I have about a hundred treadmill pictures on my phone…

Two weeks post-labor I felt The Itch.

You see, when I had my final workout before having E.V., I was scared that a couple weeks off would make me lazy. (I can personally attest that habits make for motivation, and I, in particular, am very momentum-based in my desire to exercise.) I was adamant about not having a c-section partly for this reason; I knew that surgery would preclude me from getting to gym quickly, and when The Itch to get this baby weight off hit at exactly fourteen days post-partum, I was thankful that I was able to get up and go.

The first goal was to just walk. Seriously! No time goal, no speed goal…just GO. Honestly, since Ryan had to push me in a wheelchair around Buy Buy Baby the day after we got home from the hospital (yes, it was dramatic, which I knew even as it was happening, but I was super light headed from just running errands!), the goal of simply GOING seemed like a good one. So Ryan and I started off slowly, just pushing the pram around the neighborhood, which was enough at the time. Then we began exploring the surrounding neighborhoods…then I began taking her out on my own…then it was time for the gym!

I can’t believe how good it felt that first time to be back on a treadmill (which I prefer because I like to know the exact numbers associated with my workout stats). I do have to say that my joints and ligaments feel strange and seem to be pulling too easily, but I’ve set a goal to workout four to six times a week and plan to stick to it. (When I’m feeling achy, the elliptical fills in nicely as a little break for my knees, invalidating my internal excuses.) About two weeks ago I started running–okay, well let’s just say that I started jogging, which feels like running with the current, dilapidated state of my body right now!–and although I’m not able to do long distances quite yet, I feel more accomplished when I’m done than I ever did pre-baby. It’s as if every time I run, I’ve overcome the odds stacked against me: an achy body, being tired, major time constraints, getting someone to watch the baby, etc.  And although I feel way more belly-heavy and jiggly than I did before E.V., a good ol’ pat-on-the-back from myself post-run can do wonders! :)

Ryan has been super supportive, taking care of Emma Vance while I’m off “getting my fitness on,” even though it seems that every time I leave the house without her she has a meltdown. (Ryan swears that she can sense when I leave…) If she’s sleeping by the time I’m done (I try to check in just in case E.V.’s inconsolable), I spend a few minutes in the sauna (heaven). Really, it’s become my small escape, and I’m so thankful for his support. In fact, since Ryan’s been really involved in helping me take care of the baby, he’s also been out of the gym for just as long as I have, which I know drives him crazy. It’s been especially nice to workout WITH him on occasion (vestiges of our former selves…), which makes us feel normal again. (Although it’s completely unfair that one workout session does more for him than five do for me! Oh, being a girl! :) )

Ryan was gracious enough to watch Emma Vance yesterday for me, and while on the treadmill, the oddest thing occurred to me. I have this habit of taking a picture of the machine stats as soon as I’m done working out. I never look back at them (although I always think I will someday), but as I perused my phone’s photo album while running, there’s this obvious gap during those few post-partum weeks with no workout pictures. It felt strangely sad and empty to me, and then simultaneously so encouraging as I flipped forward in time and saw them start back up again. Before I had E.V., I always felt a little odd and OCD when I saw other gym-goers notice me snapping a quick pic of the treadmill, Now, however, I feel proud because I know that it’s an accomplishment worth recording. So, friends, here’s to today’s snapshot and many more!