How life changed when I made time for ‘me’

Last updated: 23/03/2015 11:26 by GrainneMcCool to GrainneMcCool's Blog
Filed under: MummyBloggers
Sometimes Mum just needs to get some time on her own away from the kids. As much as I love being a mother, I realise that I also want to be ‘me’. Last year I decided to try something new. I joined a ‘fit camp’.
I’d always considered myself reasonably fit; with hoovering, filling coal buckets, carrying kids, running up and down stairs twenty times a day, I had to be fit, right? What a shock I was in for on my first week of camp!
The day started at 5.30am with the alarm. As I rose with the dawn, the boys and husband were fast asleep in bed. No one heard my sneaking out; yes, even then I was seeing to the kids and ensuring that I woke no one up.
From burpees, to press-ups, squats to lunges, dog-pee stances to crazy dances, I did them all. I ran up-hill, I ran around cones, I ran until my wee legs ached. After three weeks of three mornings a week, I really did see the difference. Not only was I getting fit, toned and feeling healthier, but I was making new friends, new acquaintances, and reigniting old friendships.
One lady was an old school friend whom I hadn’t really encountered during the last twenty years. But here at fit camp, the old friendship came alive. We now run together when time allows. We’ve had a few nights out...and a few more to come.
I got to know many faces I recognised from my community and now call them friends. I get fit alongside some friends of my son and I now call them friends. A lot of the girls were mums and all enjoyed the morning ritual.
But one of the most rewarding things to come out of this experience is the respect and support I have gotten from my sons. As avid fitness enthusiasts, they were never used to seeing Mum in her training gear, her runners, and certainly never expected to meet her running along the road.
It has enabled them to see me as an individual and someone who doesn’t just run when they need lifts from the football pitch or the golf course. I am now someone who can run to escape the madness of home, the mayhem after dinner or just to relax before an important meeting.
Fitness has not taken over my life. It has just given me a new lease of life. It has provided a haven where I can be ‘me’ and not ‘Mum’. On the mornings after the fit camp, I would come home, wake the boys for school, work and college, and the day would continue with parenting at the fore. But just for that one hour at dawn it was great to have a whole new lease of life and it opened so many doors for me.
Now as I get ready to go a quick run today, I’m smiling as I look forward to a wedding next week. One of the young ladies from fit camp is getting married and we ladies are all invited. There’ll be no burpees or press-ups done that day, although who knows with this gang - when the wine is in, anything will be possible.
Making time for me has been one of the best moves I’ve made in many years!
Grainne McCool is a mum to three boys from Co. Donegal, who thinks parenting is a learning process in which you're never done learning.
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Déanta in Éirinn - Sheology
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