One month. I have one month left to prepare for the Olympic Day weightlifting competition that I signed up for in a desperate attempt to motivate myself to get back into the gym after having my second baby in two years.
So far, it’s going as good as can be expected. I have a lot of technique to work on and each week I make small, but purposeful changes that I hope will get me to the heavier weights. Right now, I’m hoping to nab a 90-pound snatch and a 110-pound clean and jerk. That may be a bit out of my reach right now, but we will see in a month.
I’m also almost to my goal weight — five pounds to go. I’m well on track to achieve this goal with all of the post-partum hair loss and if I can get to my magic number, I’ll be able to enter my competition in a lower weight class.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflection about why this is so important to me and I’ve come to one decisively true conclusion: I’m being completely selfish.
Since becoming a mother the first time around I learned pretty quickly (and wasn’t surprised) that my kids are now the center of attention. I get it. They are super cute and funny and it is amazing watching them learn new things. I’m old news and that’s fine by me… for the most part.
See, I used to be a fun, interesting person (or at least I think I used to be). I was a civilian journalist for the U.S. Army and I got to cover badass trainings with explosive ordnance and infantry units. I used to be a rock climber and write for extreme sports publications, including Climbing magazine and CrossFit media. I did Spartan races and climbed 14ers and snowboarded.
And now I watch Daniel Tiger and Elmo.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my life, my husband, and my girls, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But sometimes I miss the adventure and the adrenaline from pushing myself to exhaustion (no, exhaustion from being up all night with a newborn doesn’t count). I miss the sweat. I miss tearing up my hands on rock. I miss being so sore I can hardly lift my congratulatory beer.
So in some way going back to weightlifting so aggressively and signing up for this competition is a way for me to reclaim that past me. And that is self-centered and only goes to serve my ego. I know this and I should probably apologize for it. But I don’t want to. Instead, I justify it.
I tell myself I’m modeling positive behavior for my girls — setting goals, working hard to meet those goals, and putting myself outside of my comfort zone in order to grow as a person. The reality is they’re barely 2 years old and 3 months old and all they know is mom isn’t there.
It’s tough battling that mom guilt. On the one hand, I’m only away from them a few hours per week; and they are typically with their father for that time (which, personally, I think is great for everyone). But on the other hand, they are only this young once and before I know it, they won’t need me at all.
I know, ultimately, we are all better for it. It’s good for them to be with other adults (mostly their dad) while I get some alone time. And I’m a much happier mom after getting in a solid workout. However, future competitions may have to sit on the back burner.