My boys and I have been getting into weight training. Okay, let’s be honest. My BOYS have been getting into weight training, and dragging me along with them.
I’ve been lagging in my healthy lifestyle routines lately. Like, a lot. I’ve been trying to overcome my mental health problems and get my head screwed back on straight. This has pulled my focus away from exercising, keeping fit, getting good sleep, eating right, etc.
One of the problems with allowing this to happen is that one of the most powerful weapons I have in my arsenal against depression is exercise. And it’s not just in my arsenal. I read last year that clinicians are prescribing exercise for mild clinical depression.
So, foolishly working on my psychological problems, in the absence of exercise was an exercise (yeah, I went there) in futility. In trying to combat my depression, in isolation, all I did was lay down my biggest weapon in the fight.
Enter the Boys
And here enter my second and third boys. They determined to start lifting weights (“to convert my toothpick arms into pencil arms,” in the words of kid 2), found a nice, 15 minute, beginner weight routine and began doing it daily.
Seeing them doing the exercises, and knowing all I have learned through many years of good, bad and atrocious instruction in different fitness routines, I wanted to ensure they didn’t learn bad habits that would cause them all sorts of grief down the road. Kind of like what happened to me.
So I began working out with them, and correcting their technique, and giving them tips on how to move, and lift, without risking their bodies.
End result? Well, there were several:
- I feel better. Like, a lot better. Physically and, more importantly, mentally.
- DOMS. The boys learned what the next day feels like and that your muscles need time to heal.
- Overtraining. The boys learned that rest days are crucial to make sure you’re not burned out at the end of the workout, risking injury.
Sunday kid 3 was all ready to do our routine, but kid 2 balked, he was tired and still a little sore. So I the workout for a day, for health and safety. Because a healthy lifestyle is far really what we’re talking about here.
A Healthy Lifestyle
Even more crucial than all of the above, my boys are beginning to forge their own healthy lifestyles. They’re making their own decisions about how they want to look and feel, and taking action to make their goals real.
A long time ago my wife gave me a book entitled Standing in a River, Waiving a Stick, It is a collection of essays about fly fishing (hence the title) but one of the essays had a throwaway line in it that has really stuck with me.
All we can give our kids is an education and good teeth, the rest is up to them.
Part of that education, for me, and for my lovely bride, is to teach the boys to live healthily. Through good diet and nutrition, through choosing wisely what to put into their brains, and keeping their bodies healthy and strong through good exercise are among the keys to that education.
I said that sometimes they listen to you. This is one time they did, and I couldn’t be happier, or more proud.