The Beautiful Trainers!

Oh they are so pretty! Hubs gave them to me for Christmas and I love them!

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When I was a dance student oh so many years ago I had this gorgeous pair of Adidas Gazelle Shell toe trainers, white with silver stripes. They have, until recently, been with me through thick and thin! From falling in rivers on Dartmoor to getting a make over on the day we did splatter paintings with the Twins when they were 3, to becoming my treasured and comfy gardening shoes.

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Then came the day. A damp Autumn day in the garden. When I returned indoors my foot was wetter than the puddle it had walked through. There is was. The end of the trainer; a big part of the sole had come away from the rest of the shoe.

Gutted doesn’t even come near!  Now, I can hear you loud and clear! Its only a shoe! They’re only trainers! Don’t be so materialistic!  And yes, I agree with you! But these shoes were beyond comfy, they were an old friend!!

The time had arrived for me to part with them. I couldn’t actually bring myself to do it. I left them in the garage and instructed Hubs to  do what he must. When I next entered the garage….they were gone. I began to imagine for myself a little scenario. I pictured my trainers going up in a little glitter cloud of dust and that when that dust settled the trainers had magically disappeared. Passed on to another place where old trainers go to be happy.

It took me a long time to want to replace them. It was a tough decision but ultimately one I needed to do so. However, finding a replacement was not going to be easy.  There were no rescue centres for abandoned trainers, where a youthful pair of pumps would be waiting in a glass shoe box, gazing out at prospective new owners with their big, soul searching eyelets. No. No Battersea Daps Home for me.

Instead I happened one day to come across the right pair. As if by magic. As if my old trainers were in fact reaching out to me from another realm and telling me that now was the right time. My period of mourning could come to an end! There they were. Adidas Superstar Women’s Iridescent Dubai. Dazzling white with the colours of tropical waters glinting along the 3 stripes. My heart was taken. And my Christmas wish list begun.

Hubs did great and found the perfect pair of these beauties. I tried them on and they look gert lush. But. And there is a but.  It’s January. It’s a mild January. It’s a mild January in Devon. There is mud everywhere. I cannot bring myself to taint these gloriously white trainers in reddy-pink mud. Their first outing cannot be into this carnage. Springtime I have decided will be much more acceptable!

And so they sit in their box, eagerly awaiting the day when they get to do what all trainers are born to do. Dance across (dry) grass, skip through (non-horse pooed up) country lanes, jump over (non-gritted) roads and run along (non high tide seaweed strewn ) seafronts.

The time will come my friends and when it does it will be a glorious day. And I know that I will love those trainers just as much as my first ones!!!

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The Aloha Mummy 🌺

 

Diary of an imperfect mum

 

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The legend of the Meerkat Women.

So, since becoming a parent, there have been all but say 3 times where I have ventured into the grown up area of a swimming pool complex to check out the extra heated facilities…namely the hot tub!!

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I have been content with being clung to by Twin toddlers; gripped by their nails so tightly that the marks have still been there a week later.

I have been left for minutes at a time by confident little boys, happily pootling about on their own, whilst still under the constant. watchful. intent. gaze of their Mother.

I have been abandoned by racing young boys, diving like dolphins, practising handstands and collecting sinking swim toys from the bottom of the pool (whilst under the constant. watchful. intent. gaze of their Mother!) and now with a 7 month old baby I am back to the toddler pools which is great! I do indeed love it. No big splashy people, just the occasional panicked look from a Dad who has taken his teeny child out for a swim and has realised that he forgot to put the swim nappy on…we’ve all been there!

We recently had a little break away to the ‘Parc of Centres’ located next door to a huge animal wildlife park (Lions, Tigers, Rhinos…all the usual creatures you’d expect to find close by to a tree filled family activity park!). The pool here is great, huge, many different areas. We (rather luxuriously) hired one of their ‘Cabana’s’ (I know Mr Manilow was singing that song over and over in my mind every time I said the word …he’s right back there now all over again actually!).

The Cabana (Aloha Mummy pictures herself in a pink sequined bikini, tan fishnets, new Yorker shoes and giant pink feathers pluming in an arch behind her back!) is a little bamboo type hut located around the edge of the pool area which comes complete with a large TV, reclining chairs, safe, fridge and drinks (included in the hire price) and towels. We were even able to get a playpen too. Soooo good! It meant that we had a base which the Twins could come back to after a swim, slide etc , that Bubs had somewhere she could snooze (this also worked VERY well for the Grandparents too!) and actually somewhere we could change if we didn’t feel we could face the ultimate confusion which is the changing rooms there (that’s another post altogether!)

Back to the pool. With the bonus of having the Cabana (Aloha Mummy does a little shimmy across the dance floor in her head!) I was able to leave snoozing Bubs with the Aloha GrandP’s and head off with the Twins for an explore. After telling me that we were going on the Rapids (joy! thank GOD I was wearing my dignity maintaing surf leggings – I will never be without these, they are the purchase of the century for me!) I thought Ok, I can handle this! Twin 2 told me with utmost seriousness that you have to go over the levels head first. (Little …..blighter!)

First hurdle dealt with I emerged in much colder water than I had started, had no idea which way I was meant to be facing, didn’t have a clue if my contact lenses were in fact still in contact with my eyeballs, and was being swept backward by a current.

The Twins were in hysterics! As I regained my composure and managed to see out of one of my eyes, other people around me were in fact ‘hurdling’ the ledges , sitting on their behinds and sliding down in as sedate a manner as the rapid gush of water would allow. They would then plop down into the next mini pool before getting back to their feet or expertly floating along on top of the current and the water. Hmmmmm.  I looked at my Twins, who both by now looked like little Imps with cheeky smiles…nay…grins. ‘You told me you had to go head first!’ Laugh, chortle, snort, giggle, chuckle!!! Got me!

We completed the remainder of the Rapids with us all employing the hurdling technique (and me not being afraid that the Life Guard would tell me off for not going over them head first) and made our way back round to the warm outdoor pool and the hot tub pool.

This was more like it! The only problem was that I knew I would at some point have to vacate the hot water and feel ultimate freeze from any pool water I then chose to swim in. Nevermind, this was just sooooo waaaaarm! I sat there, steaming away with Twin 1 and Twin 2. As we were about to move on we were squished back into our seat on the wall by an influx of a group of about 8 young 20 something males and females.

Males – highly toned, Japanese style tattoos adorning their buff shoulders and biceps, manicured beards in place and trendy man buns atop heads.

Females – well at first I was highly concerned. They all looked like they were struggling to swim (and they were in still water nowhere near the Rapids). There they were, heads bobbing above the water, necks stretched as far as humanly possible, wide eyes moving from side to side but very little head turning actions and their little hands doggy paddle flapping away just under the water making minimal splashage.

I wondered what on earth could be happening – was this a new swimming stroke invented since my days of swimming lessons of butterfly, breaststroke and all that? Were they so slight (I mean there was not a wibble or wobble or teensy bobbly pobble on any of them – and you could clearly see that by the lack of swimming clothing. Bikini, we are talking bikini.) that there was a risk of being swept away by a slightly large man wading past them?

I sat back and observed. And then it hit me. Make Up!  These women were in full make up, as much as I would have worn on stage for a dance performance! Full face of foundation, concealer, blusher, contouring on point, bronzer, false eyelashes flapping about in the breeze, mascara, winged eyeliner and eyebrows that were totes on fleek (I know…get me and my down with the kids lingo!) – the whole shebang!! They were flapping about (albeit gently) with the little hands close to their chests and their heads balanced on top of their long necks looking just like meerkats on the look out.

I cannot begin to tell you how tempted I was to do a Miranda-esque ‘fall’ creating a big wave that would engulf them. But I didn’t. I am not that cruel. But in my mind…Oh in my mind it was hilarious!

Just then I realised that something else in the pool wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was one of those moments where you can sense something but you haven’t fully noticed it …yet. As I scanned the hot tub edge dwellers the light bulb went on. Ah, eyebrows! So many of the women around the edge had big, dark, drawn on eyebrows! And once it was noticed it became so surreal! Like a secret club! By that point I felt it was time to move on.

And so I took my slightly cuddlier than it used to be body, wrapped up in its dignified surf leggings and loose fitting tankini top, I took my own eyebrows which my body had conveniently grown for me, on my steam treated face and walked confidently past these women. These women who when they stood up crossed their arms to cover their belly (if you’re uncomfortable wear something different), these women who must be wearing make endorsed by the Olympic synchronised swimming teams that did not run, melt or smudge in these watery, steamy conditions. These women who did not feel confident to visit the swimming pool with their friends/lovers and go make up free. These women who feel that they have to maintain perfection no matter what.

As I walked past them I felt  a huge wave of happiness; of contentment. I have embraced my body post children. I dress how I want to, in a way that makes me feel comfortable. I am happy to go make up free. I am happy to make a complete, COMPLETE arse out of myself! This is what my children will remember when they are older. These precious memories of quality time we shared. I am so glad that I am who I am and the way I am. What a boring life the kids would have if I could never splash for fear of messing up my hair or makeup or heaven forbid, have a moment of madness!!

The Aloha Mummy

P.S. I cannot stress how practical and brilliant these surf leggings are! When bending down with Bubs in the toddler pool there is no worry about losing anything between your cheeks, when sitting down cross legged there is no fear of any sneaky hairs peeping out the gusset and therefore no need to retrieve or rearrange any part of the swimwear or your anatomy! Ladies…they are the way forward!

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My Petit Canard
R is for Hoppit
A Cornish Mum

 

Diary of an imperfect mum

 

Bubs and the Buggy; Out running the DPD Man.

Picture the scene; a day thick with mizzle, (Devonshire language for Mist and Drizzle!) but the temperature soaring it had to have been at least 22 degrees.

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I had to take the Twins to a friend’s birthday party so I popped Bubs into the OutnAbout buggy.  It was our first official use it and the first time I had used a forward facing buggy with Bubs. I decided today was the day for several reasons:

1.       The Twins would be able to walk side by side of the buggy and entertain Bubs on our walk to the party.

2.        We had to negotiate a few pavement-less village roads on the way to Birthday Child’s house and this buggy was slightly more slim line than our Cosatto.

3.       I needed to make myself use it! It lives in the garage so a little bit more of a FAF to get it out and set up.

4.       I hadn’t gone for a run or even a walk yet that week due to Hubs’ shifts and school holidays (although I had still been doing my 30 day Squat Challenge and my weights at home) so needed to get out for some air and a bit of exercise.

 

So I retrieved the Running Buggy also affectionately known as ‘Roger’ (as in Roger Black – he was a runner; the buggy is for running and his surname is Black; the buggy is black!) from the cobwebby garage, dug out the rain cover, steered it round the side of the house and parked it up outside the front door, ready to receive Bubs.

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The Twins were loaded with backpacks containing rash vests, swimming trunks and wet suits plus the obligatory gift for Birthday Child, as they were off to a local waterpark for the afternoon (great weather for the supervisory parent of Birthday Child who was not intending to participate in said watery craziness but instead sit with a coffee and read her book!) and so we set off clad in our kagoules (I do find that word amusing!)….kagooooules……kagooooooooules! Sorry!

I had thought that I would use my Run Keeper app to track my little walk as I had been using it for all my Running so far and find it really simple to use and easy to understand.  Although I need to change to time setting on my phone because by the time I’ve switched it on, paused it, then battled to get the darn thang in my nifty (Phah!) running-gadget-arm-pouch-holder-thingy, it has switched itself off and I have to battle to get it out and switched back on again ready to hit proceed as I set out the door! – Just me?! (Any top tips on addressing my dumassness with this would be gratefully received!) Maybe these apps could give you a pre-activity grace period or a countdown, to allow you to get it set up, enclose it in nifty arm wear, plug in your earphones, get out the door, hoik up your leggings and head off….just a thought!

So anyway today I just shoved it in my kagooooooooooooule pocket. I was only walking anyway. Right?! Wrong?!!!

I walked successfully to Birthday Child’s house with the Twins, had a quick chat with Birthday Child’s Mum and then headed off. But…I couldn’t walk. It was as though the ‘Roger’ wanted me to run! And cripes, it seemed easy! SO much easier than running solo! I felt that it helped my posture, keeping me more upright (although my running technique was totally thrown and I kept thinking my legs were going completely bandy!) A bit like Phoebe running in that episode of Friends …but pushing a buggy at the same time. Hmmm.

The drop off at Birthday Child’s house was for 11:30am. Now. I’d had a DPD text informing me that my delivery would be between 12:14 and 13:14 by delivery driver Simon, earlier in the morning. ‘No probs’ I had thought I’m not doing anything today…but then the ‘Roger’ tricked me into physical activity.

It was at the furthest point from my house that DPD van showed up. The opposite side of the village. Ahhh! I checked the time only 11:45am – I had time to finish my usual running route and get back provided he wasn’t early. I slowed up as he drove past, toying with the idea of asking him if he was indeed Simon and if he had a delivery for me. But I didn’t. The race was on! (Jeez why am I so competitive?!)

We had stopped off at the tennis courts to check out the resurfacing situation and at this point I removed the kagooooooooooooooooule! I had not thought this through; I was only meant to be walking. Yes I had sportswear on but I had not bothered with nifty-arm-gadget-thingy. The only place to keep the phone so that it would chart my activity and progress was ….in the sports bra. Now I normally use one of the Twins old socks to house my IPod when exercising to prevent it drowning in sweat and potentially electrocuting me. Clearly now I did not have said sock with me. No other option than to hope for the best…does the pot of rice work to draw out sweat from a phone in the same way it does for water….lets hope I don’t have to find out!

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In went the phone, I released ‘Roger’s’ brake and we were off. We were flying! Bubs was loving it squealing at top lung and ear drum bursting level! There he was again…DPD! Too far off for me to flag him down, and by now heading in the general direction of my house. Time check 12:05. I could do this. #This Girl Can!

We turned off the top village road and headed through the houses down towards the middle road and main drag through the village. If I turned left here I would be home in 5 mins. But. It was not my usual running route …and I still had time…if I didn’t waste it! (A competitive streak combined with OCD – great going you Aloha Loony!)

And so we crossed the main road to another housing area adding about 3 mins onto that initial 5. By now I felt sure I had achieved full beetroot face appearance, the sweat was dripping off me and I had no sweat band with which to mop my glowing brow.

Another glimpse of DPD as he drove increasingly close to my road.

An Andy Murray-esque ‘C’mon’ echoed in my head!

Bubs had dozed off; so smooth was my running-and-buggying-simultaneously technique, clearly! We rounded the back lane, dodged the horse poo, over took the milk float (yes we live in a village in Devon and we still have a milk float!) and skilfully skirted round the old duffer trying to reverse into their driveway.

Back on the main road. The next right was mine and DPD was nowhere to be seen. I had done it! I had out run the DPD Delivery Van!

We raced for that virtual finishing line in full Usain Bolt confidence. Me and my little baby and our running buggy ‘Roger’, complete with wrist leash like a tiny baby buggy surf board; so that if the mad mother running (some crazy race like with an oblivious DPD van), should trip then the buggy would not go rolling off alone like a sketch from Last of the Summer Wine and a steep village hill!

Victory was ours! No sign of DPD! I even had time to park the ‘Roger’ out the back, lift up the rain cover…only to be overpowered by the commonly known U.T.B smell of a sleeping baby. Yes folks the Up The Backer. You all know what I’m on about!

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  • Dilemma, do I wake the sleeping baby to change the nappy…Sods Law dictates that then DPD will arrive and all my smugness will be for nothing.
  • Dilemma, do I leave sleeping baby in the buggy when DPD rings the doorbell thus avoiding a blatant door opening on a korma colour stained back of a baby grow. Hmm don’t feel comfortable leaving Bubs outside on her own albeit for a gnat’s blink of time…Sods Law dictates she would wake, total disorientation would set in, the cry would erupt and all my smugness would be for nothing.
  • Dilemma, do I lift sleeping baby from the buggy when DPD rings the doorbell presenting myself with an air of calm, super fit mother, who can handle a U.T.B…Sods Law dictates that said U.T.B would by now be leaking and running all over my arm and all my smugness would be for nothing.

‘Ding’ (the dong is broken on our bell). Just as I had lifted a rousing Bubs from the buggy, back checked, no sign of the U.T.B. Safe!

I carry Bubs, snuggled into my shoulder and nuzzling my neck, to the door, calm, confident (and a little bit smug).

‘Cor you got back ere fast!’ Came the comment from DPD Simon. ‘Oi see’d you runnin on the ovvur side of th village!’

Parcel exchanged, signature given, Bubs not crying, poop not escaping, run completed, dignity intact, beetroot face slightly lightened, smugness totally intact!

*fist pumps the air – but carefully so as not to startle or indeed drop Bubs! Nailed it! (Today at least!)

Until I turn around to see Cat yak up on the kitchen floor…well, you can’t win them all!

 The Aloha Mummy.

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SPD – 2 pregnancies on crutches.

 

Having now had they joy of being pregnant twice I can, hand on heart say that I love being pregnant. However, both pregnancies- first with the Twins and most recently Bubs-  have ended up with me being on crutches. With Bubs it was so much worse and I literally could not leave the house for the final few months.

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I had a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) or otherwise called Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy (PGPP). This is basically where the muscles and ligament inbetween the pelvic joint become very relaxed and unstable, resulting in horrendous pain. The only way I can describe it is this (it’s not pretty I warn you…) imagine your lady parts as an oyster shell or muscle shell, being forced apart, unwillingly. And at the same time having something blunt jab right up inside you.

I first noticed it with the Twin pregnancy when I was about 4 months and moving house. I pushed a box full of belongings with the inside edge of my foot and literally couldn’t breathe or move, the pain was excrutiating. It gradually worsened and so I made an appointment with the Midwife and the Dr. They both confirmed SPD and got me on the list to receive some physio at the local hospital. Here they gave me a support band to wear around my hips in an attempt to stabalise the joint and also treated me with accupunture. As the Twin bump got heavier, walking was becoming a real issue and by 7 months I was given crutches. There were concerns that if I gave birth ‘naturally’ I may damage this joint beyond repair and worse case scenario was that I could need a wheel chair. This was such a worrying time not only for my babies and my body but mentally and emotionally for me, particularly as my job was so physical – leacturing in dance and performing arts.

We met with many consultants at the hospital and even though the physio’s were insistent that I should have a C-section the Consultants still weren’t convinced. One even said to me and Hubs, that they could deliver one ‘naturally’ and then the other one by C-section (as he was breach at that moment in time). Once again….filled with dread. This was not the birth I had planned – I’d intended a drug free as far as possible birth. Eventually they agreed that a C-section was in order and the Twins were born at 37 weeks. We needed 5 days in SCBU but the day after their birth the SPD was gone. No pain whatsoever, no need for support bands or crutches! Incredible!

So this time round naturally I was concerned about the condition returning. And by just 3 months in it was bad. So much so that I was signed off work and on crutches immediately. Knowing that this was going to be for the long term Hubs purchased some hockey stick padded grip and I ‘pimped my crutches’! – oh yes, that’s a thing!

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I still had the support band and had been using that since 2 months. The conclusion that I was given by the many medical people I saw was that it was likely to get worse given my previous history; a combination of having loose flexible muscles and ligaments in general anyway (useful as a dancer but not as an expectant mother it would seem!), the pregnancy hormone Relaxin, plus having suffered with the condition before and the fact that now my body was 10 years older. I ended up being signed off work right up to when my maternity leave began. Not what I had planned…again. The ideal situation was to work up to the Easter Holidays, not October Half term! Bubs was born at the start of April…that’s a long time to be off work! With the Twins I had worked up to the end of the Christmas Term and they were born at the end of January. I had managed to still drive and teach that time round but this time things escalated incredibly quickly and extremely painfully. By Christmas I had stopped driving due to the discomfort but also the worry of should I need to perform an emergency stop the damage I could do to the joint by the sudden movement.

At first being home, not feeling ‘ill’ felt very odd. I’m the type of person who can only be off work when there’s something drastically wrong. Looking back now I can appreciate that actually, yes, it was best to be a home pottering around but at the time it felt so wrong. I enjoyed a few school runs but instead if the 5 minute walk each way they should have been, it was turning into a 20 minute each way battle. Over the months I got slower and slower and the pain got worse and worse. At the very final stages even just tackling the stairs took an age. One stair at a time, mostly on my backside using my arms to heave up myself up or gingerly let myself down. I tried so hard to stay mobile even if it was just to walk to the post office or get the Twins form school – all aided by the crutches of course- but by February it was just not possible. Advice, once again, from the Physio was to not let my knees drop beyond parallel, meaning that they had to be hip width apart at all times.  Any movement even slightly beyond this range caused huge agony. The pain, the fatigue all took its toll on me and I resigned myself to the fact that I would be doing very little in the way of moving and housework. I couldn’t push the vacuum – it caused the pain to spike. I couldn’t lift anything, couldn’t bend to reach things on the floor and couldn’t even lift the kettle and hold it under the tap to fill it up, the stress and discomfort once my core muscles had weakened meant that there was even less stability at this point. I had my little jug which I could fill 3 times in a row and that would fill the kettle!  Needless to say that with not moving and growing a baby I put on some additional pregnancy weight!!

On occasions when I needed to get out and go anywhere we had carrier bags on the car seat to enable a nifty ‘swivvel’ action to get my legs in or out of the car! Visits to the midwife and getting onto and off of the couch involved lots of rolling onto the side, walking my hands towards my hip to sit me up and then having a great deal of support from Hubs or Midwife to get me down to the floor.

By Christmas with my Bubs pregnancy the physio was of no further benefit. If he treated the back it aggravated the front and vice versa. The acupuncture seemed to help for a day on some occasions bit on others created an even worse pain. I invested in a heat pad which helped a smidge and was prescribed codeine; something I was loathed to take and as such only took one when I was in tears of agony. I was very aware that the baby could become dependent on it if I took it regularly and if this happened then I would have to stop taking it 2 weeks before the due date. But I worried. What if things started happening before I’d come off the codeine?  So I took it on an as needed basis.

A C-section had been the plan from the get-go with pregnancy number 2 and so I felt calm, having experienced this procedure before. I planned out our birthing music (quite a collection but that’s for another post!) almost down to the exact time that Bubs would emerge (it’s the dance teacher element…even choreographing a baby’s birth!) We were booked in for 39 weeks and actually for the week prior to that I had been experiencing some Braxton Hicks and then from the afternoon before our birth-day I had been having contractions.  This was a whole new experience for me having not felt this with the Twins! When the surgeon actually opened up my tummy to deliver Bubs he commented on how engaged the head was!  When we’d arrived at the hospital that morning at 7am the contractions were about 20 mins apart!!  EEEESHK!!

Codeine free and a healthy baby born the delivery had gone well. We stayed one night in Hospital and then came home the next day. I needed my crutches for that second day but then as if by new motherhood magic…the SPD thankfully, so amazingly thankfully (just as it did with the Twins) disappeared soon after the birth. The worry of permanent damage and possibly even the need for a wheelchair was over. I could walk! Unaided! The pain and discomfort of the C-section recovery was nothing compared to the SPD pain. As a very active person the prospect of not fully recovering had been very scary – what if I could never run and play with my children again, what if I couldn’t teach dance again, what if I became this enormous burden on my family? Now though I need not worry. I still feel the odd twinge and that’s ok, it just reminds me to slow down and take things easier. Recently joining the gym and starting my own fitness recovery programme I am very aware of my limitations and am more than happy to reach my fitness goals sensibly and in the right amount of time.

The Aloha Mummy

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Diary of an imperfect mum

 

So long Trolley-Dolly Big Kahunas! Gym-tastic #1

 

As those of you who have journeyed on my blog thus far will know one of my topics of discussion is to be my road to fitness heaven following the birth of our gorgeous third child – Bubs.

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Having hit the 12 week marker following my C-section I was given the all clear to start exercising again. I was so grateful to be told this having had a pretty tough time of it during the pregnancy (see post SPD).

We joined the gym literally just up the road from our house – so convenient, any further and I probably wouldn’t have bothered! We’ve plumped for Off Peak because in reality I’m not going to be getting there at the weekends especially when Hubs is working a shift and the Twins are about, also I can’t see either of us getting there before 8am or after 4pm…at the moment. The bonus of this off-peak membership too means that at the weekend when the children are all at home, I won’t be thinking ‘I should get to the gym today’ because ….I’m not allowed!!  Plus those rest days are always so well received!

 

14 Gym Tastic 4Our gym is part of the local Golf Club…not once has a golfer bid me ‘Good Morning’ as I park up and walk across the car park clad in leggings and work out top. Clearly, I am not in their league! I am not ‘one of them’. Ho Hum!!!! Not to worry! I know that I am going into my own zone; to blitz my body for the next 45mins to 1 hour. Maybe they are in their own zone too…about to woop the ass of their fellow golf ‘buddy’!

So my first day in the gym felt fantastic! Only 2 other people in there! Admittedly my performance wasn’t great but I used this first session as a ‘get the lay of the land’ job; suss out the machines and work out my own programme, also see how my body would respond. Tapping back into my skills as a gym and fitness instructor felt wonderful – I’d forgotten how much I missed this!

The gym is small and some of the machines are very close to each other. Just know that if you hop onto the treadmill next-door…

  1. We are now in a race situation (sorry – competitive stream and all that!)
  2. I will not be engaging in small talk, I am here to work my arse off; to sweat; to puff; to lift weights that are of benefit to my body. In my opinion, if you have the breath left to talk about last night’s EastEnders…you are not working hard enough!

It is safe to say that Hubs and I, in joining this gym have significantly lowered the average age of clientele by a substantial 40 years! There are quite an array of members who I have seen so far; all of retirement age, using minimal weight on for example, the Lat Pull Down. Wearing chinos on the bike. Chatting whilst doing sit ups and plank to their instructor, who bless him is fighting a losing battle of trying to get his client to shut up and concentrate!

Dear Lat Pull Down Man,

You are meant to put that little peg into the selected weight of your choice and then proceed to use the apparatus to work your Latissimus Dorsi. Higher Reps at lower weights will maintain toning of your muscles. Lower Reps at higher weights will help to build your muscles. Sitting there hogging the machine for 15 minutes whilst you do a mere 3 set of 10 reps with no weight really is not doing anything for you.

Please discuss your fitness programme with the Gym Staff (so that I may then be able to get on the flippin’ machine and be finished in 5 mins!)

Yours

Aloha Mummy

 

I jest but it does irk me! I have a limited window of time to get my workout done before Bubs needs feeding again – I need my work out to be as effective as possible. Plus when I return home I literally tag-team Hubs and then he can get to the gym!

One slight issue I have noted since returning to fitness post-Bubs is, what I like to call, The Kahuna Calamity. I have never been one to sport a chest. Size 8 all my life (apart from the post baby moments) and a dancer I have barely made it up to a 34B. Whilst producing milk for the 3 babies I have hit the dizzying heights of a 36C!!! So, so, so weird! My gorgeous friend Sparkle Mum even changed my name in her phone to ‘Trolley Dolly Big Kahuna’ after I joked about needing a hostess trolley to rest them on if they got any larger!_20160727_165941 I literally have to adjust my balance, and getting through a doorway is not without its hazards! Turn too quickly and that bad boy gets well and truly smacked into the door frame. Yowwwwch! I have now invested in the mother of all sports bars – extreme support! It feels so awful to me to be on the treadmill of the stair climber and have the extra one second behind time, bounce on my chest. Think of it if you will, as the Corporal Jones of the boobed lady. I step, boob bounce. I stop, boob bounce. It’s not nice and even though as a teenage I wished for a buxom chest…now, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not for me and the sooner I shift this weight the better.

The other issue I have is the ‘empty bump’ I am still sporting since Bubs’ birth. It is reducing well – I’ve been taking weekly photographs to prove to myself that my shape is changing. It’s odd but this time around I am in no hurry for it to go. This is my last physical reference on my body to the fact that I grew a human. My baby bump has been through a lot and created something incredibly precious. I am more than thankful to my baby bump. However, when trying to outstrip the fellow treadmiller it feels rather unpleasant to have it wobbling about. I have therefore invested in some support underwear to combat this and it has boosted my confidence and I believe my performance too. It is actually the support wear I bought to help post C-section for JoJo Maman Bebe. It certainly helps me to remember to engage my core and on post work out stretching ( I long for my flexibility!) particularly my hamstring stretches as it helps contain the bump so I can actually reach my toes!!

I have now been back at the gym for 4 weeks. I am noticing a difference, not from weighing as I hate that, but from clothes and how they fit.  I am now back into pre-baby clothes and able to tighten my belt too!  It’s all small steps in the right direction.

On days when I can’t get to the gym I have invested in a skipping rope, been given a wonderful postnatal Yoga DVD and incredibly been donated an Out N About Nipper Sport Buggy so that Bubs and I can get out in the fresh air together! I love this buggy!

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Today I did my first Plank…not hugely successful compared to my previous records – 4 mins plank was my all-time best! Today I managed a mere 2 sets of 30 seconds. 10 years on my body is 10 years older (obvs!) than it was after the Twins were born…I must remember this!

But, as I say, it’s early days. Things will happen and by going slow and steady I will achieve my wishes, safely. I will embrace my empty bump for the time it remains with me and I will thank it daily for my beautiful children which it has housed. My mantra :-

‘This is Me.

This is Me, getting myself healthy. This is Me Being the best I can be for my children. This is me building myself for the future. This is Me creating a career to be around my children.

This is Me.’

Farewell Trolley Dolly Big Kahunas!

The Aloha Mummy 🌸

 

Diary of an imperfect mum

 

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