Friday, July 29, 2011



I really hadn’t thought I’d convert to a “Fit Mommy” Blog, but when inspiration strikes one to write…

I was taking my last opportunity until fall quarter to workout at The Rec this morning. Today was both my last day of summer quarter and Charlie’s last day of preschool. I was in the downstairs weight room doing an upper body set (hitting back, triceps, biceps, and shoulders) when I saw Charlie walking in the main entrance with his class for their weekly round of swim lessons. One of his classmates had recognized me first and waved and then Charlie saw me and got all excited. There’s a big glass window facing out also I walked up and blew him a big kiss through the class. Seeing him excited and pointing with pride, “that’s my mom” means the world to me.

The reduced presence of required P.E. classes and funding for athletics in schools these days is something that bothers me. I think promotion of exercise at a young age serves so many positive purposes. It fosters the groundwork for a lifetime of healthiness. I’m not exactly writing a well cited research paper here or anything that formal, but over the years I’ve read many little blips about sports helping to keep kids off of drugs or drinking, more focused in school, less depressed, and healthier over their entire lifetime. I can see how exercise does all of these things, the endorphins create a rush to your brain making you happy, not desiring artificial and detrimental endorphins, and they relieve your stress and excess energy to allow you to sit down and focus when needed. My awareness of all these benefits is precisely why I was in the gym this morning instead of this afternoon. I had my last exam of the quarter at 12 pm and knew that the best way to mentally prep for it was to physically sweat before it =)

Naturally, I want my son to grow up with all of these benefits as well. I didn’t get into weightlifting because I’m a single mom and wanted to be able to teach stereotypically boyish hobbies to my son, but seeing his excitement and intrigue with the sport one more reason, and the best reason, for me to want to keep it up for the foreseeable future. A year ago when I first started with Body Pump classes he was exited to help and would proudly carry over the little 1 kilo plates for me. When we went to see family out of state and were caught gym-less he was pleased to be my weight for triceps stair dips and imitated me lunging across the courtyard. When we both began our new schools here last fall he most mornings say “I don’t want to go to school, I want to go to the gym.” When I was being a goof and set up a dumbbell at home to match his bodyweight ad curled it in one arm with him on the other he grinned. Around that same time he bent over and made an attempt, in what was essentially dead lift form, to hoist a 20 lb dumbbell at home. At that time that was 76% of his body weight, equivalent to my dead lifting 108 lbs…not bad for such a skinny guy. When I fixated on a YouTube video of Erin Stern doing a hang snatch with an Olympic barbell and wanted to try it he did too. Then, when I arrived home with myself and Rachael on video dong them at The Rec he REALLY wanted to try it. So he did, with his “horsey weight” and a HUGE smile. When I ordered Nicole Wilkin’s video we watched it together and then he started requesting the “girl with the big weights” movie over his usual classic kiddo movies. So when I saw him all elated to spot me in the weight room this morning it made my heart smile.

Whether we intend to or not we influence our children, even before they are born. It is said that a baby’s tastes begin to form around what you eat while you’re pregnant and what you eat while you breastfeed. When I was pregnant I ate a ton of veggies, whole grains, lean meat and dairy, oh and 4 Marie Calendar’s Chocolate Satin Pies (shhhh I’m human and those things are far too tasty to have come from the grocery freezer aisle). The funny thing is that is what Charlie willingly eats: veggies, lean meats, he prefers brown rice and 9 grain bread, likes his dairy, and is weak for chocolate. It is really hard to get him to eat more than two or three French fries, go figure.

I’m an imperfect mom: we watch a lot of movies together, don’t go exploring the outdoors as much as we should, etc., but I’m so immensely happy to be influencing him to not only see working out as an expected aspect of daily life, but to love it for what it is. I love that he gets so excited about trying the things he sees me do with weights. I absolutely cannot wait until I can take him with me, not to the gym childcare, but to the weight floor of the gym to show my little man how to lift =)

A side note: I expect my blog entries as “Fit Mommy” to occur sporadically with no predictable pattern whatsoever. I only write well when a tangent inspires me to do so =)

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