of my life.
7) As important as it is to make time for my own workouts it's also equally important for me workout in ways that either allow them to see me in the act or include them. I want them to grow up believing fitness is something you just do, not something you have to figure out how to start doing.
Anyone still reading? If you are, what can you share about balancing motherhood and fitness?