By Clara Hurtado Lee
[Clara first told CS readers about her Jazzercise experiences in the December and January issues. Now, just a few months pregnant and with her rheumatoid arthritis acting up, she was forced to leave Jazzercise behind. Determined not to leave fitness behind, she has enrolled in a water aerobics class. Check back for further updates on her new fitness routine.]
Christmas has just exited with all of its chocolates, parties, and treats left by neighbors on the doorstep. This past week I did not attend a single exercise class. I am ashamed of this fact. Yet, I am happy that I was able to resist many temptations to overindulge. It's hard when relatives are saying things like, “You are eating for two. Have a second helping.” But I would remind myself that my baby is about the size of a lima bean. He or she can scarcely eat a whole piece of prime rib. It helps me to envision the food I am eating being eaten by my baby.
Last week, I went to two Water Aerobics classes. I discovered that the Wednesday morning class is taught by a different teacher. I get the feeling that she may have had some military training in her past. She is rigorous! She stayed in the water with the class and worked out. Most of the hour was spent in the deep end and by the time class was finished, I was spent. At times I felt like a team of synchronized swimmers. We traveled in circles around the pool together and sprinted from one end to the other. This really helped break up the monotony. I hope I can attend more of her classes.
It has been a challenge to motivate myself to attend class regularly and continue in my quest for fitness. The main obstacle is my physical health. On the days when I wake up sore; getting my children ready, getting myself ready and braving the elements so that I can hobble into the pool does not tempt me in any way. In a way, my biggest motivator right now is fear. I fear getting heavy and the effort it will take to lose weight postpartum. I know how exhausting those first few months are and how difficult it is to get out of the house and get moving. So, in a way, I am preparing for that as I battle my current exhaustion and pain.
The joy and wonder I experienced this Christmas through the eyes of my children deepened my feelings that this temporary discomfort will all be worth it when I hold my new baby in my arms in a few short months.