considering a gym membership

There was a time in my life when I openly disdained exercise, and went out of my way to avoid it.

Then I decided I did want to exercise, and on two separate occasions joined a gym....which I hardly ever used. My problem was that I thought having shelled out the cash would motivate me to start exercising. It did not.

Now, though, I am already exercising-- I'm already motivated. Having lost 37 lbs. (and counting), the time has come for me to up the intensity and speed of my exercise. Mostly it's due to the kids-- on a 70 degree day, a three hour walk with Marky in the Ergo and Colin in the stroller is quite pleasant-- especially if Colin is asleep for a large part of that time. But I'm growing concerned about cooping the kids up like that for so long. Marky is approaching mobility, and Colin needs more activity in general-- I'm sure if he got out more he'd sleep better, which would let Mommy and Daddy sleep better.

So, once again, I'm considering a gym membership. And for once, I'm pleased by My Tax Dollars At Work: it seems the county, the city, and GMU have a joint venture called the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center. It is close to our home, fairly new, family-friendly, and WAY cheaper than any of the other gyms around here. They have a "Matinee Membership" option (meaning I work out before 4pm on weekdays only) for $33/month with NO initiation fees. Yay!

$33/month would still be a stretch on our already sproinged budget. So we'll see. And every workout for me would mean Daddy duty for Peter (childcare at the Center would be an extra $40/month, which would definitely put it out of reach), probably at an unpleasantly early hour. But it may be pretty important for my health, and certainly for my sanity. An hour with the treadmill and weights five mornings a week used to sound dreadful to me, but now it's terribly attractive-- five whole hours of toddler-free, baby-free, housework-free time with no one chomping on me, time to pray (prayer time and exercise time tend to overlap significantly in my life, since that's the only time my attention isn't being demanded from twenty different directions) and to focus and to feel myself getting stronger and healthier.

BUT it's not all about me, and if I want to learn and practice unselfishness, that means relinquishing not only the stuff I just sort of want but also the stuff I really waaaaaaant. Could I really justify taking that money out of our family budget and spending it on myself, to satisfy MY needs (and are they really needs)? Is my weight loss that important? Is it really about getting healthy or about adhering to certain medico-cultural standards of virtue? And even if it is about getting healthy, where is it written that improving my health is worth the stress on our resources? I'm telling myself that it's about my children, too-- working on achieving my goals in a way thay isn't at the expense of their healthy growth and development-- after all, if I get the workout out of the way quickly, in the morning, I can focus more on them during the rest of the day. But again, where is it written that I should get to work out at all? To how many people in the world would it be a ridiculous idea that you would have to pay money for the privilege of working off all the extra calories you consume? Many people are concerned with getting enough to eat in the first place.

All things to ponder. Hm. Hm. Hm.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I am not sure that you need to feel guilty about being healthy. And frankly, there is nothing that says that moms have to be the only ones who watch the kids. I know that you feel, as I do, that the kids are your job, just as Peter has a writing job. However, the men get more downtime than we do, and while childrearing is a 24 hour job, moms don't have to be "on-call" that entire time. That is why there are two parents.
:-)