Building Healthy Family Habits or Reparenting Myself?

Dear Readers,

When I was growing up, physical fitness wasn’t really an activity that was encouraged in my household and despite a few athletic attempts here (benchwarmer for basketball) and there, it wasn’t really a featured attraction or really talked about in our family.

Jennifer McKenna Age 10

When I decided to become a parent, I set a goal to be sure that I could keep up with my kid to run or ride bikes. I was not reaching for a number on the scale or pant size, but able to walk a flight of stairs without gasping for air was my goal.

I am proud to say I have spent a good deal of time building a habit of walking and running (a few 5K races)

and have even walked/ran/stumbled 10 miles.

I was cruising toward marathon training when I threw out my back…. ugh! I hated that I had to stop and rest and heal, but it was necessary so I was mature about it and kept working out but in smaller doses. All the silly poses were to keep me motivated!!

Swimming was great for my back!
My first real set of running gear!

Right about the time I felt better enough to start getting my miles back up, world events conspired to put my exercise in my living room, where I danced to videos after my daughter was asleep.

As it turns out, my daughter LOVES the outdoors (she takes after her Daddy) and around the same time I started thinking about getting back to more regular exercise, but still not feeling comfortable going to a gym, I had a brilliant idea! Why not take something she loves (outdoors) and combine it with something I have a daily goal (exercise) to do?

I am going to be honest and tell you my Mom suggested it, about three years ago, but I am stubborn so just now it has occurred to me as my own new and shiny notion. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

So it’s been a week, and much like working out, I really don’t WANT to, till we start and then I am very happy to walk/jog with Vivienne. It serves as a nice bridge from her school day to home.

Foot pictures!!

What I wasn’t expecting was the conversations that have started happening. She has told me epic narratives about leaves and rocks. She also played a game of “Simon Says” with me. I didn’t even know she knew that game! It’s a great opportunity for me to listen to her and to nature.

It’s also very healing knowing I am simultaneously building healthy habits that she will just see as “normal” and that makes my motivation even stronger.

What is something you can do to heal a part of you that is hurt?

Think About It.

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