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March 1, 2016

Let Your Imagination Run

A few weeks ago, I decided to get my YMCA membership back and start making an effort to go to the gym during the winter months. I added Carter to my membership, knowing I could drop him off in the...

Let Your Imagination Run

A few weeks ago, I decided to get my YMCA membership back and start making an effort to go to the gym during the winter months. I added Carter to my membership, knowing I could drop him off in the YPlay area while I worked out on the wellness floor.

I followed the YPlay instructions and packed all of his necessary items for the visit. I packed my own gym bag and got myself ready. I was a little nervous about leaving him, but only because it was his first time there. After all, the YMCA is a place I know and love and trust—not to mention worked at for over a decade!

When I got to the gym, I checked us in and took him down to the play area. There were several teachers there and a few other kids. I took my tag and made sure they had everything they needed. I told them where I would be on the wellness floor and left my cell phone number in case they needed me. Then I told Carter bye and headed up to the gym. I got on a treadmill, put my headphones in, and started running.

Within one minute of being on the treadmill, my mind was louder than my music and my imagination was running faster than my legs ever would.

What if he’s scared and doesn’t like this new place? What if he starts crying and they don’t call me? Will they just let him cry his head off until I come back?

I imagined him crying. I imagined him staring out the windows looking for me. I imagined him scared. I imagined, and imagined, and imagined.

Then I looked down . . . and I had only been on the treadmill three minutes.

This is going to be a miserable run.

Then, in that moment, I realized something. I thought,

No. I don’t have to think about that. I am imagining this terrible heart-wrenching scenario going on downstairs (based on nothing, by the way). But I can imagine anything I want to. So I’m going to imagine something different.

I imagined him playing with all of the new toys and meeting new friends. I imagined him laughing and playing with the teachers. I imagined him running around wearing himself out for a great nap when we got home. I imagined, and imagined, and imagined.

It may sound silly, but that trick worked for me.

Not only did I have a great run and some time away to take care of me for an hour, but I enjoyed it without worrying. And when you’re a mom, that’s a gift.

And of course when I went back to pick up my son, he had been having fun just like I had hoped he would.

So the next time your thoughts are getting away from you and you’re imagining the worst, just remember: Your imagination is yours.

You can imagine anything you want, so imagine something beautiful, wonderful, exciting and awesome instead. That’s when you can truly let your imagination run.

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Leave a Comment

  • Julie says:

    Thank you for this post. I have been working hard on trying not to imagine so much about bad things happening. We try our hardest to do the right things and bad things can still happen. But I will try using this new word to help me imagine all good things.
    Have a great day!

  • Dot says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart on re-directed thoughts. Yes, I will start my work day with thoughts above, of thanksgiving.

  • Rosanna says:

    Yes, yes, yes! This is so true! It is so easy to build huge mountains of what all can happen in our minds, but when we choose to think the other way-what a difference it makes. Thanks so much for writing this post!

  • Stacy says:

    Love!!! Love!!! Love!!! Relating to this, plus I too go to my local Y, the people there are awesome!! And though I now have a Kindergartener as my youngest and don’t need the kids zone any more, this is just a great post in so many ways!! If you are ever in the Chicago area, you are welcome at our Plainfield CW Avery YMCA! I launched a website today. And instead of worrying and imagining negative thoughts about what people could be thinking or saying about it, I’m going to choose to imagine great things coming from it! Thanks Christy! Keep on running, keep going even if he cries!! You and he both will develop great friendships by just not giving up. You are doing your son a favor by doing something important for your mental & physical health!! So even if he cries, he won’t remember and be upset at you for taking him there… But you will know that you are a better Mommy by taking care of yourself so it can trickle down to him!

  • Amanda says:

    I always feel like each of your posts are speaking to me personally (I know that a lot of us moms are all sharing the same thoughts and feelings, so it makes sense!), but this one really helps out. My little girl is experiencing some big health issues and my imagination gets the best of me sometimes.