Full disclosure: I’m writing this post to make me accountable to sticking to a gym routine in 2014. 

workout1Please don’t judge me when I tell you that I haven’t been to the gym — consistently, or more honestly at all — since having my first child in 2010. Even then, my gym days actually, really, truly ended some time in 2009. Scary, I know.

Now, I have two children under the age of four and run my own company. It hasn’t made for ample gym time.

So you can imagine my “pleasant” surprise when my husband added me to his gym membership late last year. Was there a message here? Yes. I spent much of 2013 stressed out over my new business, chasing two toddlers, and sick. Not serious sick, just one major chest cold into another. As my husband put it, “your body is trying to tell you something.” Fair enough.

He got the membership for me in November. The gym called me for three weeks to come in and sign the paperwork (it’s within walking distance from our house). I made it there on the last day to sign, but didn’t stay to work out.

On December 28, the day after we returned from our holiday trip to see family, my husband loaded us all into the car and dropped me off at the gym. Yes, that’s right, he dropped me off at the gym. Like a child. It was bizarre: “OK kids, mommy’s going to the gym.” Pretty sure they laughed.

On the way there, he asked me nicely, “What’s your reticence about going to workout?”

About a million things of what I could say ran through my head: It’s a time waster! I’m a mom and have about a million things to do — work, run errands, make dinner, take the kids to get new shoes. Instead all I said was, “I’m lazy.”

And in fact, that was likely the real truth — lazy about committing to workout.

So now one month in, I’ve been eight times. I’m a veteran. The first time I barely worked up a sweat — it was like surveying a foreign land with a sea of equipment (is that the leg press… or is it that one?). I got hit on (wearing my wedding ring and all). And I upset a man when I politely told him took my spin bike when I went to get water and to move it – obviously it’s everyone for themselves.

If you haven’t been to the gym for a while either, here are a few observations on how it has changed in four years:

1) Everyone is on their phone (hooray, I can multitask!)

2) People in the spin classes find joy in yelling the count down with the instructor (I still curse under my breath)

3) The machines are really big and confusingly digital (do I want to climb a hill or get a cardio workout? Do I want the guy next to me to see me input my weight? Why isn’t this thing moving yet?)

In all seriousness, it has felt good to really sweat. My neighborhood runs have become pretty routine (I haven’t been totally sitting around for 4 years). And while I’ll never be a gym rat like others, I am making a plan to get there two times per week and blocking the time off on my calendar.

Two hours per week equals 8 hours per month, or the equivalent of one work day per month at the gym. It’s a total of 96 hours annually — just over 1% of all the hours in the year. If I added up all the time I was sick last year, it’s less. I’m also really inspired by this mom we featured recently, who leads a spin class before her family is even awake!

Even better, I found I can edit photos for blog posts on my phone while walking uphill on the treadmill.

But hey, if the gym really isn’t your thing and you too want to get into a workout groove in 2014, I recommend checking out Wello and MommaStrong. Wello offers the ability to work out with a personal trainer or take an exercise class (pilates, yoga, etc.) via two-way video (Google Hangout, Skype). And MommaStrong serves up daily, new 15-minute high-intensity workout video sessions. With both, you never have to leave your house or office. How easy is that?