My three year-old son came into the living room the other day and proudly announced "I do skotts, Mama! See!" That's when he proceeded to bend his knees while bouncing his Pull-Up covered rear end in the air. I chuckled when I realized he was trying to do squats. I said, "Good job, buddy! You crushed those squats!"
I hear his renditions of "Ring Around The Rosy," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and "Wheels on the Bus" all the time. Of course I would. Those are popular children's songs. But, it's different. My son sings them because he hears those beloved songs at Stroller Strides. He hears his mother breathlessly shout "ALL THROUGH THE TOWN!" at a line of other moms doing bicep curls. He has learned that mommy almost always sings "The Ants Go Marching" while doing walking lunges. I've wondered if the primary way he'll remember these childhood favorites is not from library story time, but from his mother's workouts. One of our moms told me her kids sing "The Stretching Song" every night before bed. It's part of their lives too. They are listening and watching.
My kids see me when I come back from a long run. "Ew! You so sweaty, mama!" My six year-old daughter is usually still in her nightgown, eating breakfast when I come home from Body Back early in the morning. "How was your workout, Mama? Did you have a good class?" Everyday they see that fitness is part of my life and that it's important to me.
Last week Body Back mom Lori shared a video of her kids doing bear crawls and star jumps on her Facebook page. I smiled, remembering my fellow instructor, Elaine showing a picture of her oldest daughter doing tricep dips on the living room ottoman. They learn what they see.
The thought that they're watching and absorbing has caused me to try something.
I'm going to go a little harder when they're watching. If I'm going to be working out, I want them to see me go my hardest and do my best. I want to burn it out. Why not? Even if they're not watching while I'm at Body Back, I want them to see me my sweatiest when I get home. I want them to know that I'm working hard for a healthy lifestyle. I don't know that I'll hear them singing about it, but the message will stick with them. I'm sure of it.