Here is another post by the Man Bicep Mom!
I was a lucky kid. My dad loved doing things with my sister and me. We washed cars, raked leaves and exercised.
I loved it! What could be better – exercise and being with my dad!
My father got us involved in competitive sports while I was in elementary school. I was a speed skater (ice skater) during the winter and a tennis player during the summer.
Competing in sports outside of school was pretty unusual for girls of my generation. But I loved it! It made me feel so good. I immediately felt those endorphins at work.
My dad designed training workouts for us. Now remember, these were the days before the computer and all the study into exercise physiology. My dad was very innovative and actually quite progressive. He had us pushing furniture, which he had put on wood runners, around the basement. As we pushed, we yelled, “Push-em-magonga.”
We had so much fun! I have such fond memories. Thanks Dad!
At some point, while I trained and competed and laughed with my dad, I decided that I wanted to do the same thing with my kids when I had them. I knew that my father and I had done more than just train and compete in a sport. We had done some big time bonding. I could talk to my dad about anything, and I did. This relationship has continued throughout my adult life. My dad and I are best friends.
So did I follow through on my resolve? I did. I took my daughters, Cori and Drew, out to the tennis court when they were only 3 years old. We would hit tennis balls for 15 minutes and then go play on the playground. The joke was that I preferred to play tennis over Barbie dolls.
We played tennis, swam, rode bikes, hiked, raked leaves and washed cars. And we talked – a lot. We talked about everything. Conversation was easy and natural. We did some big time bonding.
And the outcome? Well, Cori went on to play Division I tennis in college and is now your Man Bicep guru. Drew decided she preferred music to tennis and switched to dance for her exercise. But in high school she decided to join the tennis team and greatly enjoyed the experience. Even though she is a musician, Drew continues to exercise.
When we all get together we play tennis, go for long walks and do a lot of talking. We are all best friends.
So, my message here is – be active with your kids. You don’t have to be involved in competitive sports. Just get your kids exercising. Go for walks. Take them to the gym with you. It’s great bonding time! And maybe, just maybe, you’ll turn them on to exercise as a way of life.