I remember going for runs with my dad when I was in elementary school. I think that I did my first 2 mile fun run in 2nd or 3rd grade. My dad is a life-long runner and never got out of the habit when he retired from the Army Reserves. He is still an active runner and walker today at age 67. Fitness has always been his choice and he passed that on to me…
I also remember vividly when our family got our first VCR player. I was in high school. I came home from swimming practice one night with a friend, and heard very strange noises coming from the family room. My friend remarked, “What is that?”
It was my dad, trying out his new VCR player and turkey calling instructional tape. His sole reason for purchasing the VCR player was so that he could practice his turkey and duck calling prowess and become a more skilled hunter. Apart from the embarrassing moments of friends stopping by while my dad practiced his unique skills, the VCR and TV remained virtually unused at my house.
Instead of watching TV, our family went for runs or did various other outdoor activities (including putting those turkey and duck calling skills to work hunting on ranches in Central Florida). By the time that I graduated from high school, I could hunt, fly fish, run, swim, and sail with the best of them…
It would be pretty easy to say that I grew up in a very active and fit family. Just about the only thing that we did not do well was sit still…Fitness and activity were an integral part of my upbringing and they still play a huge role in my life today.
I spend my days working with large animals at the feed yard. When I come home, my hobby is working with and riding my horses. I also still run, walk, and swim pretty regularly. It seems as though the only time that I sit still is when I write blog posts!
You could argue that I weigh 110 pounds soaking wet because I have good genetics, but I believe it to be much more than that. I believe that my personal choice to be active and to eat a balanced diet also plays a large role in my physical stature. There is no secret to my diet—I simply balance my food intake to include protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, while also balancing my activity level with the amount of chocolate that I eat (yes, I love chocolate dearly…).
It seems as though every time the radio news comes on, someone is talking about the growing problem of obesity in our country. In fact, I just heard the other day that Mayor Bloomberg of New York City decided to issue ultimatums curtailing the sale of beverages that contained sugar in order to combat the problem of obesity. As I heard the radio announcement, I thought to myself fitness is a personal choice.
I teach my girls that every action has a consequence, and I believe that wholeheartedly. Food choices and exercise are personal decisions, and they each play a role in our physical fitness. Perhaps the answer to combating obesity is encouraging our youth to be active—fitness habits are learned early in life.
The time that I spend with my girls achieving fitness is time that I truly cherish. We not only train our bodies to be healthy, but we also build an invaluable loving family relationship. Fitness and family fun go hand in hand—What is your favorite fitness activity to do with your family?