Sunday, April 26, 2009

Moms' Run

I ran twelve miles this morning with five other ladies, four of whom are moms. The non-mom has to put up with a lot of kid talk and parental venting.  The run is part of our schedule. On Sunday morning, from 7:30-9:30 am, we run and we talk. Someone else watches the kids, usually a spouse, but occasionally a teenager who lives nearby and is willing to rise early.

The roads are quiet on a Sunday morning, so we can run two abreast or three abreast and be part of a giant conversation or carry on several discussions. The pace is moderate, about 8:30 minute miles, so it is easy to talk and run. We switch who we are next to when someone stops for a pee break, to tie a shoe, or when a passing car squeezes us to single file and changes our formation. 

I had been on a five-month hiatus from these ladies' runs after taking the winter off to cross-country ski and today was my first day back. My legs felt great and I was eager to rejoin this comraderie. As much as I love exercising with my kids, I recognize the importance of getting in my own exercise and getting a break from parenting for a couple of hours.

And in the afternoon, Ava had her own chance to exercise and socialize while biking with a friend while the dads ran alongside. As for Julia, she had a rest day, initiating her own afternoon nap on the porch. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stretching Session

Ava and I spent nearly an hour stretching together this morning. Sounds boring, I know. And surprising that a five-year-old would be interested for so long. But our stretching session was an active show-and-tell.  I showed her a stretch from my yoga core class, which we both performed. Then, she showed me a stretch from her pre-primary ballet class. We arched our backs like a cat, wagged our "tail," and rested in Child's Pose. We rocked back and forth on our spine, which Ava called "rocking chair," and tried several balancing poses.

When I went out for a run on my own later, up a long, steep hill, I felt great. Nice and loose. 

Stretching is often one of those things that I don't get to often enough and my tight limbs pay. With young kids in the house, I usually dread stretching because I become a human jungle gym. Today was different. My older daughter taught me stretches.  I told her that maybe she could be a dance or yoga instructor someday, that is when she isn't busy being a doctor, cheerleader, or President of the United States.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bike Chase

It's hard to believe that I now have a three year old and a five year old. We celebrated birthday #3 for Julia on the weekend. Sometimes she seems like a baby still, sucking that thumb and holding her blankie, but she has bumped up to the preschooler category and is gaining some independence.

I admit that I report most often on Ava's fitness endeavors... she is older and so is the first to bike and ski and hike and dance. She also has tremendous focus and so picks up skills due to a lot of practicing and determination. But I think that little sister, Julia, may possess the natural talent. The trick with her is keeping her interested.

I had a lucky breakthrough with Julia the other day. It wasn't intentional. Ava was flying around an empty parking lot on her bike and I was trying to get Julia to focus on her steering. She wasn't interested. She kept going in circles. Then she'd hop off and run around and hop back on the bike. She started biking right at me. I was about to yell at her when instead I ran. Julia was in gleeful hysterics. Chase down mommy. What a great game. I swerved this way and that and sure enough Julia kept right up, steering perfectly. 

Sometimes it takes some fun and games to get those not-so-focused kids going.