The Building That Saved My Life

This is a story about the gym. Yes, that kind of gym. The one with treadmills and dumbbells and mirrored walls and group fitness rooms. If you think that this is about to be a story about how my life changed through weight loss or nutrition, it isn’t. Just like lots of busy moms- I have always struggled to make time to get to the gym. I always have 150 things to do before and right after I go to the gym and it can be a lot for one day. It’s not just me, though- 84% of gym goers (including me) have to run errands or be in public somehow within two hours of working out. For busy moms who might have to skip a shower here and there anyway, leaving the gym while sweaty and smelly might be insult to injury. If you don’t have time to shower and change before leaving the gym, you should definitely #FebrezeYourGear.

Post-workout, just spray Febreze Fabric Refresher on your gym clothing, shoes and gear until completely damp to effectively get rid of any workout odors. Febreze Fabric Refresher with OdorClear™ Technology cleans away odors in two ways: 1) it seeks out tough odors and 2) it cleans them away by deactivating and replacing them with a light and fresh scent. Pretty cool, huh? Leave the odors in the locker room where they belong, am I right? Something to make going to the gym a little easier to check off the “To Do” list, is a welcomed addition.

However, in my case, starting a gym routine was much bigger than just my smelly gym bag hurdles. This is the story.

In four years I have moved five times (total), endured two cross country moves (and subsequent financial implosion), journeyed through the court process of one adoption, suffered through two pregnancies and newborns in two years, and withstood a million other day to day stressors. My hormones fluctuated and my sleeping and eating habits fell apart. This past summer, everything came to a head.

I’m lucky that I have a close network of supportive friends that I felt comfortable reaching out to and I also made an appointment to see a doctor. I was at a point of not knowing what I needed, but I knew I needed a major shift. The laundry list of responsibilities piled on top of underlying depression and anxiety had become too much to handle on my own. Well meaning people asked what I needed to feel better, but the truth is, in that state- I didn’t know. I knew I needed a break from my kids to be able to work and, heck, BREATHE. I also knew I couldn’t afford traditional childcare. An answer didn’t seem available to me.

I woke up one morning and my friends told me that they made an executive decision. They had found a gym very close to me that had childcare up to two hours a day. There is a cafe on site, as well as an outdoor pool and….WIFI! In other words, I technically didn’t even have to do traditional exercise to take advantage of the member benefits. My friends enrolled me and paid for a couple of months.

That decision wound up being one of the best of my life.

Those two hours a day turned into two hours that I could focus on myself and only myself. I had the space and time to look at my mental and physical health. I could swim, or eat lunch alone, or work, or run on the treadmill, or listen to a podcast, or go to a yoga class or whatever I wanted to do with those two hours and it literally saved my life. I can’t say enough about how those two hours changed everything. The break from the routine and from my babies, was motivation to work on healing my mind, body and spirit.

If you’re a mom and you have ever scoffed at the idea of joining a gym, I encourage you to check it out. It is more than bodybuilding and fancy workout clothes. It could literally save your life.

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  • Erin
    December 4, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve been struggling lately with the weight of a move, 3 young kids and just feeling like an awful mom. I just found you on Instagram today. I have a gym membership with similar perks but never looked at it that way. I’ve been putting myself last and avoiding the gym but this lost was just what I needed to get back there.
    Thank you!!