A couple of days ago I noted that, sometimes, your kids actually listen to you. I noted this because it turns out that my middle boy seems to have heard wifey and me stressing the benefits of exercise often enough that he decided he wanted to “turn his toothpick arms into pencil arms.”
To effect this transformation he found a beginner weight lifting routine on YouTube, which he then did with kid 3 and Mumby. After it was done, he decided that he would do it every day.
Now, I’m not one to piss on his parade, so I waited a couple of days before I told him about rest days, and allowing the body to recover, and not overtraining, and not injuring yourself, blah, blah, blah.
He’s now done 4 straight days, including today and it was after tonight’s workout that I gave him “the talk.” No, not that talk, the talk I mentioned in the paragraph above. I’ll make sure that he takes tomorrow off, so he doesn’t end up hurting himself, or burning out and giving up.
Anyhoo, tonight, while kid 1 was practicing the piano, kid 2 brought up his YouTube workout, and he and kid 3 got out their dumbbells. Having got myself to the point that I am once again exercising regularly, I decided to join in, and grabbed a pair of 10 lb. dumbbells for myself.
Doing this I noted four things. First, I’m glad that 10 lbs. is the largest dumbbell we have. For most of the exercises, they were too light, but there were a couple where, hooeee, that was not fun.
Second, doing a professionally arranged workout from a personal trainer hits things you kinda, sorta knew you needed to do, but didn’t.
Third, having had a lot of high quality instruction in back pain and posture (thank you Dr. Stu McGill), I can make sure the boys are exercising within their abilities, and their physiologies. They can learn to exercise without damaging their bodies the way I did.
Fourth, and this observation also hit me with the yoga and shoveling, I’m really glad I’ve spent a serious amount of time in gyms, dojos, weight rooms, on tracks, on the roads and trails, etc. over the course of my life.
I’ve seen the effect of exercise on bodies that spent their entire existences sedentarily. The vast majority of people who come to exercise later in life don’t stick with it, and if they do, they simply can’t go all that hard.
Hell, I’ve seen the effect of a sedentary life on university students trying Bikram Yoga, or HIIT Pilates for the first time. It’s not pretty, and all I will say is that there is no excuse on God’s green earth why a busted up 50 year old can exercise longer, harder and with fewer breaks than a 20 year old.
No excuse, none.
Yet, I can.
And some day, long after I’ve shuffled off this mortal coil, my boys will be able to say the same. In part because they are developing physical and mental toughness now, through hard exercise and good parental examples.
Yes, sometimes they actually listen to me.