Thursday, November 7, 2013

Who's the Crazy Mom Running Laps in the School Parking Lot?

That would be me!

Finding time to fit everything in that I need to do is one of my most frustrating challenges.  As I've shared before, exercise is often the first thing cut from my schedule when there is no time.  A big time waster that I identified for myself is driving my kids to and from their practices and lessons.  There usually isn't enough time to get much accomplished between dropping them off and picking them up.  But there IS usually enough time to accomplish some form of exercise.

Basketball is my son's sport of choice and the season is just getting underway.  Fitting exercise in during his practice's at the Junior High is easy as there is a track there.  For his after school practices, I change into my running gear at work, zip out the door at 4PM on the dot and am able to get a solid 30 minute run in by the time he is walking out of the gym at 5PM.  I don't stop at home - I always get wrapped up in something else that eats away at my time when I do that.  His Saturday morning practices are perfect because they force me to get up and get dressed so why not get on the track while I'm there?

Nights like tonight when his practices are in the evening and at an elementary school are a little more challenging - no track and dark streets.  But - the parking lots are well lit!  Instead of rushing home to accomplish one small task before needing to return or sitting in my car dozing for an hour (though I have made that choice on many occasions!), I throw on my tennis shoes and reflector vest and run laps around the parking lot for 30 minutes.  This leaves me plenty of time to chat with the other parents AND still catch a 15 minute power nap!

Using my time wisely during my kids' activities is one of my favorite time saving tips.  You don't have to run.  You can walk, stretch, jump rope . . . be creative!  The nice thing is that your kids will be focusing on practice and not being embarrassed by you doing jumping jacks off to the side.  Though I do believe that providing ample doses of embarrassment for our children is one of our main jobs. 

I have to be honest and share with you that at first I was nervous about what the other parents would think - Is she seriously running around the parking lot?  Who's mother is that?!?  But the reaction is often the opposite.  I've had parents join me.  I've had parents come up and talk to me about what I'm doing which has opened the door to great conversations and friendships.  I've had parents say that seeing me has encouraged them to think about their health and exercise patterns.  It's been very positive.

So I challenge you to join me - next time you take your kid to his sports practice or her music lesson don't just sit there.  Get Up, Get Out and Get Moving!

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