“Wherever you go, there you are.”– Confucious
For many Moms, going back to the gym after having a baby can be a lot like going back to work. Will I be able to pick up where I left off? Will anybody even remember me? And what about the baby? What if he cries, what if he gets sick? For me, my gym hiatus lasted the better part of a year and I was terrified to go back.
My initial reasons for finally biting the bullet and getting back on track, on a regular basis, for real this time, were somewhat selfish. I wanted to get my body back. Furthermore, I was in need of social interaction, and to be honest, so was my 14-month-old son, who is home alone with me all day. So on a Monday I woke up, took a breath, dropped my daughter off at school and headed straight for the gym. I expected the feeling of anxiety that sat shotgun as I made my way to the gym. What I didn’t expect was what would happen in the next hour and a half.
I was meeting a girlfriend of mine for the 9:15am Hot Yoga class, another first for me. I’m not sure if I was more nervous about my yoga skills (or lack thereof), or dropping off my son at the playroom for the first time. But I was running late, so I didn’t really have time to think too much about either. I wasn’t prepared for what came next. When I entered the playroom to drop of my son, I saw four other women whom I knew from different places and stages in my life. My feelings of insecurity were replaced almost instantly with reassurance and relief. I realized then, I am not alone in this journey.
I returned the next day, because much to my surprise (and relief) Blake did pretty well for his first day at Elite and I wanted to keep up the momentum. This time, I went to a cycling class. It had been a few years but I loved spinning and was looking forward to picking it up again. Again, I was amazed, even touched by my experience. I saw three familiar faces whom I had taken a spin class with ages ago, and was greeted with genuine excitement, encouragement, and smiles. That kind of warmth these days is so uncommon, it almost makes us suspect.
I felt so encouraged by my first few days back in the groove, I even took the plunge and went to Choreo. For those of you who know Sarah Addeo and her classes, you know they are not for the faint of heart. I was curious, but more so motivated and thought why not? With over 20 people in the class, I thought for sure I’d blend in and could hide in the back row in the spot closest to the door. Nope. Not a chance. I was instantly greeted by a stranger who introduced herself and showed me all of the equipment I’d need for the class, followed by a quick smile and a “good luck!” Two minutes into the class, I understood her words of encouragement, and three minutes into the class, so did Sarah. Despite already being in full-swing instruction mode, she still managed to notice the “new girl” from the other side of the gym and run over to introduce herself. I was hoping to remain anonymous, until she helped me to realize that’s not really the point of joining a class.
I’m sharing this story because it’s a good reminder of how health can impact lives in many more ways than just on a physical level. Anyone can go to a gym, but finding a place that truly encourages you to thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally is rare. I am so lucky to have found a place that accepts me, my children, and our challenges—and inspires me on both physical and emotional levels.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the gym, it’s okay. I’m never going to be the same gym junkie that I was in my 20s. Time and life experiences change you. But it’s the crazy times, the stressful times, the busy times that remind us that Elite Sports Clubs will always serve as a place to leave worry and weariness at the door, even if it’s just for an hour or two. And with some of these classes, you’ll hardly have time to breathe, let alone worry about what’s for dinner.
Susan Madden- Member, Mom, and Guest Blogger
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