I wrote this last week, but I’m posting it here today…
Today I was inspired and proud. I watched my little girl, and by little girl I really mean very quickly growing up youngest daughter, in action at her first ever Volleyball game. She was fantastic!
Earlier this summer my girl and I were in the car driving somewhere when she asked me why when I was a kid I was never in sports? This is a subject I have never been very comfortable with. In my family of origin I was the “artsy” one while all of my siblings pursued athletics. Most of what I told her she already had heard before…like how my brothers were both natural athletes who were gifted with physical talent, and I felt like I was clumsy and awkward, like how my sister went out for the volleyball team and the track team (She’s now a PE teacher), and a favorite family story where a 7th grade me decided to join the Pacific Junior High basketball team and when after a week when the coach announced that we were going to practice our “lay-ups” I looked at him utterly puzzled and asked the question that ended my WNBA career, “What’s a lay-up?”
That day in the car, I told her how I had always wished that I started doing something sports or fitness oriented when I was young, because maybe some kind of sports activity would have helped me establish a love for lifelong fitness. I told her about entering the Gold’s Gym for the first time and how it took me 2 ½ years, yes years, to even step on the weight room floor! I told her about how a few years ago I began to realize that God gave me this body to serve me! It’s not the other way around and in order for my body to serve the needs I have it needs to be healthy and able. Fitness is the key to that. (We talked about food too of course, but I’m trying to stick to the exercise part of the “diet and exercise” balance.) We talked about how physical health, for better or worse, is a lifelong journey.
My girl is a lot like me. If I had and get a nickel for every time someone tells me how much she looks like me, I’ll be able to retire to Paris! When she was little, her grandpa called her my little magpie. As a parent it’s hard to watch when your child struggles with the same things you do, especially when you feel like they are some of you own personal failures. In the car that day, I told her that I’m not looking for a “Gym Barbie” body, but a body that functions better. Perfection isn’t what this is about, and I don’t expect that from her either. Some days are good and some are not so good, just keep going. Keep at it and even make friends with it. As a tank top I work out in reads, I told her to be “a force 2B reckoned with!” Neither of us are runners, but we made a pact that day to run in a race someday together. I don’t know when or where that will be, but I’m still in!
Since that day in the car I have had many ups and down on my journey towards physical fitness. Some days I feel like a triumphant warrior, and others like a fragile egg. I hired a trainer to teach me and mentor me and that has helped. You know what they say about putting your money where your mouth is! I am seeing the benefits, and new challenges are ever present, but most of all I have begun to set the example I want to set for my girl. The example that you are never to old, out of shape, inexperienced, unskilled, and that you CAN muster the confidence to try something new to make your life better. So today I sat on the bleachers
and clapped for the Spartans, and for her, but in a way I guess, I also clapped for me and for the changes I have made that are a turning point for both of us.