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The Brannans have joined a gym. Read on for details.

Since we’re allegedly done procreating, both Suzanne and I thought it would be a good time to drop some of the weight we’ve added during her three pregnancies* and try to find some of the muscle we both had when we started dating eight years ago. So, we joined a gym.

* For the record, I gained ten pounds during this pregnancy. A lot of that actually came after Lia’s birth, so I guess I can’t blame the pregnancy itself. It’s a bitch having a new kid that keeps you from doing anything active, followed by people constantly bringing you food, and then getting nailed by the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s gourgefests. Yes, ladies, I know that’s small potatoes compared to what you go through during pregnancy. I’m just pointing out where my lbs. came from.

We have another reason for joining, though. We’re tentatively planning on joining some friends for a Mexican vacation in June. Neither of us was interested in getting on a beach in our current physical states. So while general health and fitness are of course important, so is not embarassing yourself in the company of others.

We joined one of those big, super gyms that have everything: a million cardio machines so you “never have to wait,” or so they membership guy we worked with told us; basketball courts; raquetball; indoor and outdoor pools; areas for specific workout programs; and so on. The big bonus is that they have free child care. We thought we had to join a gym that offered this, otherwise we’d always use the kids as an excuse not to go.

This posed a dilemma, though, as we’ve only let a total stranger watch our kids once. And that was only Meghan when she was one and we were visiting friends in Michigan. We made sure Meghan was asleep before we left for dinner, so she never actually saw the sitter. But we are serious about things, so this morning we loaded up the family truckster and headed to the gym. We weren’t terribly nervous about Meghan and Cait. They can hold their own after being in preschool. Plus, we figured they’d probably just play together. We were worried about Lia, though. They separate the infants and adjust the ratio of caregivers when infants are present, but still, she’s just a baby.

Sure enough, when we walked in, Meghan and Cait took off and started playing. We got Lia settled, everyone there seemed to act like they knew what they were doing, and we left to start our work outs. As soon as we hit the floor, Suzanne ran into a friend from medical school. Turns out he and his wife had their six month old in the child care center, too. We decided things would be ok if they were cool with the set-up.

We worked out for about an hour, never got a call over the PA to come rescue our kids (or the caregivers) and went to pick them up. Meg and Cait were running around having a great time. One of the guys working the room was holding Lia, and she had a big smile on her face. I guess everything worked out ok.

As I walked in to get the girls, the young lady working the entry door told me Lia was a sweetheart and added, “She smells so good!” I think that’s a good thing, although I wonder why she was smelling her so much.

The big sisters can not wait to get into the indoor pool later this week. We bought Lia her first bathing suit so she can join in the fun as well.

So trip one to the gym with the kids worked out ok. Despite using very light weights* I fully expect to feel awful tomorrow. But, you know, it’s a process and it’s a lot of hard work and blood, sweat, and tears and whatnot. Hopefully my pants will fit a little more comfortably soon.

* I was trying to be careful and not overdo it since it’s been about four years since I’ve been in a gym. But I did feel a little self-conscious when a 12-year-old who looked a lot like me at the same age (i.e. about 60% of his total body weight was in his head, arms and legs like pipe cleaners) walked by and gave a derisive chuckle when he saw how little I was pushing and pulling.

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