I decided last week that the time was beyond past to get my behind back to the gym. My joints have had me feeling more like an old lady than a young pregnant woman, so I figured I needed to move. Armed with knowledge about safe workouts and heart rates from my “Exercising while Pregnant” pamphlet, I packed my long neglected bag, tied my shoes, and out the door I went. There is something intoxicating about the smell of the gym when you walk in the door…it almost invites an adrenaline rush. I signed in, went to the locker room and pleasantly found it smelling like perfume. After critically examining my awkward appearance in the mirror for a bit (my old work-out pants make me look more than a bit misshapen these days) and using the restroom, up the stairs I went. There my burst of confidence, well..burst. I suddenly felt a bit lost and definitely out-of-place. Determined, however, I pushed on. I did stair-stepping and not-so-vigorous elliptical work for 15 minutes. I ignored the sylphlike chick in front of me with “BOY TOY” written in giant pink glitter letters across her shirt. I also decided that I needed one of those shirts that say “I’m not fat, I’m knocked up!” I persevered. I figured this was a good start, did a little bicep and upper thigh work and tripped back downstairs to the locker room. Now, if I thought my workout clothes made me feel awkward, my maternity bathing suit was a killer. The elastic is apparently deciding to give up the ghost, so I did a lot of tugging at my top. Also, there is nothing remotely sporty or even muted about my purple gingham skirted bathing suit. I bought it during my first pregnancy and it’s definitely time for an upgrade. Thanking God that I brought a big ole’ beach towel, I wrapped it around myself as much as possible and headed for the pool. There I honestly found my stride. I swam any way I wanted to. I used only my arms or only my legs, I did Matrix-style stretches and spins, I felt deliciously weightless. I did things in that pool I could never do on land and I loved it. In those moments, I forgot awkwardness and just enjoyed the exercise. It was wonderful. There was, of course, the funitude of getting out of the pool and going back to the locker room to shower, but I cared a lot less. When I was sitting on the benches drying off afterwards I heard a young woman who’d hopped in the shower singing in an Asian dialect. She sounded like a bird…it was beautiful. Nevermind that I accidentally brought the bleach-stained leggings to wear home or that I’d had to wash my hair with foam body wash. I felt good. I’d done something good for myself and SugarPlum, my brain had received some quiet time, and I felt revived. All was right with the world.
Damn skippy I’m going to be buying some maternity yoga pants and a new bathing suit soon, though.