My dad was a physical fitness nut.
He had his own home gym, spearheaded the building of a gym for fellow employees at work, took an enormous amount of vitamins and supplements everyday and played for his work softball team well into his later years.
From the time my brother and I were little, he encouraged us to stay in stay in good shape, forever extolling the many benefits of exercise. He was front and center (along with my mom, of course) at all our sporting events, cheering us on.
I have so many memories of walking with him at the park near my childhood home. He was always fully equipped with an odometer and a stopwatch because he had goals he wanted to reach.
I have passed this same love of fitness onto my kids. We have walked, hiked, biked, swam, etc. Both kids have qualified to win the Presidential Fitness award three times.
Even when he was two years old, Josh loved to run. He would tell me, “I need to run Mommy!”. So, we would walk to the cul-de-sac in our neighborhood and he would run around and around until he collapsed in the grass, happily tired. Today, he runs 5K’s and is a member of the track team.
I recently came across these photos from 2003, the year we moved to south Florida. Our plan had an exercise room and the kids and I went there nearly everyday. They would wait patiently while I worked out, then we would go swimming. I took these photos one morning when my mom was visiting. Josh was 7 and Julia was 5. The age of my mom will remain a secret. 🙂 :
I love that they know the joy of regular exercise and continually challenge themselves to reach new levels of fitness.
Just as I used to walk with my dad, my kids and I enjoy walking together as well, strengthening our bodies as well as our relationship.
My dad would be thrilled. His influence lives on.