“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” – Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
Yes, I just quoted Legally Blonde. I love that movie and I am a Reece Witherspoon fan. So, don’t judge :-).
Ms. Elle Woods is correct! 😉 It is amazing how much better one can feel, both mentally and physically, if you regularly exercise. Something that many of you probably don’t know about me is that I used to be a pretty serious athlete. I did two sports growing up: soccer and alpine skiing. From a very young age I became competitive in both (5 & 7). At the age of 14 I started going away to a winter sports academy in New England to focus on my alpine skiing and I also was recruited to ski DI in college. I have traveled to South America, Europe, Canada and all over the country to train and I often exercised 2 times a day- year round, rain or shine. But, that part of my life is a whole different story for another time.
My point is that being fit and healthy is something that has always been important to me. But, as years have gone by, exercising hasn’t always been at the top of my priority list. I have focused so much on my career and then supporting my husband in his, that time for “me” often has fallen by the wayside. I have often had “too much to do” to sacrifice an hour to make a trip to the gym or go for a run. Don’t get me wrong I have stayed active and pretty healthy, but nothing like I used to be. My standards are also a bit warped :-).
When I accepted my new position in Baltimore, I made a deal with myself that since I wouldn’t be working the crazy long hours that I used to while I was in DC- it was time to start establishing some “me time” again. I joined a gym that offers classes and do my best to get there at least 3 days a week. I really enjoy classes so this was a great option for me to de-stress after work and move around a bit before I head home to take care of my to-do’s.
I don’t exercise to change how I look, I do it to stay healthy and if I happen to look more toned then it’s a win-win! As a former competitive athlete, time that I can be active makes me much happier and frankly less stressed. Not to mention I have never been one that is able to sit still for long periods of time (ask my poor parents) so naturally exercising has a been a great thing in my life.
Everyone whether they are married to a medical professional or not, has a busy life and long lists of to-dos… such is life! But, medical significant others are a bit unique in the fact that we really handle most, if not everything, to keep a household running day-to-day in addition to any other responsibilities we may have, like for me, a career of my own. As a fellow Dr. wife very eloquently said in a blog she wrote for Physician Family titled “Who’s Taking Care of You?”, “While families all around us tag-team to tend to the budget, keep the household running, and run kids to and from extracurriculars, the dynamic in a physician family can be very different. One spouse logs endless hours at the hospital and comes home exhausted. The other spouse is left to swim the relay that is “everything else” alone.” BINGO! She hit the nail on the head! So naturally our “me time” gets used up because we are are just flat out tired or have run out of time.
I am sure once we start a family I will have this struggle all over again- sacrificing my “me time.” But, I am going to do my best to make it a priority because as Elle Woods said: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” And we all know I love my husband and if I am happy… I am much easier to live with ;-).