Challenge week 6: Same as it ever was

            Well, the running thing was a bust, but that doesn’t let me off the hook for exercising.  The shame of it is that I love to run and like to swim and enjoy walking but find all other exercise unpleasant at best.  I thought about joining J’s gym, but it is unbelievably expensive, probably sue to the fantastic pool and state-of-the-art equipment, not to mention 972 channels on TV.

            The boys go to the gym for private swim lessons, which cost more than we spend on produce and diapers in a week.  We’ve been wanting to end those lessons, but first we wanted to get Zachary through some of his, shall we say, “hesitation” about putting his face in the water.  We have come to realize that we could spend the next eight years doing private lessons without him becoming suddenly amenable to dunking his head, and by that point we’d have spent his college savings and lost the house to foreclosure.  Benjamin, meanwhile, leaps into the water and swims straight through to the instructor, so we’re thinking he is probably ready for a group class.

            Unfortunately, finding a group class is not all that easy. Around here, people seem to have pools, and they have private instructors who come and teach their kids in the aforementioned pools.  See above comment about the cost of private lessons.  So, I was grateful when our teenaged babysitter mentioned that she had taken lessons at the YMCA as a kid.

            And, would you believe it, that Y is pretty fucking nice.  The tour featured state-of-the-art equipment, squash courts, and a good pool.  Benjamin, of course, protested vociferously when we left the pool area.  “Please take me swimming class!  Please take me swimming class!” he screamed as we left for the rest of the tour. 

            We periodically check that child to see if he has gills.

            The best part is that our family membership includes a childcare room.  So, if there were, hypothetically, a stay-at-home mom with bad knees who needed a workout and wanted someone to watch the baby for an hour while the boys are at school, she could leave the aforementioned baby fast asleep in her bucket seat with the childcare peeps and go work out.  And, when that baby gets to be six months old, she can enter the mommy-and-me swim class, perhaps thereby avoiding the wet-face-phobia of her eldest brother.

            So, this week I’ll start working out at our fancy schmantzy Y.  J will transfer his workouts there in a few months, when he feels he is in enough of a routine to give up the 972 channels.  Benjamin isn’t old enough for the group lessons, which start at 3, but we’ll try to beg his way in.  And Zachary?  We’re going to start him in the swimming lessons next session.  Unfortunately, he needs a swim cap, and we fear he’s going to hate that feeling.  Can anyone recommend a swim cap that a four-year-old won’t reject?  Really – I could use some suggestions here.

            So, I still haven’t lost a pound, but we’ve found a way for me to get in shape and save a crapload of money at the same time.

            Do you think the baby will need a swim cap?  Because thus far she has no hair.


Sorry I haven’t been around your blogs much lately.  I was revising the book.  I’ll be around soon.

16 responses to “Challenge week 6: Same as it ever was

  1. That is great! I use our local community centre – it is affiliated with the Y – and we LOVE it. Lots of different classes and such for everyone!

    Hope baby girl is feeling better.


  2. I think we’re going to join this spring, too. My parents live on the water, and I am terrified of one of the boys falling in the water right now. I would like for them both to know enough about water to know how to hold their breath and float (and Asher is probably ready for a little actual swimming), so that I won’t have to worry about them quite as much.

    I haven’t been able to work out lately because of our traveling, followed by a week of sick children (who INSIST on waking up two minutes before my alarm, no matter how early I set it). But I have also had more people notice that I’m losing fat lately, so I’ve had more motivation than ever to stick with it.

    Hope you and your family enjoy the Y.

  3. I am a pound heavier, I think. I went on a starch binge yesterday that certainly couldn’t have helped.

    You gotta love childcare at the Y. Back when I was very pregnant with Nicholas and it was cold outside, I would check Maggie in to the bouncy room (ours has a play gym of sorts with jumpies in it for a couple extra bucks) and I would have a cup of tea and read a magazine while listening to the old-timers talk in the “lounge.” Good times.

  4. Hey Em,
    Here’s an idea for getting “everyone” ready to put their head under the water…at least it is what worked for our Andrew. After TWO years of swimming lessons, I finally went out and got two pairs of snorkeling goggles for the boys (the masks that have the nose piece). We started having them wear them in the shower. Oh, if someone had only filmed it! Then we moved onto having the boys have “swimming parties” in the tub while wearing the masks. I would throw in little toys that they could observe while “snorkeling.”
    Good times 🙂
    Hugs to all,

  5. My first two boys had swimming lessons at the Y. My third learned just by being with us in our pool. They are all excellent swimmers, which was important to me since my parents never saw fit to teach me to swim. I finally learned to swim when we got our own backyard pool (I was almost 40). Practice, not expensive teachers, works best. And it’s much easier to learn when you’re young!!

  6. My scale is a stubborn bitch. But I started hiking, and this week I might fit in 3 outings. Maybe the scale will start to budge.

    Definitely, absolutely use that childcare. I bet it will do wonders for how you feel.

  7. I did a quick search and came up with this:

  8. My Eldest, 4yrs, is also suffering from the “Wet- Face-Phobia” even though he is constantly nagging us to take him ‘surfing’?!?! Hoping he will grow out of it!

  9. I have fond memories of the Y, especially summer camps. I learned to swim at our apartment building pool, however – these were the 70s so my mom read on a deck chair (I assume she looked up periodically) while I splashed in the pool and taught myself. This could NEVER happen today, of course, but it did work. I don’t know of any good caps (my kids can’t swim) but a friend of mine recommended goggles and a snorckle for the underwater thing.

  10. Oh boy, my son had that water-in-the-face phobia thing for quite a while and needed a few private lessons to help overcome it. After that he did much better in the pool, but it still took a while and he has never really enjoyed any group lesson. Still, if you start nice and young, there’s every chance of good progress. As for the swimming cap, I can only suggest getting the two boys into a competition for who gets the coolest one, although I can foresee problems with that strategy too! The very best of luck with that one!

  11. Down a pound – quite pleased as I also got in two days hiking this weekend (straight up the mountain – really felt that one!) and two more days getting a brisk hour’s walk. It would have been four days but Child 3 had to be fetched from school and I had a lunch date one day. This week I’m even more organized with proper shoes and clothes and everything! Have also been having fun getting back into Good Foods and several other sites and mags I’ve loved before with really tasty, healthy recipes. Last week’s best one – Greek spiced shrimp. This week we’re trying out falafel burgers.

    I like the snorkeling idea above – very clever! My water averse one was won over with a beloved set of goggles which had to be earned.

  12. We love the Y. Although right now I am just doing the 9YO in swimming. It took him until he was 7 to like the water and that was even with an early introduction. haven’t even tried w/ JJ yet. My boys are just not fish. I think they get that from their dad.

  13. I was very pleased with the YMCA when I was a member.

  14. Re the face in the water thing–don’t worry. Kids get to it at vastly different ages, & they can still become terrific & happy swimmers when they do.

  15. holding steady at +4 pounds.


  16. Me too. Holding steady, I mean. Though actually there has been a lot of fluctuation these past two weeks (I don’t think I checked in last week.) Anyway, now that the kids are back in school I can start walking again (but the below-freezing temps and icy sidewalks are making it harder to commit…)