Some of my fondest workout memories, are from when my wife, our daughter and I, would exercise together. My wife and I have been working out since our 20’s and we have always enjoyed doing it together. Pushing each other and encouraging each other. When our daughter reached High School age, she wanted to start working out with us as well. So, we started exercising as a family, and it still continues on today! Our daughter is married and has her own workout schedule, but every now and then she is able to do things with us. We have done a few 5K races together and have enjoyed every minute of it! As a Dad, seeing her accomplish so much in her health journey, brings me pure joy! She is still committed to her health and exercises consistently. Even with having to attend to her two year old and three month old boy’s, she is working out and setting an example for them to follow. Her husband has also started getting more into fitness this year and is doing his very first half-Ironman this year! I am so proud of them both!
Many studies have shown, that when you exercise together in a family dynamic, you are creating an environment that will allow your kids to see exercise as a form of togetherness, community and fun, which will help create long term habits for them as adults. As a dad, and now as a “Poppie”, I want to be able to instill a sense of belief that they can do anything they put their hearts into; that there is absolutely nothing that can hold them back form achieving success in every aspect of their lives. Exercise, is one way for me to teach them about failure, and overcoming adversity, and seeing how hard work and effort, can help them reach their goals and be successful. Life will present obstacles for them to overcome. Preparing them with the physical tools and certainly, the emotional tools necessary to overcome those obstacles, is what I have been called to do as part of the family. What we do as parents, has a huge impact on what our kids will believe in and want to do themselves. If we eat unhealthy foods, then they will eat unhealthy foods. If we do not get up and do things with them and teach them to be active, we are hindering their ability to grow and mature emotionally and physically.
Whether we want to believe it or not, our children watch us very closely. What they see us doing, will be what potentially shapes their lives as well. My parents didn’t teach me about hard work and dedication. I had to learn it the hard way. And believe me, it was NOT an easy road for me. I am committed to making sure I do not do the same things to my daughter and grandchildren. I will do everything I can to be a positive example to them. That will include my failures as well as my victories.
Michael J Fox once said: “Family is not an important thing, it’s everything”. When we can work together, as a family, and teach each other the importance of health, dedication and hard work, we will all be a much stronger family and community as a whole!