I decided to split self care into two posts. I wanted to make a self care post dedicated to exercise.
First, a little information about my exercise life. I don’t love it. When I was in high school, I hated every second of gym classes. I wasn’t good at sports. I was clutzy, and in general, my self esteem went WAY down when I played sports.
I will be more honest when I tell you that I don’t remember exercising in my 20s at all. However, I walked every where. I didn’t have a car or driver’s license until I was in my late 20s. I took the bus, but I mostly walked any place I lived. (In my 20s that was Regina, Saskatoon, South Korea, and Melfort.) I finally got a car and license before moving to Whitecourt so exercise went way down in that year. I also ate A LOT of crap, and I drank too much while in Whitecourt. I didn’t treat my body well, and I also didn’t treat myself well. I knew nothing of self care or self love.
My weight has gone up and down since graduating high school. I have been at weights I’m not happy with, then I lose it, and then I bounce back up. In my 30s, I started exercising. I went to the gym. I counted calories. At times, I was almost back to my skinny high school weight.
When I got pregnant, it was the first time in my life I didn’t worry about sucking my belly in. I loved it! I had so much fun flaunting my belly around. I didn’t worry about gaining too much.
I also joined an exercise class. I stumbled upon a place called Fitbump on Facebook. It was just opening, and it focused on exercise classes for prenatal and postnatal. I decided to go to a class in my second trimester. Not because I was worried about my weight, but because I was scared of giving birth, and I wanted my body to be strong and ready.
Walking in to that first class, I was incredibly nervous. I constantly flash back to my high school self when I’m involving myself with the gym or sports. I’m worried that people will see me for how terrible I am at the entire fitness thing, and judge me completely on that.
Walking in to that first class, I had NO IDEA what this gym would come to mean to me. I had no idea that I was about to walk into a great atmosphere with real talk, and no judgement.
I had no idea I’d find a place I felt I belonged.
The prenatal classes were the most real discussions of my entire pregnancy. I heard the truth about birth. I heard the truth about breastfeeding, and I heard the truth about motherhood. None of it was bad, but also, it was honest advice about the fact that Mom Life isn’t always easy. I needed to hear that.
After my son, I went back a few months later (when I was approved by the doctor.) I joined the Mom and Baby class, and met a whole new crew of new moms. I learned about exercise for myself. I learned how to take it easy. I learned how to not be a hero. I also got to have chats with the other moms. I learned about the importance of a pelvic floor physio. Let me just say this to all you mommas out there: peeing yourself (or leaks) is not a way of life. Don’t listen to the memes or the awful commercials that make light of sneezing or laughing. Go to physio. GO TO PHYSIO.
After my son started walking, and getting in all the other baby’s business we were bumped up to Bootcamp. Fitbump offers a bootcamp with childcare, and one without in the evenings. For the most part, this was something I did during the day because I needed to bring my son with me.
I haven’t gone to Fitbump consistently. I’ve taken breaks because I needed to save money, or because I was sick, or because I had too much going on. I always return though. It’s honestly one of my happy places.
The workouts are tough, but I love them. I love feeling like the Strong Mom that I am. Not being a hero is something I need to remind myself because I do tend to go hard at times, and pick the heavy weights when I’m not ready. A sprained shoulder has given me a big lesson in this.
This is a place for moms to go and workout. We also laugh a lot. We also cry. I know I have cried more than once. We curse. We vent. We smile. We complain about ALL THE EXERCISING we have to do. And we love it. It’s a gang of Strong Moms and it’s my favourite Self Care. I sometimes don’t know what I would do without it.
Amanda is the woman who started Fitbump, and my instructor for most of the classes. She is a hero. She’s a hero to her daughter, and a hero to all the moms that go to her classes because they needed a place to go. We are happier with her there to cheer us on.
As a side note, she’s constantly encouraging me in my workouts. It’s been about three years, and she knows how I workout, and how I do things. She’s there to tell me in a nice way (or a teasing way) that I have once again forgotten the move. I’m good with that. I continue to get stronger, and because of her, can deadlift like a champ. (Up to a certain weight for now.) She has never made me feel like there was something I couldn’t do. In fact, she knows I can do it.
To end my self care talk, I will be adding some photos of my Fitbump experience. I’ve met friends through these classes that I know will always be there for me. They support me, and I support them. ‘You got this Mama’ is constantly shared to one another. I wish everybody had a group like this. The exercise is important. I need it to be strong. I no longer do it for weight loss, and I will never calorie count again, but I want to be strong. Strong for myself, and strong for my son.
Three years ago, walking into that first class, I would have never imagined that I would still be going, or that I would have such a different view on what a strong body looks like, or that I would have a group of women that I look up to and love. But I do.
Self Care is Self Love. It’s not me pushing myself to be the perfect person that advertising, products, and the world seems to want. My self care some days is being happy with my wrinkles, my extra skin, and my grey hairs. I earned them all.
©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.