This week I had a 24 hour period that made even the wildest roller coaster look like the calmest carousel at a theme park. My children behaved like bipolar maniacs flying from the highest highs to the lowest lows.
The landscape of my evening and night were painted by a series of fights, bickers, arguments, slaps, kicks, eye rolls, “whatever Mom’s”, and door slams. I contemplated how 13 year-old girls had possibly possessed my beloved babes.
I deliriously poured myself a glass of wine, skipped the yoga and decided to exercise my mind by hiding behind the pages of a good book before I fell asleep. I’m certain my teeth were still gritted as I headed to la la land, but I likely dreamed of screaming at people and throwing timeouts like candy out the door on Halloween. I went to bed defeated, my parenting abilities deflated.
The next morning (after a solid 11.5 hours of sleep for the babes – might I add!) my saccharine sweeties snuggled and smiled as they meandered through their morning reminding me of a poem I wrote for a book about that first “morning moment” when they were babies.
Door open, greeted by
smell, sticky, sweaty, sweet
Sleepy eyes, meet my face
dreamy, drowsy, dapper, delighted
Untamed hair stands high
tousled, tangled, tender and telling
Morning greets anthems sweet
natural, nimble, novel new
I floated through my morning mentally patting my own back at my stellar parenting abilities. “I have this mothering thing down,” I self-mused.
Those feelings came to a screeching halt when I remembered the night before. You see,
I need to get off my own highs and lows and remember I’m just as good (or not so good) of a mom even when my kids aren’t behaving.
And that’s the irony about fitness as well. When things are going great, I’m sticking to my training, clipping off goals left and right, I feel like Super Woman who can do anything. But once the crazy train gets derailed, it’s really easy to let it all go.
Some people wonder how to get past the slump? I’m still working on making that list…but I do have some tips for preventative slumping.
Goals. Goals. Goals. I swear, having goals or something to look forward to keeps me motivated. If I get sidetracked, it’s easy to look at the goals I’ve documented and focus on those, instead of thinking about how much slacking I’ve been doing.
If you build it, they will come. If you tell people, they will come ask. Say it out loud, tell your friends, tell your family. One of the scariest parts of my marathon training was not the 20-miler training runs, but when I realized I was on my way to BQ and actually telling a few people. Their pretty little faces ran through my mind as I raced and kept me motivated through that dreaded last 10k.
Remember Your Why. I use this with my clients in the business world, but it’s so true in running. WHY do we do what we do? What’s your motivation. You probably know my mantra here – myself, my health and my kids. But what’s your motivation? Identify it, write it down. Know it, think it, believe it.
Make a Plan: Some people say to plan your workouts. And while that is helpful for some, for me it serves as a source of frustration because naturally my work schedule, kid schedule or weather jacks it up, and I just get aggravated. But I do loosely have a plan to achieve my goals – I know each week what I want to do, I just can’t tell you what day it’s going to get done. And yes, that does mean exercising (bah dum pah…pun intended) great creativity.
Be Realistic: The fact is that life is messy and sometimes it messes with your goals and plans. And sometimes that means revisiting them and readjusting to keep your health and your sanity in check. This isn’t a failure – it’s being smart.
How do you stay on track? Any other tips to add?
Do you ever fake going to the bathroom to get a few minutes of quiet from crazy kids?