I had blogged this time last year regarding my attempt at the perfect family outing:
This afternoon was gorgeous. Nebraska has been in hibernation, and even though I’m getting over a nasty cold and probably should have kept my butt on the couch, I couldn’t. There was actual sunshine. It was in the 60 degree weather range, shorts and tank top weather out here for the locals. No, I decided to attempt another family outing with my boys and the hubby- the 7-year-old on his scooter, the 2-year-old in the Burley, and hubby on his bike pulling the Burley. My job was to run and keep an eye on my scooter boy.
What a difference a year makes! First off, scooter boy had the option of traveling to a park that was very close to where we live, OR to brave the hills and go roughly 1.5 miles out. He insisted on the park that was further away, and I was very proud of him. He wanted to take up a challenge, and that is unusual for him. He’s my “can I play on the computer for hours” kid. No, I don’t allow him to do that… well, not very often, anyway… well, probably more than I’d care to admit… and there he was, pushing furiously up hills and with no complaints. It was obvious he enjoyed himself.
My 2-year-old was very content in the Burley, and was even more content when we reached the park. He made himself at home with the jungle gym and swings, and got in his own work out. I’ve always heard that being at play is the best kind of exercise.
The way back home was challenging. I told my boys, “What goes down must come up.” All of the hills we were able to coast down on the way to the park proved much more difficult going home. There are two major streets that are at a steep incline. The first one we ventured up is named after the boys’ babysitter, so they always get a kick out of that. I’d run up it and then stop, waiting for scooter boy, who had to hop off his scooter and walk. I’d go back to him and walk with him, and I had decided going into this outing not to see this as some intensive work out. Sometimes I know I lock myself into a “I have to get ____ miles done today in order for me to feel as though I accomplished my goals” scenario, and it wasn’t about that. It was about the ability to spend quality time with my family, and that was much more important. Knowing that we were out and moving our bodies was just an added bonus to that.
I’d still say we got something out of it, fitness-wise. My hubby had to pull our toddler up hills in that Burley, and that’s no easy feat. The 2nd hill which leads to our house feels as though it goes on forever, even as a runner. He seemed to have no problems with it, though.
We got home a little tired, a little sweaty, but in great spirits and a far cry from last year’s experience. It was a lot of fun, and proof that you can get your fitness in as a family. You just need to think a little outside the box, and remember that it’s OK to have fun and not be so stringent!
Which is why I’ll be hanging up my Tiger Mom hat and setting it aside for a while. Let it collect a little dust.