Last week, I went to wake C up in the morning, as I do every other day or so. She’s usually pretty sweet and lovey. Only that day, she recoiled from me. “Mommy, why are you wet?” With a laugh I said: “I just finished a work out so yes, I’m a little sweaty” Tears flowed as though I had told her Christmas was cancelled.
“How could you exercise without me?”
It brought to mind a conversation I had a couple weeks before with a couple of the girls at bootcamp, who were complaining they don’t get as much of a chance to work out at home because their kids always got in the way. I nodded along with the conversation and decided not to mention that I get 3-5 workouts in a week, often with kids hanging around.
Now don’t get me wrong — Madeline needs to be physically gated out of the workout area because she would likely get stepped on. One major factor in our basement restructuring we did was create a safe, kid-friendly space for the kids to play that is conveniently just on the other side of a baby gate from a safe, still mostly kid-friendly space for me to workout. She’s usually pretty content playing freely for about 25ish minutes.
But C? As much as she loves her play room, she’s usually not thrilled to be on the opposite side of the gate as me. She likes to be where the action is. But she was much less underfoot once I realized she wasn’t so much trying to ruin my workout as trying to join in. And so I let her. She can rock out burpees like no one else I know. Her star jacks are explosive. Her one-pound dumbells are a prized possession, and she never forgets to stretch. I’m never sure whether she’s looking to me as a model of good fitness habits or whether I look to her.
“Why do you like to workout with mommy?” I asked her that morning as she wailed in bed. “Because I like to be healthy. And Strong. And it’s fun”
And you know what? When I see how much joy she gets from even the most challenging exercise, it’s hard not to feel that joy too.