I’m thankful for many things. But on this particularly rainy day, I’m thankful that I was able to sneak in a Jane Fonda-style workout before everyone else wakes up. It didn’t start out this way. I got up, went downstairs, stuck my toes outside and could tell it was too rainy to go for a jog with my dog. My dog looked at me like I had just taken away his girlfriend. (Which just so happens to be the shag rug bean bag chair we have in the basement.) I know, I know, but my dog is very fond of this piece of furniture right now. He once started “going to town” when my kids were around and I was mortified. “Mom, what’s he doing?” my daughter asked. “Dancing honey. He’s just dancing,” I said, as I yanked the bean bag from under him. See, the dog smells up the house something awful when he’s wet. It’s not the rain as much as the puddle-jumping, splashing and rolling in the mud that gets me. It doesn’t matter if I dry him off with a towel and a hair dryer, the house still smells like an Old Folks Home in August.

And I digress.  Although I wanted to just take a shower and get going with my day, (and shove down a Cinnamon Roll) I knew I needed a work out so I resorted to doing what I do best on rainy days when I don’t have time to hit the gym. Working out in the basement. Yes, I feel like a character in a horror film at first, heading down the stairs in the pitch black, waiting for the Haddington crazed man to get me. It may be 5:50 a.m., but it feels like midnight on Halloween. Then I crank on all the lights, some music (or an upbeat, non-horror show like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” on Netflix) and start doing exercises and having my own private Jane Fonda “feel the burn” party. The best part is, it’s much too early and way too dark for anyone to see my 1980’s oh-help-me-if-they-come-back-in-style headband, off-the-shoulder-because-it-was-so-on-sale-and-now-it’s-too-big t-shirt and running shorts. Only my dog, who happens to be shooting me a look of both guilt and embarrassment, can see me. So it’s all OK now. I’m waking up. I’m moving. I’m burning calories. I’m doing leg lifts. And I’m hanging out with my dog. By this time, he has plopped himself on the floor, looking up at me every now and then just to make sure I’m aware that he’s still horrified and disappointed. He closes his eyes and takes a nap. Lots of jogging, arms lifts here and leg lifts there, and I’m done. Would you look at that, puppy? Mom was able to sneak in a 30-minute workout! And I still have time for a shower before anyone else gets up. It’s little things like this (and the fact that only my dog has seen me in my “Oh-What-A-Feelin’-Flash-Dance” ensemble) that makes this mom happy.