Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Other, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

Parenting and exercise – 5 ways to make it work without the guilt

IMG_0540LENTEN REFLECTION: #28

I ripped this page out of a 1990-something Runner’s World Magazine to remind me why I run and it’s hung on our refrigerator ever since. It’s the subtle reminder I need when the guilt of exercising overwhelms me. It screams, “Lace up and go! Now!”

Here’s how I learned to fit exercise in when my kids were younger…

I had everything timed. While my boys were napping, I would do an at-home workout. At 2:20 as the P-90X or Shaun T cool down concluded, I’d switch off the DVD or treadmill and quietly walk about 30 steps to meet my daughter at the elementary school bus stop. Most days I arrived dripping in sweat from a workout. I repeated this ritual for nine years.

Eventually, the kids got used to my semi-sweaty hello kisses and groaned less each time.  In a sense, I was training the kids to know exercise was part of the day. Kind of a Pavlov effect. Sweaty mom equals a happy mom.

I remember speaking to a friend at church about fitting in workouts. He said, “When my wife complains about my running, I have to remind her I really do it for her.” I nodded, saying, “I get it. I do it for my kids.”

It’s one of those conversations people may overhear and think we’re selfish and crazy…well, maybe.

Frequently, Catholic guilt lurks behind the corners of my decisions and since naptime was retired years ago, I naturally feel bad if I exercise while the kids are home now that they are older.

But now we understand each other and often times, they’ll encourage me and my husband to go run or go to the gym. We take them to practices for their respective sports and never once have they said, “I’m going to exercise really hard for 2 hours, but I feel really guilty about it.” It’s just part of our lifestyle.

Now for the last 27 days, I’ve felt that same remorse blogging. I write during stolen moments of guilt while our kids stare at their exhausted devices and labor over homework. But I can’t stop. Writer’s high is akin to the one of running and is highly addictive. There is joy in sharing my untidy life story and hope that a tiny bit of my parental insight might benefit another soul.

I’ve learned to let the guilt go. After all these years, my kids understand me and can even exercise with me or edit my blog posts. They appreciate that our family values lifelong fitness.

After all, I really do it for them.

Fine. Mostly me.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to fit exercise in and minimize the guilt:

  1. TAKE TURNS WITH YOUR PARTNER – Take turns exercising. One works out, the other helps with homework.
  2. ASK YOUR KIDS TO WORKOUT WITH YOU – Do a 10-minute workout with your kids. Depending on their age, you could run around the block together or they could ride a bike while you run alongside. If they are younger, do simple Yoga stretches like butterfly and cat/cow.
  3. ACCEPT A SHORT WORKOUT – realize even a short 20-minute run or workout will do. Some days I set a goal to do 100 burpees. I’ll break it up throughout the day, or knock it out in sets of 10 with a 45-second rest in between.
  4. HAVE A PLAYDATE WORKOUT – Meet a friend at a playground, play with your kids and mix in playground exercises like push-ups at the end of the slide, monkey bar hanging hold or chin-up hold and planks.
  5. FOCUS ON NUTRITION – Make a healthy meal with your family. Think about the 80/20 philosophy. When you hit 40 years of age, maintaining good health is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Sad, but true.

Run on!

Spiritual Workout: Take a walk with your kids and just listen. Don’t try to fix, just listen.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets

Destiny? It’s up to us…

Lenten Reflection #25

While waiting at the orthodontist, my son, who lives and breathes mountain biking was reading Enduro Magazine. This is a periodical deemed the most exciting mountain bike magazine of ALL TIME. Now that’s confident. He and I love quotes. We love motivating words that pack a punch and give you an aggressive, reminding push saying no matter how steep the mountain or rough the road, there are no excuses. 

As he read, he took a picture of a blurb in the magazine to store in his phone and passed it to me. “Yes,” I said, “that’s my blog for today”. 

From Enduro Magazine:

The best way to predict the future is to shape it yourself. More concretely: Don’t let these fast-changing times paralyze you, take responsibility and don’t place the burden of change on “the others”. Don’t wait for someone else to live out your dreams for you – take the initiative instead of trolling forums and social media with pessimistic comments. The mere dream of a better world has never created a better future – you’ve got to go out and create it yourself.

After a little research, I discovered credit for the first line of the quote goes to Abraham Lincoln, a man cloaked in wisdom. The message in its entirety reminded me to strive for whatever completes my puzzle. That truly, if my husband and I work tirelessly on our blogs and mission, there will be more. It tells me we can and will make a difference and leave our mark. It just takes work. But what good comes without work? Work is critical. Real work. Long hours of work. Heartfelt work.

So, it’s up to us. We create our destiny. We can start with a small audience like runonmom.com and bit by bit make a difference in the world. All of us can. It’s our destiny. 

Spiritual Workout: There was an elderly man at church who would not let a person go by without telling them to “NEVER GIVE UP”. Last year he passed away, but he left his mark on our family and we quote him regularly. 

Workout: Hold plank for 30 seconds, then follow up with 15 push-ups and repeat 3 times. 

 

Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

What keeps you buoyant?

Lenten Blog #21

I’ve always had a step stool in my kitchen. It gives me the extra inches I need to reach the platters I love and the waffle iron tucked way back in the top cabinet. If the stool is missing I use the “throw my leg onto the countertop” method push up with my knee and kneel to reach whatever is needed. It’s just a boost, a lift, some leverage to help me reach higher.

Somedays I need a virtual stepping stool. Words. Someone else’s message to grant me the strength to push through the discussions about dicey teenage days, judgy attitudes (sometimes mine) or the pain we all feel and hide deep inside. 

So I find a quote, a podcast, an NPR story…maybe a TED talk, a song, a book or a prayer (lots of prayers) to bring me buoyancy. Keep me afloat when I feel I’m circling the drain. Ground me when I’m griping and not grateful.

So I will share some of the gems I’ve found in some of my posts. Here is one by Brené Brown who is a rock star researcher-storyteller who has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame.

Web_MoveABodyCardBack.jpg

May you all own your stories and enjoy every minute writing and sharing them with those you love.

Spiritual Workout: Find your quiet place and pray for peace. Emotional and Mental.

Workout: For goodness sake, try Pilates! Now that’s peaceful.