Mama Workout Plan: Fitness in the Fall

November 17, 2014

Fall semester of my Sophomore year of college, there was this lovely gap in my schedule every day around 1:30p. For about two hours, I was free to head to the gym. There I would take my time changing, wandering to the pool, swimming exhausting laps, and then recovering with a leisurely shower. When I headed back out of the gym to class or work I felt refreshed. My limbs had the delightful sore tingle of work done. I was showered. I was ready. As I pushed through the doors of the gym, country songs were streaming through my head phones, a warm fleece would be wrapped around me, and the cool wind would hit my face. This was my workout plan. Although the timing altered in the years to come, this was my workout plan until 2011.
In 2011, I gave birth to premature twins. Three years later I am back to getting a decent workout. Three mornings a week, I start my day with a run. I nudge our three year old twins into our Burley with their stuffed animal and a travel cups filled with soymilk. I turn some form of children’s music on for them from my I-phone. Now that it’s Fall in Mississippi, blankets are tucked around their little legs. Snug and cozy they are content, for the moment, and we head out. There is nothing like pushed 70 pounds of Burley and toddler to strengthen your muscles. The bickering, “are you done exercising?” probes, and “mama you’re going kinda slow” comments that start after the first mile or so are also great enticements to move faster. There is however nothing leisurely about the schedule. There is a flurry of activity to get them ready for our run and when we return they are bursting with energy ready for breakfast and playtime.

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Then something happened a couple of months ago. I was informed by my three year olds sometime in September that they too require exercise to get strong. Despite the fact that they are in constant motion all day, I accepted their logic. Now when we return to the house, they hop out of the Burley and race up and down the block for about 10 minutes. First to the stop sign. Then they count 3 or 4 mailboxes. They get distracted by acorns or pine cones. At first I was unsure about this addition to our schedule, however, as I sat on the driveway sipping my water and catching my breath last week I realized something. This is it. This is my new leisure. It’s not as quiet or lengthy, but it has the Fall breeze cooling me down, a chance to be still, and the soundtrack of children’s laughter as they pitter patter back and forth on our sidewalk. The brief moments of calm and chance to catch my breath have rounded out my Mama workout plan. It’s not the same as it was, but for now, this new Fall fitness plan works just fine.

Erin Buhr is an early childhood educator, freelance writer, book reviewer, and mama to twin three year olds. She lives with her husband and kids near Jackson, MS where they enjoy traveling, exploring, and playing in the sunshine. You can read more by Erin at

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