Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to Exercise, Feel Worse and Gain Weight.

We all know that exercise is beneficial in many ways:
  • it releases endorphins
  • you may lose weight
  • you will have more energy
  • it cleanses your body of toxins
  • blah blah blah

I always look at those adorable families that are on the brochure for any vacation destination and think "That looks like a great time. I want to do that!"

Pictures like this one, selling the dream of family fun! We are fit and having FUN!

image from exercise-and-fitness-over-forty.com

And then Brock and I attempt to do something "exercisy" and "fun" with the kids! And we come home four hours later, eat a pan of brownies and tap into the wine.

Why? Because exercising with kids is NOT FUN. Those "families" on the brochures are MODELS WHO ARE PAID TO LOOK LIKE THEY ARE HAVING FUN. If it were actual families, the scene would depict one kid crying and bleeding, the other one whining or throwing a tantrum, and mom and dad yelling at each other because no one packed the damn first aid kit.


So Sunday we all went on a bike ride!
You know how this is going to end....

After a full hour of "getting ready", we attempted to load the bikes into the back of my truck using the bike rack that I bought two years ago that slips under the tailgate, enabling the bikes to stand in the bed. Only, my tailgate is crushed and dented because some dipshit lady threw a hay bale onto it from a stack 20 feet high. When Brock said "you dented the truck" she responded with "I thought it was a 3/4 ton" and he said "the truck is, not the TAILGATE". So the rack didn't work which meant that Brock whipped out the ratchet tie-down straps and spent 10 hours strapping the bikes together. Let me just admit this now. I loathe the ratchet tie-down straps. They out smart me every time. I hate to be outsmarted. That is why I don't watch Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, because the answer is no, no I am not smarter than a fifth grader, but this bitch gots street smartz.

Once everything was aired up, wiped down and loaded, we headed to Walmart to buy Thing 1 a new helmet. 30 minutes later, we were on the road again, heading to the biking starting point destination.

We arrived and unloaded and I practiced on my bike with Thing 2 in the baby seat behind me. I am not the most confident biker, so I practiced with my small child in the parking lot (close to the truck in case we both needed to go to the ER). Don't worry. I succeeded in staying upright. Thing 1 rode his little bike around behind me while I practiced for two minutes. When I stopped, he said "Are we done riding our bikes?" and I laughed because we had just spent one hour and 45 minutes preparing for this ride- which he thought was over after three laps around the parking lot. I said "Nope buddy, we are all going to be strong and ride on the bike trail! Do you feel strong?" and then I flexed and he whimpered "yes..."

So we got onto the path and immediately there was a down hill slope that curved under a bridge. Naturally, Thing 1 demonstrated a spectacular and elaborate crash with minimal bleeding (but maximum wailing). Good thing, because both Brock and I failed to pack a first aid kit. When he pulled himself together we started again. EXERCISE! YES! THIS IS AWESOME!

Except we were keeping pace with a four year old on a bike built for a member of the Lollipop Guild.

I was pedaling so slowly that I could hardly keep my top heavy bike upright.
It didn't help that Thing 2 was gleefully pinching my back fat while strapped into the baby seat behind me. He has a natural talent for finding and pinching your fat between his tiny claws. (DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go bra-less around this child.)
The only thing getting my heart rate up was irritation.
So much for endorphins....

So we went along for about 20 minutes. In that time we pedalled about 500 feet. I couldn't take it. I have a hard time walking slowly, and when a slow walker gets in front of me, I have to physically restrain myself from pushing them down. Even if they are old. But walking slowly is nothing compared to biking slowly. I was in AGONY.
I sweetly suggested that Thing 1 get into the bike cart that Brock was pulling (empty) behind his bike for just this kind of emergency.
When we stopped to accommodate the transition, Thing 2 sat behind me screaming and again commenced in gleefully pinching my skin.

Then there was much protesting by Thing 1. Then Brock had to use one of those Satanic ratchet straps to tie the mini-bike into the cart. Then the strap was dragging, so we stopped to fix it. Then the bike was dragging, so we stopped to fix it. Then I yelled to Brock in a snarky voice "Are you having fun yet????" and he calmly said "I wish you would at least try" and then I mimicked "I wish you would at least TRY" to myself. And then I felt like an asshole.

We rode for another few miles at an normal adult human pace and then something truly horrendous happened: it became clear to me how dreadfully out of shape I have become.

I admitted this failure by humbly saying to Brock "Let's turn around a go back, Thing 2 needs his nap."

So we biked back to the truck, all the while Thing 2 whining in my ear (he really did need a nap), and drove home; where we ate brownies and drank wine, therefore undoing all the positive effects of exercise and possibly gaining weight in its purest form: FAT. We. Are. Awesome.

Daily Tip: If you want exercise and have wee ones in the house, let me recommend using the DAYCARE at your local HEALTH CLUB.

The End.


  1. /jumps up and down with raised hand.

    Best Idea EVER! "Kids go play outside. Daddy, you've been a naughty boy, to my bedroom at once."

    That way, the wee ones aren't in the house and you and hubby can "exercise".

  2. Thank heavens Big V works a lot. When he does get the inkling to do something exercisy I use the "you and the baby go for the bike ride... it's a good way for you to BOND. These are memories he'll cherish!" And then I bust open the Cheetos and watch reruns of Real Housewives.

  3. I now will not feel guilty if I go home and just sit on the couch- skip the bike ride and bring on the brownies!

  4. Makes me wonder if stress burns calories... That has to count for something, right?

  5. ... And this is why we have never taken the boys biking. The daycare at the Y is our friend and ally.

    And mmmm, brownies ...

  6. I'm exhausted just reading about your biking adventure - I think I just exercised vicariously through your blog post!
    Bike riding always makes me feel out of shape. Especially since the husband bores of my slow pace and usually rides miles ahead of me. Which sort of defeats the whole go on a bike ride together bit if I'm by myself sweating and struggling and trying to remember how to shift the effing gears without throwing the chain off.
    I can not imagine trying to do that with two children. You totally deserved the brownies and the wine.

  7. @Brandy- That is a wonderful thought in theory. In reality, Thing 1 would get into Brock's power tools and THing 2 would run into the street if I left them outside alone. Even for 2 minutes.
    @Phoenix- I like it. Next time I'll let Brock "bond" with both boys while I catch up on some reading or bad tv.
    @Backwoods mom- I'm glad to be the eraser of any guilt! Mmmmm, brownies.

    @TOrtoise- I think stress does burn calories. That seems to be my entire diet plan right now....
    @Moxie- THe one time I did bike ALONE this summer my brake cable came undone and I didn't know how to fix it so I rode the entire time with only half my brakes. Ohhh.... that was relaxing. I still think you and I would have fun "biking" to the wine bar. B and B could pick us up after a few hours..... yep. Sounds good.

  8. My friend's 20 month old (who goes to daycare and is just fine there) freaks out at the gym daycare. He throws himself at the glass like a gecko trying to escape his tank, until the staff have to come find my friend and pull her from her workout.


  9. @IfByYes- I feel for your friend. So much so that I laughed out loud at her story. But I really do feel for her. A friend of mine had a similar experience. Argh!

  10. Ah, I just remembered why I don't like to a. exercise and b. go outside and c. hang out with my family.

    okay, maybe not c. i mean, not ALL the time.

  11. Oh, man... this brought back memories. I'm so glad my kids are grown and I don't have to take them along anymore.

  12. Love the story. The last time I went biking with my kids and husband. The kids were 18 and 26. We rode the 20 miles from Montrose to Keokuk,which left me an hour behind the kids and a half hour behind my overweight husband.

  13. @Elizabeth- Bahahaha!
    @Strange- I'm glad that I could stir up those old pleasant memories for you.
    @C.Dingman- Sounds like a great time..... ????? lol!

  14. OMG, this totally describes EVERY SINGLE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY we attempt. In fact, just last Sun, while on a 0.8 mile hike (I mean, seriously, she has walked farther in her life), she declared, "this is the WORST HIKE EVER" the entire time!!! and did I mention it took 2 hours driving to get to the darn trailhead?!! Thanks for finding such a humorous way to describe family outings like this!! Love love love reading your blog!!

  15. HaHa! My husband I and do the same thing! I'm glad we're not alone!

  16. @Jesk- Thank you. Most of the stuff that I write about in a semi-humorous way makes me totally lose my shit in the moment. I'm awesome like that. Good to know I'm not alone in the epic fail of trying to exercise with kids.
    @Paula- It must be an epidemic! lol!

  17. I have to admit, this sounds terrible! I would have needed a magnum bottle of wine and an entire pan of brownies after something like that!