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Not so graceful

Jun 03, 2014 12:30 pm | Janice Huser

Itís no secret that Iím not the most graceful or coordinated athlete there is. Actually, even though I played some sports growing up, I wouldnít ever consider myself an athlete on any level.

I proved the point again last week when I took part in an outdoor bootcamp fitness class. During the warm up (some simple jogging) I twisted my ankle awkwardly, nearly falling to the ground. I recovered, thankfully, and tried to walk it off before hitting the mile-long trail of running mixed with obstacles.

Now, this trek would have been really tough no matter what. Although I try to stay active, and take part in some fitness classes when I can, I have been pretty lazy over the last few weeks. And by lazy, I mean preoccupied with everything other than exercise.

The last month has been rather chaotic, emotional, and stressful, in good and bad ways, so it felt great to be able to take an hour to concentrate on nothing other than myself, and my body. Halfway through, I nearly passed out and felt like throwing up, but managed to do a little bit of each obstacle along the way.

And despite the discomfort that taking care of yourself can often bring (emotionally and physically), Iím excited to clear my schedule so I can do at least a few more of these bootcamp classes this month. I really canít see it being any more embarrassing than it already was, given that I also flipped over a partial wall during the workout, landing in the wet, mucky grass.

I know I donít do it often enough, but itís an amazing feeling to push yourself and realize what you are capable of doing. Iím hoping that next time isnít quite as rough, but Iím a realist and given my track record, Iím sure Iíll be brushing dirt off my knees again.

As I made the drive home that night, I knew I would be sore the next day. But a few other thoughts also ran through my head. The fact that Iím not athletic, and will (realistically) never come in first in any type of athletic endeavor, shouldnít hold me back from trying.

As a child, I would dread gym class most days. Some sports or activities were worse than others of course. My lack of risk-taking when it comes to athletics made me very ill-equipped for most track and field events. I also hated gymnastics.

Yet, as a parent, I now find myself encouraging my own children to do these same activities. Although I do not see many of my tendencies in my youngest son, as heís fairly risky and oblivious to the injuries that can sometimes happen with physical activity, I do see a few of my traits in my oldest son.

Thankfully, these are things we can work on. He loves to climb and is a lot more capable on a playground than I ever was. But he is rather hesitant, and taking risks in social environments, even on a soccer field filled with a bunch of other wild seven-year-olds, isnít his strong suit.

But, as I pulled into the driveway after my attempt at bootcamp, I realized the most important thing I could offer my children wasnít any kind of first-place trophy or medal. The best thing I could do for them was to be an example (maybe of what not to do, just as much as what to do) in leading them toward a healthy lifestyle.


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August 2014