On Saturday I went to a workout class. A new friend teaches at a new Barre Workout place in town (combines ballet, yoga, and pilates) and had a free workout coupon for me.
It was hard. It worked muscles I'd never worked before. It felt awkward because it had moves I'd never done before. It was also hard and awkward because it was the first workout class I've been to since before I had children.
I actually work out fairly regularly. I average about 3 or 4 times per week. But that's on my own at home. And at home my own or my children's stamina for allowing me to workout ends long before one hour. So this workout was longer than I'm used to. But that wasn't the only difference.
As I lay in a relaxing pose at the end, I felt close to tears. Not because of pain or exhaustion (that was there too). It was a release of emotions and stress and tension. Something I haven't felt since I was last in a yoga class over five years ago.
I've been told it for years, but I'm finally learning it. You have to take time for yourself. My at home workouts are good and important. But they are often cut short. I am watching out so I don't step on or kick a small child running by. Even if I do it while they're sleeping, I'm still on mommy alert to them waking up or needing me.
Only by leaving them with their dad and going and doing something completely for me (even shopping involves getting stuff for them) did I get to focus on me and work on me. We all know that if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. But it's hard to remember when the needs of small children are so much louder and more persistent than your own.