Friday, October 23, 2015
On Running with a Baby
I've concluded that running with a baby has to be one of the most taxing of exercises. Let's think about this for a moment. You're pushing a baby in a stroller. For me, that means a 15-pound baby, a 25-pound stroller, and a 10-pound carseat. I'll do the math for you: that's 50 pounds I'm pushing up and down hills. On top of all of the weight you're pushing, you're carrying all of the weight that's still clinging to you from being pregnant with that now 15-pound baby. (I'll spare you the details on exactly how much that still is for me.) And, if you're breastfeeding, you're also carrying along your baby's next meal.
So we've got a 50-pound load you're pushing, extra weight you're carrying from pregnancy, plus essentially a picnic for the baby strapped to your chest. And, if you're like me who barely exercised during pregnancy, you are pretty out of shape.
All of that is physically demanding and quite a workout. Now let's add in the mental workout of this situation. As you're running through your neighborhood, smiling and waving at neighbors and for the love just trying to push that dang stroller up that hill, you are also constantly aware of what your baby is doing and anticipating what your baby might need. Ok she just spit up, grab the burp cloth and wipe that nastiness off her little chin. Oh no, she's starting to fuss. Quick! put the toy snail in her hand. Ok that's not working, squeeze the snail's head a few times so it squeaks. Ok whew, she smiled. We're good.
And then, right when you've finished a couple of miles and you're starting to get a cramp in your side, the baby finally falls asleep. And so you just keep running. Because, sleeping baby. That elusive evening catnap finally won over the fussy baby and you can't stop running now. You run a couple more miles so that the baby will sleep and wake up ready to play happily during dinnertime.
And then when you put the baby down for bed that night and finally have a chance to log your exercise into your weight-loss app, you do a happy dance when you realize you have just enough calories left to treat yourself to a tiny bowl of Häagen-Dazs mint chip ice cream. And in that moment, you decide those extra miles were totally worth it.