The Best Cardio in Winter? Getting Your Kids Out The Door

toddler getting them out the door

I’m dripping with sweat, my heart rate is off the charts, and I can feel my back throbbing and head pounding so hard that it feels like there are 20 mini men inside my skull with hammers.

I let out a loud sigh and shut the car door. I hear nothing but the howling wind as I gently place my forehead on the freezing cold car window and close my eyes for a brief moment, enjoying the sound of silence and embracing the freezing cold air.

I feel as though I have just run a marathon, only there is no joyous ‘runners high’ coming with it. I sigh deeply again and mumble only loud enough for myself to hear, “It’s 8:35 am, too early for a double margarita?”

No, I am not coming out of a high-intensity gym class or a power meeting where I had to present a big idea to a new client. I have simply completed the task of dressing a five-year-old and an eight-month-old in their winter gear to head outside in these sub-degree temperatures.

The fact that I have loaded them into the car just to get the oldest one to school is a feat in itself.

The winter wear showdown goes like this:

First, I race down the stairs with the baby in my arms and my SK-er on my heels. I glance at the time and realize that we have exactly four minutes to complete this task of winter dressing so we can make it to the schoolyard in time for the bell.

Second, I head into the mudroom and pull my daughter’s snow pants and jacket from the hook and lay them on the floor, all while still holding the baby. Reach high, bend low. Yes, my glutes are liking this!

Then I head back into the mudroom to pull out the hat, neck warmer and mittens, again laying them out on the floor. Like an overly bubbly aerobics instructor, I chant to my daughter, “Come on honey, you can do it, get those pants on. That’s it, you got it.”

She grunts and chirps back, “They are so bulky, I can’t get my leg through, where are my toes?” to which I politely encourage, “Right here, see?” as, again, I bend down and help get her little feet through the bulky snow pants… still holding the baby. My biceps are burning. I feel the burn in my quads from the deep lunge again, too.

Then, while my daughter attempts to get her coat on alone, I lay the baby on the floor and head back into the mudroom to retrieve her fluffy one-piece zip-up suit.

I return to find my daughter doing the one-arm dance in her coat with one arm in and the other flailing around trying to find the other hole. As she spins around in circles trying to get enough momentum to swing the arm around so she can grab it, I notice the baby has rolled over and is quickly crawling down the hallway, trying to grab anything and everything left on the floor.

So I kick up the cardio a bit as I race down the hallway and scoop her up before she can knock anything over. On my way back down the hall I complete my daughter’s spin by grabbing the arm of her jacket in one hand and pulling it out so she can get her arm in, then just to save a few minutes, I do the one-handed zip of her coat, because watching her in that bulky jacket trying to get the zipper done up is not something I have time for right now.

“Okay, now get your neck warmer on and your hat,” I say to her in that drill sergeant voice as I use both hands and a knee to get the baby into her snowsuit. This task must be done on the floor as she is rolling everywhere these days and the knee is essential at keeping her in place so the suit can get on. She is wiggling in protest and I can now feel beads of sweat forming on my forehead, but we are almost there.

“This hat is too itchy,” my daughter calls out. “The itch will go away in two minutes,” I tell her, “try counting to 120 and it will stop.” This buys me enough time to step into my own boots and throw on my coat and hat.

Next, I whip the baby off the ground and get her fastened into the car seat. I then march my eldest down the steps of the mudroom and bend down to help her step into her boots. By now everything is sweating and I hoist the baby carrier car seat up in one arm, grab my daughter’s school bag and my purse in the other, open the door handle with my foot, push the door open with my hips and hold it with my leg so my daughter can get out the door first.

Who needs weighted squats when you have this morning routine?

Now… is 8:35 am too early for a double? (And I don’t mean from Tim Horton’s).



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