It’s the middle of February, already and I have a feeling that a lot of resolutions may well have been tossed aside by now. I have to say that I am all for change and creating better habits out of bad habits. And little changes work well, especially if they are so small as to be ridiculous not to achieve them. Just going to bed earlier one night a week is a lot easier than trying to go to bed earlier every night. Very soon that good feeling from sleeping well makes you want to add another early night to your week and so incremental-habit-changing works it’s way into your life.
The last time I decided to jump start our moving about-ness, we joined a gym it was a pretty hilarious, read disastrous event. And while it was fabulous to have a great programme for our kids to participate in while I worked out, I wasn’t loving it… there is a vast difference between going to gym when you are fit and when you are totally unfit and clueless about what to do. And when the kids programme turned into them sitting around watching movies while the coaches painted their own nails, my kids begged me to stop. I persisted, until all the elite swimmers kept taking the stairs out of the pool and some people, just saying (me), cannot get out of a pool with any sort of saving face, if the stairs are not in place. So we started a daily amble and that was life changing for all us, our daily ambles became family hikes, noting spectacular in sporting achievement, just getting up and getting out there and it was wonderful. It has been great in ways we could never have imagined, exercise was a great benefit, but I discovered my essential need to be outdoors.
Meanwhile, I realised that in the scheme of things I wasn’t get the time I needed, just relaxing. It appears that there is always something else for a mother to do… and everyone talks about “eating the frog” and getting those hard tasks out of the way at the start of the day. I decided that it was time to stop waiting for time to come to me and to actively seek it out. So last year I started reading for real again, after years of reading as a default, because I had to get a book review out. I decided to start my day by reading a chapter of any book I wanted to… kids books, classics, rereads, cookbooks… anything. It was my best reading year ever and I learnt to enjoy reading again… one chapter a day very quickly became large chunks of book. Reading first thing in the morning, before glancing at my phone or doing any chores, really put work into perspective. And what can I say, small steps are life changing!!!
This year I realised that I could up my game a little more and do my mornings a little more consciously. You see I function very well on rewards (love me a great reward), so previously I would reward myself with a coffee for getting up, then I would reward myself for surviving breakfast, and another reward/coffee for getting half way through school. I realised that this wasn’t fine coffee, it was just ordinary coffee, I wasn’t even enjoying it that much… and there was way too much of it. Crazy, I know. So I dropped the coffee habit. Can I hear a gasp!!! I will only drink coffee if I am out on a coffee date. And I have replaced my morning coffee with with a glass of lemon water in the great outdoors… and then read a chapter of my book before beginning the day. Honestly it feels like a little holiday every day.
Another thing, this year we have a couple of hikes planned. They are harder than the hikes we have been doing and I would like to introduce overnight hikes to our gang. I don’t want to go in cold, but our daily ambles are not going to hack it any more… so we started the Park Run… realistically its the Park Walk for us. And thats ok, because it gets us up on a Saturday and everyone is moving.
I quickly realised that if I did a Park Run three times a week I would be fitter than I have been in years. But oh I can’t want to do it on my own, not to mention I have a lingering foot injury that is driving me mad. I needed a little bit of an intervention. And then I got an email from a friend… Would I like to join the Sport Science Institute’s Healthy Wight Programme in exchange for some honest blogging? And actually that is a dream come true for me. I do want to be fitter and healthy, and their program is all about holistic health, and not focused as the name would suggest, on weight at all.
Just saying, I start this week… I will be up at 5:30 to head to the gym for the first time since before I had kids (19 years ago -gasp). I have started the longest audio book series I could think of, to accompany me on the journey to and fro. I will be doing things that I know in my head that I thought I would never ever do again. Of course the biggest and most overriding challenge at this point is what will I wear? I have a pair of leggings, I have hiking socks… but I don’t have (ahem) “suitable for gym” foundation wear. And shoes, oh my goodness I never thought of that when I signed up… I have hiking boots and my fave croc loafers. I am going to have to invest in some sport shoes and I have no idea what I am looking for… it has been centuries since I did that, not to mention the terrifying price of all things athletic. It is going to be an interesting ride, not to mention a steep learning curve. You can follow my journey at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa.
I would like to thank SSISA for the free training/mentoring I am getting in exchange for an honest blog post. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely my own.