One of the ways in which I’ve been trying to take better care of myself involves exercise. I arrived at this conclusion kicking and screaming. Though not literally, because kicking and screaming would be more cardiac effort than I’ve put into much in years.
I’m not a sloth. I mean, not really. In my minds eye, I sort of want to be a sloth. Reading, daydreaming, napping, I tend towards inactivity before I crave sweat or ankle socks. But in listening to my body, which wasn’t literally kicking and screaming, it was definitely hiss whispering at me to add movement to my routine. So, fine. I went with the least offensive thing I could think of: walking.
There’s a big reservoir in my general area with a dirt path around it. One loop around the water is over two miles and done at a brisk pace while pushing a double stroller makes it worth my time. On the very first day I donned breathable shorts, I was working one of the path’s two big hills at considerable effort. I wasn’t moaning, per se, but I was dramatically leaning into the incline.
A late middle aged couple passed me briskly in heavily labeled running gear. The man, a few steps ahead of his partner, said something encouraging regarding the fifty pounds of cargo I was pushing uphill. The woman, upon passing and glancing into the stroller, said, “You’ll be the fittest mom in Hollywood, but your kids sure won’t be. They should be walking.”
Had I been taking paced and deep fit-person breaths, I might have retorted with something clever like “Keep it movin’, granny.” Instead I just grunted through a weak smile and slowed my stride to increase our distance.
I was, of course, righteously indignant over such a comment. What kind of a maniac insults an exercising mother pushing a stroller? Unless I’m taking up more than my fair share of the path, just smile and nod at my type. All accoutrements point to me having plenty on my plate at the moment.
Then I simmered, tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, and reminded myself that those exercise cliches often feel entitled and fanatical about their choices. Unlike those momma cliches.