When Lilly was born, our life changed in many ways, although not in ways that people typically describe. We didn't eat out very often so we enjoy our peaceful evenings at home, and know that we can spend time together after Lilly has gone to bed. Of course we love the occasional dinner out alone but we never feel constricted by Lilly's early bedtime. Our budget started to move away from buying whatever new gadget we wanted to buying things like diapers and baby clothes and putting money away for college. I went from teaching, coaching and tutoring full time to staying home--definitely an adjustment for all of us. We have adjusted though; I love being home with Lilly during the day. I love our relaxing mornings and walks and meeting up with friends or being able to see Jim for lunch or an afternoon coffee. I love being able to have dinner ready and the house clean (most of the time)! Call me antiquated, but I enjoy staying home. 18 months later, Jim and I know that we have made the right decision for us, especially since I have been able to continue tutoring and teaching SAT classes, which allows us to live the lifestyle we enjoy and have grown accustomed to.
While these were all big changes, the biggest adjustment that Jim and I had to make was with our training. Through all the years that we dated and right up until Lilly was born, we would work out together. In college, we would do our steady state erg workouts together; so romantic, I know. But from that point on, the majority of our working out was done together. We even managed to train for the Ironman together. We trained so much together that we rode just seconds apart for the majority of the race! Sometimes during our training, we would run or ride and have conversations. Other times, we'd put on our music and enter our own training realms. Granted, we've had our moments, most of which occurred during the Ironman training. On a long run, I swore that Jim was running one step in front of me on purpose. The next run we went our separate ways. Inevitably, though, we always prefer working out together and so we would run together again the next time. All our rides were together or with a group, and the same was true for our morning swims. Working out together was natural for us; it provided us both with motivation. If one person was getting out of bed at 5 to swim, the other couldn't sleep in and feel good about it.
Way back at a regatta...in our college rowing days!
During the Ironman...I had no idea Jim was right behind me on the ride!
When I was pregnant with Lilly, we continued to work out together but the degree of intensity of our workouts was no longer the same. While Jim was doing sets of 100's in the pool, I would be floating back and forth, enjoying the feeling of weightlessness. In the gym, Jim would be doing a running workout on the treadmill while I was sitting on the recumbent bike and reading. Even though we weren't doing the same thing, we still worked out together. As Lilly's due date approached, we knew that we wouldn't be able to do this for much longer, so we enjoyed those last morning workouts.
As parents of a newborn, we were lucky. We were never sleep deprived as Lilly liked to sleep as well! We loved being parents and didn't miss any aspect of our previous life, except the training together. When Lilly was big enough, we started to go for runs with her in the Ironman stroller, which is enjoyable but running and pushing a stroller is much less relaxing than running without one. Although, how can you do anything but smile when you look down and see Lilly hydrating while we're the ones sweating? Or when you see a little person sitting there with her legs crossed or her feet in her mouth?
I think about our athletic life before Lilly was born and know that one day, we will have the freedom to work out together again. But for now, we've adjusted. Yesterday, we joined the gym down the road and this morning was the first morning in awhile that Jim and I both got up to work out; the only difference this time was that we had to take shifts! I went to the gym when it opened, came home and Jim went out for a run. By the time Lilly woke up, we'd worked out, showered and were sitting having coffee. It's nice to both be up early in the morning and training again, however different it may be. I love the sense of accomplishment that you feel all day after a good workout. Tomorrow, when it hurts to walk up stairs or get up off the couch, I might feel differently but for today, I'm enjoying that feeling and know that Jim is too.