Friday, 17 July 2009

Family fitness

A while back I posted about having had dinner at the School of Life and the conversation it sparked. A couple of you were kind enough to answer the question 'Who have you encountered in your (running) life that has really stood out, and why?' I'm having trouble thinking what to write today, so I thought I'd ask another question from the dinner, reframing it to be related to the subject of this blog:
What was family fitness like in your childhood? How has this influenced your approach to fitness today?
My sister and I were pretty active kids, always had some sport or another going on. Gymnastics, swimming, soccer, whatever. I've already admitted I was not exactly the most athletic kid, but I give my parents credit for encouraging me to keep it up anyway. I know my mom, in particular, had (has?) quite a lot of anxiety around sport - she would never play in local softball teams or anything like that because she never felt good enough - but she tried really hard not to pass that on to me or my sister. But we also didn't do anything as a family. I basically never saw my parents exercise, so I had no adult models for fitting fitness in around a life. I went to college and basically stopped doing anything - was no longer playing a sport (until rugby) and hadn't ever really learned to do, let alone enjoy, exercise for its own sake. So learning to make it a part of my life is something I've had to figure out on my own. Interestingly, though, my parents have been off-and-on exercising more since I left home, and are actually planning to run a half-marathon this fall.

Added paschimottanasana A-C and purvattanasana (the first of the seated postures) this morning, for yoga for a very sweaty 50 minutes.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where I get my interest in sport from. My Mum is definitely not sporty, can't swim, can't ride a bike and my Dad is not exactly sporty but is very active in his job. They both walk quite a bit and are fit, but not in the sporty sense. We were always encouraged to be outside and, growing up in the country, there were lots of physical challenges on our doorstep. I think I would owe my determination more to my parents, and I think you couldn't get anywhere in sport without that.

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting one. My mum was very sporty when she was young, whereas my dad got his exercise cycling to the football pitches for PE. Unfortunately he rarely made it to the lesson, preferring to have a crafty cig instead.

I always had more enthusiasm than talent, but was half decent at badminton and played from about 9 and did rounders at high school. Mum's certainly taught me the importance of being active, if not necessarily sporty. These days it's my husband who encourages me (he had a very running, jumping, climbing trees kind of childhood) and I know that if we have kids in the future, I'd want to set a good example to them.