Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The TENTH Day of Fitness...teaching your kids to love exercise!

On the TENTH Day of Fitness, FitMePink Blog gave to me...workouts for the family!
As I've mentioned, we're currently visiting my parents for Christmas. I'm a little strange in that vacationing for me just means more time to work out! My husband happily watches the kids while I do my thing, or my parents watch the kids so we can go on a run together. It's great!
Yesterday morning, however, things weren't quite working out as planned. For some reason, my P90X DVD's won't play in my parents' player. So I've been using the computer. I woke up, changed my clothes, and started into a session of Plyometrics. I'm not sure I was mentally geared up for an intense workout anyway, but was super irritated when my kids found me upstairs in my sweaty state.
If they're in the room while I'm working out, I normally don't mind. But it's never very long before they're in need of something. I'm definitely a happier mama after working out, but during my workouts I often turn into monster mom. Leave me alone for 10 more minutes! Raaaaar!
At first, things started out okay. The kids were even jumping around with me. But then my almost two-year old found the computer. And before I even knew what she was doing, she turned it off. I freaked out, yelled for my husband to come get his children, started turning the computer back on, and decided to go for a run instead. The weather was beautiful, and I needed a place where I couldn't be bothered.
My 3-year old asked me where I was going, and I told him I was going running. He rushed off to get his shoes on before I could remind him that I was going alone. He came back in a few seconds all ready to go. I told him that I wanted to run by myself, and the tears started. I glanced at my heart rate monitor, irritated that I had already recovered from my first attempt at a workout, and started to walk out the door with a crying little boy still inside.
But then I remembered. This isn't really all about me. My THREE year old wants to go running. I should be jumping with joy that he, at his young age, thinks that running just to run sounds fun! I decided that I needed to be okay with the fact that I only got in a 40 minute workout instead of the full hour that I had planned. I am on a FAMILY vacation!
We grabbed our coats, and my little 3-year old and I set out on a "run." We went for about a mile in my parent's hilly neighborhood, and it was great! I got to hold my little guy's hand and listen to him as he told me to watch out for cars, as he counted airplanes that flew by overhead, and as he inspected all the neighbor's mailboxes for spider webs. I watched him run as fast as his little legs would carry him up the final descent to my parent's house, and laughed as he told me that he needed to lay down on the street to take a little nap when our run was over. I smiled as he put his hood on to "protect his face" if he fell. I marveled at his confidence as he bragged about what a great runner he is. And I loved that he wanted to eat a banana when the run was over to "give [him] back [his] energy".
One of my BIGGEST goals in life is to train my kids to enjoy living a healthy life. I'm pretty sure letting my 3-year old join me on my run did a lot more good for both of us than a solo run would have done for me. I may have burned a few more calories, but I would have ignored the passing planes, barking dogs, flying birds, and crawling bugs.
How selfish of me to think that my workout would be lacking if I let my little boy come along. I hope this experience will remind me of why I wanted to be a mom in the first place. As we walked up the steps to the front door, my son said, "Mom? You know why I wanted to run with you? Because I love you." All it took was ONE mile. If that's all it takes to bond with my kids, we're running every day! I love you too, little buddy!
How do you encourage your kids to be healthy and active?


Christie said...

I had an experience similar to this one last summer. My oldest (11 years old) wanted to start running with me. I was so bugged! I knew my workouts would suffer and felt like I couldn't afford to lose that hour, and I knew I wouldn't be able to get in an extra workout to make up for it. But, the mama in me gave in, and it was not long before he was TOTALLY able to keep up with me. We worked out together every day this past summer and it was the greatest thing ever. He opened up to me in ways he has never done before. I will forever be grateful that I was a little bit selfless. I gained a lot more in return!

Beautiful post. Happy Christmas, friend.

Grandma Hand said...

What a grown up little boy Parker is. It make me a little bit wistful remembering all of the good times I had with you when you and your brother and sister were young like Parker. You opened the world like I have never seen it before and I love you for it. I am so very happy that you are enjoying yourself and HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!

Kimberly said...

That was the sweetest story! I have been there so many times and can relate all too well to the not wanting to be bothered while my exercise show is on. You did a great job! Little Parker is such a cutie!