Tracy is a Program Coordinator at the MA Department of Public Health
Once upon a time I used to be a very different person. I was the girl who would leave work at the end of a long day with both the freedom and energy to go for a run. I was motivated. I was a follower of Nike’s Ad Campaign, “Just Do It.” Before becoming a mom, making time for some form of exercise on a weekly basis was a top priority for me. But I don’t know where that girl is anymore. I think she finally ran off to take a nap.
A few years into being a mom, I found myself slipping away into sedentary land. And I continued to live happily ever after wearing bigger pants and taking the elevator way too often.
But wait – this fairy tale has a better (and healthier) ending. Fast forward to one day last month when I saw a woman entering my office building after commuting to work on her bike. Wow, I thought, I have to meet her and steal some of her motivation. Okay, not steal, maybe borrow, or beg her to share some secrets! I just knew I had to meet her and get RE-inspired.
So I met with Lindsay Tallon, and want to share with you what I learned from this working mom with two children who rides her bike to work on a regular basis.
What motivated you to ride your bike to work?
Other DPH employees that ride their bikes to work and my husband, who does the same, inspired me. DPH also makes it super easy and worry free to store my bike with inside bike racks. Being motivated by a little competition, the DPH Green Streets Initiative where you pledge to go car-free the last Friday of the month at http://www.gogreenstreets.org was another incentive. Signing up gets you registered for DPH, provides discounts at local businesses, and calculates the calories burned and carbon offsets from your green commute.
Describe your healthy commute:
It's about 5 miles each way, and as a busy mom I consider the ride as treasured "me" time where I get to decompress before work or after a long day. Multi-tasking is an essential skill that any mom does on a daily basis and biking to work is just that–I get to work and exercise at the same time.
Anything you would like to say to other moms?
Take it one step at a time and just get started. Find ways to sneak fitness into your daily routine and treasure the time to take care of yourself. You deserve it!
What did I learn from Lindsay? I am a different person now, and I need a different plan. Time is different when you are a parent. I discovered getting up early is the most reliable time for me to work out while my son and husband are sleeping.
We all know where to find credible health information, but actually finding the motivation and inspiration and time is challenging. I want to encourage other moms to Just Do “Something”. Find the time. Borrow the motivation. Look around at your family members or friends or neighbors or coworkers and see if someone has recently started a good eating plan or has found ways to increase physical activity/exercise and take the time to ask them about it; you may leave with more inspiration and tips, and please share them with me too.
Join us tomorrow, September 28, for the Walk/Ride Challenge by visiting http://www.gogreenstreets.org.