In our little family, fitness and being active is a non-negotiable. Throughout middle, high school, and even college I’ve dabbled in softball, track and field, basketball and my personal favorite, competitive dance. I couldn’t wait for my son to turn three (!!!) so I could watch him run up, down, and around the soccer field. In his six years, he’s played soccer, basketball, and baseball and I didn’t want to just be a bystander. With him being an only child, he needs someone to practice dribbling and passing with. If my husband and I didn’t make working out a priority, we wouldn’t be able to do it.
In high school, we started dance practice with running two miles. In college, I would hit the treadmill for four miles and could go back to eating (and drinking!) garbage without missing a beat.
And then came motherhood.
After a pregnancy loss (bit of a weight gain) and then having my son (enormous weight gain) I had put on literally 100 pounds. Being high risk I couldn’t exercise the way I wanted to, however I did have control over how many times I could go to Chick-fil-A in a day!
I remember trying to run my first mile when my son was 5 months old and crying in the middle of the gym. It was never this hard before! But I kept pushing until I ran that very slow mile, then a 5k, and then a half marathon. Next I joined a CrossFit box and have been there ever since.
What’s great about an active lifestyle is you are constantly looking at new ways to have fun that involve everyone in the family. When I want to run the LSU lakes, my husband and son want to join me. When we travel, we want to see where we can hike and take advantage of the outdoors. It’s a great way to explore where you currently live and also to think outside of the box on vacation.
By no means am I super consistent because life happens. We eat burgers, I can’t watch a theater movie without M&Ms, and I’m far from being Beyoncé’s body double. But I am a better wife and mother when I take time to improve myself. When my son wants to toss the frisbee at the park on a rare perfect weather Saturday, I wouldn’t be doing my job as his mother if I brushed him off just because I can’t keep up.
When it comes to being more active, we can all name a few million reasons why we don’t have time (30 minutes a day a few times a week is a great start!), money (join a $10 gym, Groupon/Living Social deals, YouTube is free, and you’re bound to know someone with some workout DVDs that are collecting dust), and energy (literally everyone is exhausted). It can be selfish — me devoting all this time to myself — but I would rather be around as long as I possibly can with my son than miss an hour and a half a day 4-5 times a week.