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The Old Gray Mare - Er, Mommy

I ain’t what I used to be.

I acknowledge that four years of my life have gone by with me in
some sort of denial. Four years ago, I was a cool New Yorker. I
worked in Union Square, bought my food fresh at the organic
farmer’s market, picked up handmade pasta for dinner on a
whim, and shopped the shoe sales on my way home on a Friday night.
Why not? I had nowhere I “had” to be; Brian was
perfectly capable of feeding himself. I walked everywhere, and
since I was a Pilates teacher, I worked out four or five times a
week, and though I bemoaned my butt in jeans, I looked pretty good.

Fast forward four years.

Now I work in suburbia, buy my food at
Kroger, pick up pizza for dinner on a whim, and shop the diaper
sales on my way home on a Friday night. I walk nowhere
(long-distance for me these days is the mailbox) and work out four
or five times a year.

Let’s not talk about my butt in jeans.

I know that mommyhood has changed me – and let’s set
aside all the emotional, mature, touchy-feely stuff. I’m
talking about changing me in the saggy boobs, railroad lines of
stretch marks, out-of-breath as I chase my toddler,
pulling-a-muscle-from-bending-over-to-pick-up-toys kind of way. I
know this, and acknowledge this.

But somehow, in spite of this knowledge, I was in denial. I thought
that the girl who went rollerblading through Central Park just a
few years ago was buried not-too-deeply beneath the surface. I had
this idea that once a dancer and pilates teacher, I’d always
be in reasonably good shape, so how out of shape could I get? So I
did something really stupid.

I went rollerblading.

My girlfriend Alison runs marathons (no intimidation there) and
said she’d jog with me while I bladed, and I knew I needed to
get this butt moving so it would, um, move less when I walk, so
this weekend I strapped on my gear and headed out.

Let’s say that I knew I was in trouble when I realized I
didn’t quite remember how to put all the pads on, and stared
blankly at all the buckles on the blades themselves, hoping
they’d magically explain their functions. I wasn’t even
sure I got them on the right feet.

Alison warned me she’s not the world’s fastest jogger,
and I smugly assured her that if I got bored I’d simply skate
ahead and circle back. Let’s just say that this did not

We did a five-mile circuit, following a nice jogging trail through
our neighborhood. I’ve never been what you’d call a
great braker, so our gently sloping hills took on a whole new level
of terror for me, and I looked on our neighbor’s SUVs as
hulking beasts waiting to sneak up on me and run me over as I
wheeled out-of-control through an intersection.

The great thing about a circuit is that you have nice scenery, and
can simply move forward without trying to calculate how much longer
you need to go to get a good workout. The bad part about a circuit
path? No moving sidewalk at the end to carry you comfortably back
to your house.

I made it almost the whole way without stopping, but gave out after
an awful hill with at least a ten degree slope a mere few blocks
from my house. I walked in the house looking frantically for the
nearest chair, not caring if I got dirt on the carpet as I
struggled to just get the $#@% things off. My face stayed red for
over an hour afterwards, and I realized that you can never really
go home again; I’ll never be that young girl zipping through
Central Park, knocking off eight miles and bouncing home.

As awful as the trip was, it gave me and Alison an hour together to
chat and catch up, and in these mommyhood days that’s a
precious gift. And as painful as the hour itself was, I woke up
surprisingly pain-free the next morning. A little, you know, tight
in the hiney area, but that’s a good thing.

Will I do it again? You bet my butt I will. The young girl may be
gone, but here’s one mama still interested in moving it a
bit, if ya know what I mean.

As long as Alison goes with me. I don’t think I can make it
without distraction.


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