Today I decided to do something different. I had the day off in order to plan and chaperone my daughter's sixteenth birthday party that would begin in late afternoon and go late into the evening. If I was going to get my workout in, I'd have to do it early. I decided to go to a circuit training class for strength and then run an easy three miles on the gym treadmill. Today was a day for strength and muscle memory.
I felt smug about my decision as the skies parted and the rain pelted down. At least I would be indoors. The circuit class was organized into eight stations with at least two minutes of cardio in between. Within in an hour I jumped, hopped, pressed weight, skipped rope, punched a ball, slid on discs, ran around the building in the rain, pushed up, pushed down, let a heavy metal rod be a dead weight and then not, walked like a crab across the floor and ran lines in the gym. It was a miracle that I ran three miles on the treadmill directly after, but the fear of showing up unprepared for the Boston Marathon in April was enough to keep me on schedule.
Compare that to coordinating nine teenagers (5 girls, 4 boys) split between two cars and arriving at our party destination where over the next two hours I ordered pizza, turned on the air hockey table, found the cue ball for the pool table, figured out the various electronics (music, video, TV, cable), found my amazing disappearing husband who provided food for an army, made it to the IMAX theater on time, coordinated meeting up with the other two guests who were running late, watched a two hour fighting robot movie making sure not to sit anywhere near the teenagers, managed to miss the epic hail storm, had cake and ice cream at the ready upon our return, coordinated the present opening, organized the car pools home (thank goodness for other teenage parents), cleaned the party room and arrived home before midnight.
It's not everyday you have happy teenagers. But it takes a whole lot of circuit training to get them there. You have to learn when to say yes, how to say no, accept that one day you're their appendage and the next day you are not, drive them everywhere, panic about them learning to drive anywhere, showing them how to make friends, marveling at how good they are at choosing friends, loving them unconditionally, wanting to throttle them when they forget that you exist, learning when to hold on and when to let go.
Yes, I think it is a good thing I discovered circuit training. As a parent of a teenager, I think it's a necessary part of the training regimen. If anything, at least I'll be able to keep up with them.