Sunday, April 05, 2009

playing is to fitness as living is to learning

For 12 years my body has been either pregnant &/or nursing. That phase is coming to an end with nursing only happening around bedtime these days. Therefore, my need for extra calories has decreased. My jeans are a bit tighter in my thighs and belly as my mind got a hold of that concept after my body did.

For months I have not been carrying Nicholas much as he has gotten much stronger and fitter. Therefore, I have not been getting the extra workout that lifting a child up and down all day gives. My arms are getting softer.

And hey, I am definitely in my 40's so there have been some hormones starting to do different things. Just subtle effects but letting me know that, as much as my mind thinks otherwise, I am just not going to be young forever.

So basically, my metabolism has slowed down. I accept this and choose to do something about it rather than get upset by the few extra pounds. The best way to rev it up is by exercise. Not just for the physical benefits, but the mental ones as well. For a former personal trainer, you'd think this would be a natural. But I find myself with the mindset of my former clients "ugh...will this take long?..". But then I think about it and remember the high that comes after a really good workout and the buzz that comes from having a fit and toned body. So that encourages me to get some kind of extra movement in every day.

I am lucky to have two young boys who NEED to run and play and muck about. If they don't have a daily outlet for this, they will go absolutely feral about 6:45pm, just as I'm sitting down to relax. Our girl also needs the exercise for her own health, but she has very little internal drive to get it. Well, unless it involves swimming or biking or swimming or an easy hike or swimming. So we aim to find a way we can all enjoy fun movement together. Even if we can't swim every day.

We've had a lot of rain lately so we've been a bit slack and stayed home. Yesterday we went for a drive through some of the countryside near us, fantasising about where we might want to live. Then we stopped at an overcrowded indoor play center and decided to pass on that. So we went to the undercover playground at the Hungry Jacks / Burger King with our pre-made sandwiches and bottles of water. The kids played for about an hour then I noticed the sky clearing. We went home, chatted with the neighbours for a while then walked to the beach.

It was magnificent! Lots of sea foam from the wild seas due to the recent storms. The beach was actually closed for swimming due to the conditions. I've rarely seen that happen. We ran, we played, we built sandcastles, we drew in the sand, we wore boots of foam and pretended we were walking on the clouds, we saw broken bits that had come from large shells, and pieces of soft coral and a dead puffer-fish (still puffed).

When we were in the caravan, we were out and about all the time. We lived a more active life. Being in the house, we are not as active. In the summer it was easy to be active and cycle and walk and swim. But in the rain, that's a bit harder. So maybe the solution is to just do more when we can. And the thing about going to the beach, and the playgrounds and the hikes is that they don't feel like "exercise". It feels like fun and play and with the added bonus that we all are getting fitter and stronger. So the process of play naturally gives us fitness.

Kind of like unschooling. The lessons of life just manage to work their ways into our days under the disguise of living! Every day we learn more, we grow more, we are more. Our children are free to explore their outer worlds and their inner worlds. It is so exciting to be a part of that, to watch, to listen to their insights, to see them interact with others, to see them at peace with themselves as they do their own thing, to help them when they ask. Sometimes it's a huge lesson in trust and patience for me too, but the joy of seeing them shape their minds and their lives is so worth it.

It's a beautiful day...(rain and all!)

1 comment:

Six Arrows said...

Happy Birthday! Sorry I missed it!!