A (workout) place to call home

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February 28, 2014 by Amy B

I’ve been reading a lot about living in small spaces and trying to pick up tips on utilizing our available space. We live in a house that is fairly good sized, but for the most part, we only utilize the first floor. (This also means we only have to HEAT the first floor in the winter.) I’m embarrassed at the amount of crap we’ve accumulated on the second floor (hey, we’re working on it), and with two kids and two dogs, I feel like all I do is clean, pick up, and organize. Most days it feels like I’m just moving chairs around on the deck of the Titanic.

I considered rejoining the local fitness center this winter, knowing I wouldn’t be able to get outside to run every day (or even most days, some weeks) but in the end we decided to use the money to buy a pass for the local trail system(s) – Scott is a XC skier and I like to run/bike. I plunked down a few bucks for a punch card for the facility at work (where the indoor track is located) and decided I would attempt to do some strength training in the comfort of my home.

All attempts to do this have been pretty weak this winter. I’m constantly tripping over toys and other kid paraphenalia. And if I’m not stepping on toys, the kids are stepping on me – literally. (Try doing push-ups or planks when your toddler thinks it’s an open invitation to sit on your back every time you get down on the floor.)

Last weekend, in a burst of blizzard-induced enthusiasm, I put my head down and barreled through our back bedroom, which is part office/part repository for random crap. I went through old stuff, organized, and after two days carved out a useable space for office work, my bike/trainer, with enough room to do some workout DVDs. The room is far enough away from where the kids sleep/nap, so I can play shows on the computer while I spin away and not worry that I’ll wake them (the ultimate workout ender).

It still needs work. And yeah, the carpet is gross.

It still needs work. (click if you really want to see it larger, gah)

Is it pretty? Nope. Is it spacious? Hardly. And it’s a chore to keep it tidy (yes, this is tidy), especially since the kids like to hang out here and watch videos, too. And the room has its challenges. It’s kind of falling off the house; we have the prior owner’s penchant for half-assing everything, especially home construction. This makes  positioning my bike a little challenging.

But for the first time in, well, forever, I’ve been able to keep up with strength workouts and bike rides. And I’ve decided that not only do you need inner drive and dedication to make this kind of stuff happen, but you need a place to do it. Simple, but true.

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Runner, Eater, Mother, Tweeter

Amy, July 2013

I'm a thirty-something suburbanite turned ruralite living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Wife, mom of two, eater of all things delicious, and a runner. This is where I blather on about running and health. Baby Number Three will be here in November (so yes, I'm a little crazy), and I'm running through my pregnancy for as long as my body's willing and able. There's also more of me at amyupnorth.com. Read more here.

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