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Friday, June 21, 2013

Surviving Stroller Fitness (Week 6, Day 7)

No idea what I'm in for
For the past few weeks, I've been looking up different “Mommy and Me” workout classes and trying to find something that would be a good fit. There are several challenges:

1. Technically, I’m wasn't cleared for working out post-delivery until 6 weeks (although I've been feeling fine for several weeks now)
2. Most will not allow you to participate unless the baby is 6 weeks old
3. Many are not walking distance (and schlepping the baby in the car to work out seems like a workout in itself)

Last week, I stumbled onto the perfect opportunity. Literally. I was out taking Madeline on our daily stroll through the park, when I saw a group of moms with their strollers running down the path. Someone was giving them instructions, and they all stopped and began doing crunches on nearby stones. I stopped and watched for a minute, and realized I had hit the jackpot - Mom’s with strollers! Working out! Outside! Close to my house! Now the question was - how do I find out how to join them?

After chasing after them (Yes, I looked like a crazy stalker lady running through the park with my stroller chasing after other moms), I spoke with the instructor and found out they were doing a stroller fitness class that happens 3 days a week starting at the zoo. And there is no age limit on babies, or moms post delivery.  Perfect! They even allow you to do a free trial class to see if you like it. Even better! The only challenge now was working around Maddy’s morning sleep habits (and my opportunity to get some rest if we have a rough night) as the class is mid morning.

Today was my chance. Maddy was awake and in between naps - I could get her fed/changed and out the door in time to walk to the zoo, and get her to fall asleep on the way. It’s a crisp Chicago day, but warm in the sunshine. I make it to the class on time, and everyone says hello and is very friendly. The instructor begins class, and we take off to a grassy knoll for warm ups.

Now, to give some context, I am in relatively good shape. I have been working out with a trainer for the last few years (even through the end of my pregnancy) and have taken up running, doing races here and there (again, continuing through most of my pregnancy). Nothing to write home about, but I've been active. So I’m thinking a stroller fitness class will be relatively easy breezy, a nice way to step back into things after 6 weeks sans workout routine, and I’ll be able to keep up.

Wrong. These moms (and this instructor) are not messing around. Within a few minutes, I’m sweating and wishing I hadn't bundled up so much for this outdoor workout. We run laps, do crunches, squats, leg lifts, and jumps. The movement is constant, and each exercise the instructor comes up with is followed by an exuberant “Let’s do 50 reps!”. The women all seem to used to this madness, and dutifully follow instructions. I look at them like they are all crazy, and try to keep up.

The hour flies by, with Maddy sleeping blissfully in her stroller (throughout the workout I’m jealous of my infant and wish I could be sleeping soundly in a stroller) and me sweating like a pig and chasing after these clearly fit women. By the end I’m aching pretty much all over, and need a nap. While the class wasn't what I expected, it was a fantastic way to jump back into shape, and easy and convenient. I may complain about it every step of the way, but I'll be dragging my butt (and my sleeping baby) right back there next week!