The Hatch-Palucks, Week 18: Things I Learned Working Out With My Husband

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

University of Illinois picture

My husband has been a student at the University of Illinois for five years, but we're just now discovering campus recreational services. Why did we wait so long? Credit: Amy Hatch

It's hard to stand up your husband.

When Channing asked me Sunday night to meet him at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) at the University of Illinois the next day, so we would work out together, it sounded like a fine idea.

Then Monday rolled around and I was swamped with work that piled up while I was out of town on business. I was tired and cranky and the idea of putting on my yoga pants and watching scores of pretty young coeds run on the treadmills in an unseemly display of youth and energy was less than appealing.

If it had been anyone else, I would have cancelled.

We stumbled into the University of Illinois recreation facilities two weeks ago, when I suggested we take the kids to the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center to burn off some energy, but it was closed for a meet.

We were all dressed in our suits, and telling the kids we weren't going swimming, was not an option. We punted and ended up at the Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE), which has a pool and kids' hours on the weekends.

They loved it, and Channing, who spent his college years palling around with the swim team at his university, was inspired to start swimming three times a week.

When he suggested that we meet at the ARC -- which has an Olympic-size indoor pool -- he planned to swim and then asked me to meet him in the sauna after my own workout.

At 9 a.m., I met him in the lobby and secured our family membership, and we split up for the locker rooms and our separate workouts.

I learned a lot during our 90 minutes at the ARC:

I do not know how to pack a gym bag. I managed to pack clean underwear and shampoo (and even a lock for my locker, go me!) but I failed to bring a hairbrush, flip-flops or a towel. I also managed to get all of my post-workout clothes sopping wet by trying to avoid changing in front of the aforementioned coeds. Note to self: Modesty doesn't pay at the gym.

My iPod needs to be updated. I was cruising along on the treadmill at a comfortable 3-mph pace, bopping to "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" by Scissor Sisters when my groove was totally negged by Barney shrieking "I Love You, You Love Me."

The treadmills at ARC have a feature that lets you plug your MP3 player right into the machine and manage your music on a display screen -- and scrolling through my tunes showed a decided lack of forethought. Who wants to work out with the Beach Boys Christmas album? And who downloaded the Beach Boys Christmas album onto my iPod, anyways?

My husband looks totally hot in his swimming trunks. We went to a sporting goods store recently to get some new workout gear (any excuse to go shopping for clothes, y'all) and Channing bought a sweet pair of sleek new trunks to swim in. The goggles I could live without, but don't tell him that.

Lunch hours are as good as date night. While our time in the sauna didn't work out (I decided I wanted to walk for a longer time, and I also had to go hunt down a towel), Channing and I decided to have lunch together. Getting a sitter and going to dinner or a movie feels like so much effort. But lunch with your honey after a workout is great -- and you feel so righteous after exercising that you nobly forego the side of chips for fruit.

I don't hate exercising. Moving my body felt awesome, and just the 35 minutes I had where no one was asking me or bothering me was a gift. I did get an iPad for Christmas, and I brought it along, but I never fired it up. I focused on my stride and the beat coming through my headphones (Barney notwithstanding).

I can make time to get fit. The ARC is close to the cafe where I hunker in to write during the day, and at 9 a.m. the facility was nearly empty -- those crazy kids, they like to sleep in. We were in and out in an hour and 15 minutes, including our showers, and I still had plenty of work-day ahead of me.

And I have my husband to thank for it.

Channing, you were right.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.