Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Taking care of myself

Today's gift is taking care of myself.

Isn't true how we put our kids before ourselves? All the time.

Their yearly doctor and dentist appointments are made before mine. Their haircuts are scheduled before mine. They have the next seasons clothes bought from the store before I can even rearrange my closet.

I make sure everything is done for them....and if and when there is extra time I fit things in for myself. Don't get me wrong....I do go to my yearly check ups and I do get my haircut....but it is always well after I should have gone.

As my daughter starts getting taller and slowly inching her way to closing the gap between our heights, I realized I needed to pay more attention to taking care of myself...physically. I have always been active...whether playing sports growing up or going to the gym, it has always been in my blood. However, it wasn't until she started getting "bigger" in which I realized I needed to be stronger.

I would love to be able to workout every day....but let's be isn't going to happen. A good week for me would be getting to exercise three days a week. In these three days, two will be days I am running for cardio as I start training for a half marathon...and very soon, two days of running will turn into three. I strength train once a week to help me be able to care for my daughter. She is now more than half my weight, so I need to be really careful when I lift her. The last thing we need is something happening to me.

The above workout schedule often....well, falls apart because... life happens. I have to try to stick to it as much as I can....especially for the next 16 weeks until my half marathon. However, if I didn't have a schedule for my exercise to stick to...or look at...the excuses would be much easier to give in to.

There will be many days where I am going to want to throw in the towel and take the "day off", but I can not. There is a little girl who is counting on me to be there for her...emotionally and physically. There will be days and weeks where I will be pulled in three different directions by three different kids leaving only a window of time to myself, but I have to not waste this "window" and exercise if only for 20 minutes. These are the days when I want to take a pass....but can not.

Today for instance was a crazy where I really wanted to take a pass to allow me to have some "down" time, but instead I pushed along. Woke up at 5:45...and by 6:00 all three kids were also awake. By 7:15 my husband and daughters were out the door. I then had one hour and fifteen minutes to eat my breakfast, clean up the house a little, get my son and I dressed and out the door to grab a friend we drive to preschool. Drop them off, then drive to my strength training class. An hour later I'm driving home to have a snack, take a shower, make dinner, head out the door to get my son from school, immediately drive to the girls school to get them, come home, get them a snack and homework started before I have to leave for a doctor's appointment. My appointment was at 3, seen at 3:30, and walked out the door of the office at 4:20. Came home went over my daughters homework, fed them dinner early as my son had Tae Kwon Do tonight (big night!), get him dressed, leave for his class and then didn't walk back in the door tonight until 8:45! Thankfully I had help between my mother-in-law and parents so I didn't have to take all my children with me to the doctor and to my son's class.

In this crazy day, where I felt like I didn't stop...I took care of myself twice...exercise class and a doctor's appointment. When I wanted to not exercise to have an extra hour to myself today, I didn't, I pushed along knowing I had to do this not only for my daughter, but also myself. My daughter has taught me I must take care of myself. And taking care of me actually makes me feel so much better. After all, we do know exercise is great for releasing stress, as well as, all the other health benefits. It truly needs to be a priority in everyone's life.

I am sure there are many days when my daughter wants to throw in the towel and more doctors, no more physical therapy, no more pushing me. But she doesn't, she keeps pushing forward. When my daughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, I promised her I would not give up on her. In order to care for her, I need to be there for her emotional and physically and if I start being slack then I am only going back on my word to her.

More importantly, if I want to be here for her and my other two children I need to take care of day at a time.

Here are some quotes for today...

Those who think they don't have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness - Edward Stanley

It is exercise alone that supports the spirits and keeps the mind vigor - Marcus Tullius Cicero

To keep the body in good health is a duty...otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear- Buddha

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