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Six fitness lessons Ive learned from my child.

Posted Mar 21 2012 4:00am

Last week was heaven.

Five full Tornado & Me days which were reminiscent of all our time before Kinder started.

We laughed, we cried (seriously. all that one-on-one time was NOT without its bickering!) it was better than Cats.

What I loved most was the fact we didn’t travel.

We hung here & just spent time together.  Time which caused me to marvel at how she’s matured & reflect back on all Ive learned *from* her the past six years.

In chronological order please to enjoy.

1.  Cardio can be creative. You, oh Tornado, were a crier.  All the time.  Needed or not.  You cried till you became red in the face and (as we searched for late night levity) we joked you appeared to be winded from the workout.  What did I learn from that? Anything done long enough & with enough tenacity/focus ( hello bubblewrap !) can be cardio!  You taught me to skip (it) the traditional & let my imagination soar .

Getting your workout on.


2 . Pull-ups are fun!   Back in the day, before you were The Tornado, we referred to you as Toddler Freaky Strong.  The moment I’d dump you in the pack and play so I could finally shower set you in the P&P so I could work you’d commence pulling upward along the side.  Happily.  You’d smile, giggle, do pull-ups to fatigue never once complaining or shouting “Hey!! can I get a spot up in herre?!”  What did I learn from that? Pull-ups dont have to be a dreaded to-do on my back workout schedule.  The mere challenge of them & the faces I make as I struggle upward can!be!fun!

Practicing pull-ups poolside.


3.  Eat mindfully!  Now, to be clear, I discovered the importance of mindful eating long before you hit the scene.  With the addition of you, however, I began to rush through my self-care (fitness to food) in order to return to you-care.  Then you turned three.  You began to express a clear opinion as to what you wanted to eat & when you wanted to eat it.  You’d share these thoughts (slowly) and happily (slowly) ate what you ‘ordered .’  What did I re-learn from this? You weren’t annoyingingly slow at all—merely mindful.  You *paused* to ask yourself if you were hungry.  You s-l-o-w-l-y ate your food savoring, tasting, touching, EMBRACING each bite.  You reminded me to be more mindful.

The inexplicable chop sticks phase.


4. Wind-down routines ROCK.  I’ve always lamented the fact Im a poor sleeper.  I’d go to bed different times each night with absolutely, positively no method to my nighttime madness.  Id watch TV in bed.  I’d check email from bed.  I was a wind-down mess.  Then you came along.  You thrived on routine & practically demanded a strict nighttime regimen.   One small deviation from this plan and you’d not fall asleep.  What did I learn from this?  I need to sleep like a child , too.  Ive never slept better.

Pink princess PJs help.

5.  If at first you dont succeed—QUIT .  I’d known this at one point & somehow forgotten until you dancingly reminded me.  You “just knew” you wanted to take ballet.   You longed to learn to dance like the ‘pretty ladies.’  You tried, you loathed, you quit, you never looked back.  After two classes (the class leaped delicately as instructed over a stuffed bunny. you stopped, KICKED SAID BUNNY, and leaped away) you declared yourself done.  You informed me you’d prefer soccer and you’ve never looked back.  What did I learn? I re-learned there’s no percentage in sticking with something I know is not a fit for me.  I reminded myself I *know* when I long to quit out of fear and when I’m merely banging my head against the wall kicking a bunny.

Kicking encouraged.

6. Read the wall.  This is one we learned together over spring break.  Somehow Id forgotten all the lessons Id learned from climbing and needed you to remind me of them.  Life can be overwhelming and, at times, I plunge ahead without looking, scanning, planning or preparing.  In fitness I’m slowly learning I need to have a plan, too.   Spontaneous is great—but only goes so far.   I need to look ahead, read the wall, and prepare for what I want to achieve down the road.  Muscling my way through works—-but only in the short-term.


"Watch and remember, Mama."


In the moment I couldn’t see any of these concepts being “taught.”  It’s only with hindsight I see my greatest teacher is a six year old Tornado.

Have you, too, learned healthy living lessons in surprising places?

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