As the summer holidays draw to a close, our FINDRA Ambassador Kim Rand takes a moment to reflect on the last 6 weeks. When the kids are off school it makes a difference to everyone, whether it’s juggling child care, negotiating leisure time with your partner or just seeing the price of flights quadruple, we all have mixed feelings when it’s over.
I had a window……a rare window to get out on my bike. I ran upstairs, grabbed my biking kit, pulled on my trusted FINDRA Relaxed fit shorts, to discover, to my horror that they neither looked or felt relaxed nor in-fact, did they fit…..!!! AAAARGH!
Oh, that’ll be the result of it being week 4 of our glorious summer holidays. 4 weeks of excess: wine, cheese, bread etc. etc. etc. and very limited opportunities for exercise. I go into every summer with great intentions, often fuelled by others saying things like: “Great, It’s the summer, we’ll get out so much more with the light nights and good weather.”, before I realise that as a mum, that’s not quite as straight as forward as it sounds.
I am in the fortunate position that during the school term I work for myself and I work from home so, 9 times out of 10 I’m able to get out on my bike whenever I fancy. I can re-adjust my day if someone suggests a quick pedal and I usually get out during the day. This means that my husband can pick and choose the evenings he goes biking. He can arrange his rides around work commitments, the weather, his friends etc. and we still get to see each other. Perfect!!!
The summer holidays put a small spanner in the works of this arrangement. After a couple of days with the kids, be it activities at home or fantastic day trips out and about, I am desperate to get out on my bike and get that much needed “me time” as well as the physical and mental release/stimulation I get from biking. Now, I find myself in a bit of a negotiation game; understandably after a long day in the office, my husband is also desperate to get out. This must be a scenario that most couples with children face when it comes to getting time to do their own thing.
We do ride as a family and the kids now class mountain biking as their hobby too. At 8 and 6 years old, they are fantastic wee bikers but a family ride is a completely different day out. The joy of a 6-year-old whining the entire duration of a climb really is a very special experience. Following your 8-year-old who’s hammering down a red-graded trail is both gut wrenching and awe inspiring in equal measure (well almost) and God forbid anyone has a sugar crash at any point during the ride! For obvious reasons, the distance we cover on a family ride is much reduced and although we still get that wonderful feeling from being out on the mountain and enjoying the views, it’s not the same as getting out on your own or with friends.
So, we’re 4 weeks into the holidays and I must have put on about half a stone (or enough to prevent me from comfortably fastening my shorts); I haven’t engaged in the beginning, middle and end of a conversation with my husband for at least 3 weeks; I haven’t been able to ride with my girl-friends nearly as much, therefore I haven’t been going as far or doing the steep stuff without their motivational presence; I can’t get to the top of a big climb whilst still being able to speak.
Unfortunately, we haven’t found a solution. If this was a permanent situation I imagine we’d timetable nights that suited us and our friends and try to stick to that. (Ha, easy to say!) But saying that, if we both want to get out 3ish times a week, we still wouldn’t have resolved the problem of spending time with each other and having actual, full-length conversations. Getting out together….? Phaaaa…. that’s another blog in itself.
So, for the time being, I’ve made a very small, TEMPORARY modification to my shorts (sorry FINDRA team) and I’ll grab every moment I can get, just to keep me sane and moderately fit.
If you enjoyed this blog you might enjoy 5 survival tips learnt from the wilderness for real life, because, life with kids is always an adventure