For the 3rd part of the "run and not be weary" series, we have a guest post by my dear friend Jessica P., from the good ol' state of Kentucky! I just love her sweet, active family, and I know you will, too! -Allison
I was faced with a tough choice mid-afternoon today. I could let my little boy sit down and watch some T.V. when he got home from school or I could have him go outside and play. T.V. would have been much easier. He and his siblings would have been jazzed out of their gourds to be given the go ahead to open their eyes wide, drop their chins a little, and settle into the deep parts of the couch. I could’ve done whatever I wanted to…by myself…with no interruptions...alone...solo mio...you get my point.
But then I thought about how Allie asked me to write a post about having an active family. And I figured I better live up to the jive. So I told my little boy that before he could watch a show he had to go outside and jump on the trampoline and play on the swing set with his siblings. And then I sighed and realized that if I was going to do this whole “active family” thing I better go whole hog and head outside to play with them too.
We had so much fun we all kind of threw a fit when it was time to come in for dinner. We pretended the swing was a train and told the conductor where to take us. We were all pirates – well except me, I had to walk the plank. And we showed-off our mad trampoline skills. I can bounce back up to my feet off my back folks...don’t feel like you have to save your applause.
So what did I learn this afternoon? That being active is fun. It can be creative. It can be bonding. And it is mighty good for the heart and trimming the chubs that do like to hug my mid-section. How’s that for efficient?
The alone hour I could have had? Didn’t miss it at all.
Allie wanted me to include a few things that my family does to stay active. Here are a few “active family” good memories of mine from growing up as well as things my family is doing now to try to keep moving.
Racing. My brother, sisters and I did a kids’ triathlon annually for a few years growing up. My parents would help us train by timing us running around the block. I felt so speedy and proud.
Taking Walks. There are particular walks from my childhood that are still warm in my memory, except for the one where we had to walk through a field of tall weeds to get back on course. I screamed like I was walking over fiery flames because I was afraid I was going to step on a snake.
Camping. I don’t care if it’s in your backyard, frontyard, a campground with toilets, or under a tree sleeping with bears. If you make yourself live outside for a night or two you’re going to start moving actively. There’s something about nature that does that. And you’ll like it. My grins are awfully wide in the pictures of me storming the wilderness as a chubby six year old.
Playing in Your Backyard. You don’t have to sign up for a soccer team or baseball team to play sports. You can actually play sports in your own yard with your own family. Crazy! I know, but so fun. And it’s so much better to be tackled in the snow by your own brother than by a stranger.
Tricks for Treats. Here’s one that I didn’t do growing up, but that my husband will throw out every now and again. My kids will do anything for a gummy bear. Ten toe touches – aye, aye. Ten push ups – you bet. Five sit ups – okie dokie. So maybe the sugar counterbalances the benefit of the activity. But I figure it can’t hurt to develop a Pavlovian love of exercise.
Investing in activity. We bought a small house with a big backyard. We added a small gym to the back of our house and threw some climbing holds up on the roof and walls. We want to be active and we're willing to put our money where our muscles are.
I’d love to grab up a few more good ideas for being active as a family from readers of this blog. I’ll come back and read the comments to find out your good ideas. I like this sharing stuff. I bet you do too. We are women you know.