I have never been what you would call an athletic person. Nope, not at all. There was a time that I at least tried to be but sometime in my early twenties I lost all interest. Then after I had my first baby I really lost interest. Let’s put things into perspective here, a little history:
The only time I did anything growing up was because my mom made me. She made me ride a bike at age 8, made me learn to do a cartwheel. Threw me into the lake…I was going to water ski whether I wanted to or not! The list goes on and on. Thank goodness she did, (mom if you’re reading this, thank you!) because I was a wuss. Plain and simple. I think the funny part is my mom could tell you I was content with that, who needed to do cartwheels anyway? But I usually found I loved whatever it was she made me do. Which is why she did, she knew I would.
Then I moved out of the home, no more promptings from mom. That is where my husband comes in:
The first time I played tennis with Aaron he could be heard shouting across the court: “babe…it helps if you bend your knees!”. The first time we went snow skiing together it ended with me in tears in the middle of the slope. We rented a boat in Texarkana with a bunch of friends and after watching Aubrey gracefully pop up out of the water on a slalom I decided I was just enjoying the ride, surely my knees couldn’t handle that. I had come to the conclusion that I just was not that woman. And then I convinced myself that I was content with that. I had settled on the idea that I wouldn’t ever be the sporty type, but that was okay I was good at other things. Until I met one of the coolest ladies ever in Moab Utah.
She was there with her husband and two boys enjoying all that the Canyonlands has to offer. Literally all…mountain biking, hiking, cliff diving, four wheeling, even river rafting. We got to know them the first morning we were there in our hotel parking lot, where they had invited us to tag along on the jeep trail. We spent the day with them and at the end of the trail they were headed back to there hotel to jump on the bikes for a quick ride. I thought they were nuts! Weren’t they tired? I for one was beat and couldn’t wait to get off the trail. They were literally running circles around us, and they had about 10 to 15 years on us. We met up with them the next day on the trail and I had a better chance to get to know her. She helped me with my two year old while I carried my baby on my hip. She talked about participating in triathlons, marathons, and various sports as I listened in complete awe. Then she said the thing I needed to hear:
“I wasn’t always this active, actually I was kind of a wimp, but I realized if I didn’t want to get left behind I was going to have to buck up!”
Her husband was active, her boys were active, and if she wanted to spend time with them she’d better learn to like it too. And as she learned, she realized she loved it and she was good at it. Her boys were proud to have a mom that went on their adventures with them, and their friends would say “Your mom does that? Cool!”. That was the best way to describe her, so cool.
From that day I decided I was going to try a little harder. I want to be someone my son looks at as adventurous, up for a challenge. Not the mom standing at the door waving goodbye as they set off. I don’t want my little girl to grow up with the same fears I had rather look at me as a source of inspiration as I did my mom. Where would I be if not for her promptings?!
I have figured out it is all in my head. I am much more athletic than I ever gave myself credit for. I was the one dragging my husband to the ski resort this winter at any chance we could. He still had to persuade me down my first black diamond trail, but I did it, and loved it! I was the one who showed him how to do a 360 on a jet ski this last summer. This summer I hope to conquer mountain biking. I have always been the one riding comfortably in the jeep thinking those on the bikes were nuts. Not this year!
A lot of you out there are probably laughing, but seriously this is big stuff for me. Big. I have had to push myself. You come to an age where no one is going to do that for you. It started with not wanting to be left behind. I wanted to be active for my kids, inspire them to live active lives. Now I just find I like it. Love it. Who knows, maybe I will become an adrenaline junkie! Okay probably not, but I will be able to show my daughter how to do a cartwheel.
Any thoughts for me…little bits of wisdom? Are you an active mama, or want to be one?