When I was pregnant, I was concerned about how my life would change once I had a baby. I'm not a great single-tasker; my ideal life is one of well-rounded engagement. I like to do a lot of things, and have a lot of things going on at the same time. And a baby? Well, they are absorbing, and a lot of work, and "me time" goes out the window.
I was feeling really sad about this a few months ago. I was just out of the woods with feeling better in my body and like I wanted to try more intense exercise, but every time I tried to set up a regular routine, I'd get stymied -- by scheduling, by childcare resources, by my own self-doubt, all of it.
I did make it in to my gym on a Friday at lunch, and my coach made the astute comment that since I was coming back from, *gulp* nearly a year and a half absence (oy!), I would probably need to scale a lot of the WOD (Workout of the Day).
Scaling in CrossFit means altering and customizing workouts to the appropriate load for your body, so you can complete the workout in a reasonable time without injury. It is a vital part of CrossFit, and something one can embrace without ego. Not everyone can do the WOD as prescribed after all -- it's meant for elite, experience CrossFitters. Newbies will absolutely need to scale for weights and movements that fit their body's current capabilities.
It struck me that this is a timely metaphor. Rather than have the expectation that I could jump back into my old life: CrossFit 3-4 times a week, plus yoga, and any incremental exercise (skating, walking, hiking) on the weekends, I needed to get my head around the idea that exercise and fitness will look different in a post-baby world.
This isn't to say that I am resigned to just not doing anything; quite the contrary, actually. If anything, I've become a ninja of efficiency about how I schedule time. It means that even when I don't feel like it, I go do the WOD anyway, because I only get 2-3 shots at it a week. I spend less time casting around, looking at news on my phone, texting, etc., and more time meal prepping, playing with my kid, and going to the gym. I recognize the minutes as precious, and I make use of them.
I won't lie -- it's tiring. But I feel a lot better.
And I mean a lot. My anxiety and general outlook is a lot better, because I'm exercising more. I'm sleeping better, because I'm too physically tired at night to lay awake ruminating. My piriformis syndrome is getting better, because I make time for physical therapy exercises before I go to bed. I'm eating better, because I'm making time for meal prep.
I am scaling my life, by recognizing my own limits, prioritizing the most important things to me, making time for them, and letting go of the rest. I'm certainly not the most perfect mom or athlete or person, but I'm focused, and I'm much happier. And that's something.