Last week I decided to get out for a quick hike to clear my mind so that later I could be more focused and get work done. I took my youngest kiddo out on the hike with me to see how he would do. His older brother was climbing the big hills at ChesLen at his age. I thought to myself this was a great idea. HA! Think again.
My little man did not want to walk. Not even ONE step. I thought well, we could just go home, skip some of the drama and I would get my outdoor exercise/training in later. OR I could see carrying my son as weight and consider it a "Ruck" kind of day (for those of you don’t know, rucking is walking with a weighted backpack, vest, etc). `
After much contemplation I decided to go with the flow and it turned into a "Ruck" day with my youngest providing the requisite weight. For the 3 miles, I carried this 30 pound nugget on my shoulders. Since he doesn’t say much, I had time to think. To think about my purpose in life. To think about why I focus on my strength and health.
Now, my purpose has shifted slightly in years. I not only want to be strong enough to keep up with my kids, but I also want to be the parent that can play on the field if there is a parent versus kid scrimmage. I want to be able to coach my kids and run up and down the sidelines. If my kids want to be able to go rock climbing, I want to be able to go with them and participate. Or heck, if we are at the playground and a game of tag begins, I want to be the parent chasing after them and not just sitting on the sidelines.
As things have shifted, I really want my kids to be healthy themselves and to learn so they can make decisions that are best for them when they are at a friend's house. I don’t want them to have to worry about their health and it is so important to lead by example. I don’t ask my kids to workout with me. If I grab a kettlebell and I go outside, they may follow and mimic me. I don’t force them to join, I focus on being a leader to them. If they join, I give positive feedback and encouragement. If they don’t join and they rather run around the yard, I’m fine with that too. They are always watching. They watch what we eat, what we do, etc. If they aren’t busy playing, I will ask if they want to cook dinner. We have also started including Spencer, our 5 year old and asking him to help plan out meals and what he would like to eat for lunch and dinner.
Right now, I know my kids are still at the age where their parents are cool and they want to mimic us. I know in 10-12 years, that may no longer be the case. I’m hoping if I set this foundation early, they will realize the importance of health, good nutrition and physical activity.
Remember, it is NEVER too late to start your health and fitness journey or improve upon your choices to help your family live a healthier lifestyle!
Until next time,
Get some movement in and enjoy the outdoors!