The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en + 1 Joined The Gym….

June 3rd, 2010 · 17 Comments

What can I say: we joined it!!! Yes a insane dimension has been added to my life… I joined the gym when I was pregnant with Hood #8, I needed all the exercise I could get – and a bi-weekly swim up and down the pool a few times was all I needed to keep sane and well buoyant!!! But since the arrival of Hood #8, and yes that is EIGHT whole months ago, I have found it nearly impossible to get back to the gym. and there is not a whole lot of “nearly” involved here!!!

Anyway, it has been really cold and wintry and I haven’t had too much enthusiasm for a daily run on the beach… I can do cold and wet… but cold and windy beaches and little people are not a good combination. So I enquired how much it would cost to join the gym for the “se7en +1” team. And knowing how much a local school charges for homeschool kids to join a single sport per term (gasp) – I thought my kids would never do organized sport on account of this, I thought I would be reeling in horror at the cost of gym membership for the rest of time. Turns out to be such a good deal, finally the hideous cost of our Medical Insurance that we never ever use, (but its a “perk”) paid off… There’s a deal because of the insurance and it was such a good one that I had to contain myself as I seriously nearly skipped out the gym… hang on I haven’t done any real live exercise for so long that I probably couldn’t skip out of there if I tried.

So amidst great excitement we headed over to sign ourselves up for this new and eagerly anticipated activity… After filling in a triplicate page of indemnity form for each kid to get into the gym, we settled down to fill in membership forms, indemnity forms, receipt forms, a lot of forms… two and a half hours later I was still filling in forms… but did the hoods enthusiasm wane – not a bit of it!!! So their very first gym impression was bouncing around a glass office for hours while they waited for me to fill in forms… and then a momentary look at their play area: huge indoor jungle gym, climbing wall and a room for little people packed with more new and exciting toys than they will ever see at home,  and then we dashed home.

Followed by some serious bouncing off the walls at home and waiting and waiting for “the mother person” to say lets go to gym. Armed with new, shiny, funky, cards a day later we headed out the door… And this is when it should have  crossed my mind: “What would I do while they were working out?” I know it is obvious, but wait I had just used all my energy up in signing them off on their great adventure.

Now this was no quick and simple trip… my kids wanted to pack… no we did not need to pack, though we did need to find shorts for everyone who has been wearing jeans for so many weeks that finding shorts was a bit of an achievement  for some of us. Then I had left the car windows open for the car to “air” and a torrential storm had burst from the sky and our vehicle was somewhat sodden… then we were very nearly out of gas and the traffic was awful and the wiper blades haven’t yet been fixed… long story: We got there.

The reception desk is not used to a pack of kids arriving!!! They are friendly but bewildered, they try and call out names as they swipe cards but let’s just say the trip through reception is somewhat interesting!!! And into the kids zone… everybody off to their respective corners and as I drop the last one off the lady in charge says: “Enjoy your workout”… What? Huh? I looked around. She was talking to me!!! She was!!! And guess what I hadn’t thought the whole gym thing through at all… In fact there and then I knew I had committed a grave error of judgement. I am indeed expected to “Work out” during this time… actually exercise. It sounds like such a good idea, until you have to do it!!!

So there I was with time on my hands, miles from my laptop – couldn’t blog, couldn’t do chores and feeling a little out of place – we are talking kitted out in mother gear, nothing athletic here!!! So I stealthily clambered the stairs to a place called “cardio” – Now this is not where you have actual heart attacks it is a place where you exercise your heart!!! I clambered onto a bike… And off and on and off and on, while I tried to figure out what height for the saddle. Let’s just say “it’s been a while” and no height was comfortable… and settled down to peddle for twenty minutes. By this time my kids would be nowhere near ready to go home so onto the treadmill. Now I have never actually been on a treadmill before, not in living memory, and I wasn’t exactly sure how to step onto this lethal weapon. So I asked a super athlete person, dressed in a real track-suit, and she showed me how to to turn the speed down really slow, slow enough to step on it – almost.  She said in a concerned voice: “It doesn’t really go any slower.”  I made it, gripping the handles all the way my legs spent twenty minutes shuffling to keep up with this whipper snapper of a machine – the whole time thinking “How on earth am I going to get off this thing?”  Needless to say I made it off. I knew that my kids wouldn’t want to leave just yet so I staggered, with shaking limbs down the stairs and sat in the change room and stared at the lockers… I called it recovery!!!

When I had recovered sufficiently I grabbed my kids and made a hasty retreat from the gym – into the night and home where the father person had made dinner… Four hours later my cheeks were still glowing from exertion and I have figured out how to beat the winter cold!!! I thought I wouldn’t be able to walk after that happy event but I am proud to say the very next day I was indeed up on my feet and we have returned to the gym for more misadventures!!! I am slightly better prepared and still have no idea where the comfortable spot for the bike saddle is… but there is hope that by the end of winter I will be hoppity-skipping up those gym stairs and taking pity on all mothers who venture to gym in a desperate bid to get the energy run out of their kids legs.

This Post  is part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom. There are no images for this post – for very obvious reaso. And I am afraid a couple of posts are only wandering forth from our blog really slowly and that folks is because I am in stagger mode… staggering to keep up myself mode.


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Tags: Home Truths · Stuff About Us...

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 alison // Jun 3, 2010 at 4:50 am

    hilarious! I make it a point NEVER to go to the gym 🙂

  • 2 se7en // Jun 3, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Hi Alison, I would have made the same point but I guess I looked before I leapt!!! I guess snuggling down and battening the hatches for winter is completely out of the question!!!! Have a good week!!!

  • 3 irene // Jun 3, 2010 at 9:04 am

    seems like you could use some company of another unfit person (that would be me) – with the same benefits from the medical insurance. because i also don’t know how half the machines work and am too embarrassed to ask, so i don’t put foot in a gym. depends on how far i would have to drive to go with you and what times you are going…..
    let me know

  • 4 Christine // Jun 3, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Ooh, that’s good! My personal belief is that after having children there is no comfortable position for the “saddle”.

    I hope you enjoy your time!

  • 5 S // Jun 3, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Well done on your gym adventure! I haven’t yet mustered up the courage to enter a gym! Let us know your children’s experience of the gym.

  • 6 se7en // Jun 3, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Hay I, At the moment I have to go to gym in disguise… with a big bag over my head… the trail of eight kids may well be a dead GiveAway but most people assume they can’t possibly be mine!!! Hope you are having a good week!!!

  • 7 se7en // Jun 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Hay C, Your personal belief may well explain the problem I am having!!! It is nearly killing me but I guess the time had come for me to actually move!!! Hope you guys are having a good week!!!

  • 8 se7en // Jun 3, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Hay S, What can I say the kids are totally loving it and beg to go at every moment of every day…. I thought the little ones would battle a bit but they are so enthralled with all the things to do… My kids have never even seen a ball pool before – the whole place is a total adventure!!! And everyone seems suitably tired and grumpy so I know they are readjusting to a new level of exertion!!!! Hope you are having a good week!!!

  • 9 Granny Ant // Jun 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Good grief. What an entertaining saga. And what a relief to see an article claiming vacuuming was ‘just as beneficial as going to the gym.’ Trouble I have not much enthusiasm for that either, and my cycling days were over long ago. Definitely a lost cause.

  • 10 Nina // Jun 5, 2010 at 4:35 am

    great job.

    I had my gym and outdoor workout schedule to 6-7 days a week, at least an hour, before having my little one and loved it. highly recommend letting go of the treadmill bars 😉 I still haven’t figured out how to do it with him…I am a much better get up in the morning and do it person (and I can’t leave him alone at 545am) and he won’t sit in his stroller for me to go around a track. but we are getting a puppy next week so hopefully I’ll get more in and lose this 30 lbs I’ve gained since having him :o(

    I really like itrain – downloaded a ton of their workouts (but it was cheaper when I did it) – especially the outdoor and treadmill ones helped me as I really despised both of those forms of exercise by myself. a cycling class I can do (they sell padded seats here in walmart and target for 16 bucks they help your butt feel much better – highly recommend).

    keep up the good work.

  • 11 se7en // Jun 5, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Hi N, Goodness you have this all thought out!!! Oh good luck with the puppy – I hope you guys have lots of fun!!! Have great weekend!!!

  • 12 taryn // Jun 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    hey there 🙂 wow! I’m super impressed and not just a little bit curious about it all! Tell me more – what do your kids actually do? I used to go to gym VERY regularly, but I hated leaving the kids plonked in the creche in front of some big TV. I know they’ve got V kids or whatever now, so it’s supposed to be more active, but I’ve not explored it beyond going “I have to pay?!!!” So, please pass on some details if you can! 🙂 Like … what do they do? what is available for what ages? how much does it cost per child? What do they do with the 2’s and under? We’re also on vitality, so should get the same benefits 🙂

  • 13 se7en // Jun 6, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Hay T – fifty questions!!! It costs a whole lot less than I dreamt… Very roughly: A start up fee for each kid (R85.) Then a monthly fee: R70 for the first kid, R50 for the second and R30 for subsequent kids. And they are all busy busy busy, there is a tv on in the baby room but the kids generally ignore it and play…so… what can I say visit the website for club v info and the schedule. I will do a another post on exactly what they each get up to – once we have caught our breathe!!! Have a fun week!!!

  • 14 taryn // Jun 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm


  • 15 se7en // Jun 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Great T, Hope that helped!!! I will report back – not so much on my staggering self but on the kids and their antics!!!

  • 16 The Week That Was – 3.24… » se7en // Dec 20, 2010 at 2:36 am

    […] least the morning… each day. Most of the kids had a holiday program at gym… and boy do my kids love and adore going to gym!!! They scored a spinning class and came home with visions of cycling at least around the world and […]

  • 17 Se7en Things That Made School More Fun This Year… » se7en // Jan 15, 2011 at 2:17 am

    […] We Joined the Gym: I can’t praise the gym enough, it has been life changing. I took ages to get around to joining because I had visions of the kids sitting around watching TV while I went to work-out. Well you can safely put those fears to rest… Our kids have played and played and loved it!!! They have a gym class going throughout the day… and when you arrive your kids just slot into the program… so really you can go anytime of the day… They have lots of fun games, races and obstacle courses and exercises. They also have a craft table for crafty kids to work at, and for my little glitter gal that is so fun!!! While all the kids can see each other it is divided into age groups so the big kids can be wild and crazy and the little kids are fine!!! They have a toddler room as well and it is packed with toys and a ball pool and lots of fun stuff. They have been great with my little guy even putting him down to nap when he needed one!!! The babies are held and not left to cry… if they cry they call the mom. The couches know all the kids names and because they are always there the kids get used to familiar faces. Really it has been fantastic… my kids get to try out new types of sport and activities and I get to exercise. Once or twice a week I meet up with the Father person after gym and we have coffee together before gathering up the kids – it is really great!!! And since you are all thinking this is too good to be true… I have found that local sports programs are really expensive and times that by eight and you have a nightmare… We have to have medical aid, it is a “work perk” and since our kids have never seen a doctor it is pretty ridiculous, but it does mean a cheaper membership fee for the kids at the gym. Finally a reward!!! […]

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