Bragging Rights

The other morning I stepped outside to begin my walk around the neighborhood. I was greeted with a view of five bodies on the driveway in a pike position on their fingertips and toes.  They then moved to a push up position of some sort.

Jeff was at it again with a new crop of youth. This time it was our daughter, Mary, and her friends. Early morning summer group workouts have been a typical event at our home for several years. The participants change, as each of our kids come of age.

pushing a truck

After half a lap around the neighborhood, I returned to find part of the group pushing the truck.  It wasn’t out of gas.  The truck had become a piece of exercise equipment to move around.

As I passed a new member to the party who was sitting on our driveway, I warned him that it wasn’t unusual for someone to vomit on their first day of these crossfit style workouts. I rattled off a few names of previous victims, I mean participants, who had met with that fate.  My husband, Jeff, later informed me that after pushing the truck that morning, Jeff had himself walked over to the ditch and released the contents of his stomach.  The group had quite a shocked look on their face.

Pushing a truck can be a new adventure in more ways than one. One morning Jeff assigned William, a young teen, to the truck steering position, while the rest of the group sat in the bed of the truck to add weight. He noticed William sitting behind the wheel with his hands in his lap. Jeff opened the truck door, and seeing the confused look on William’s face, stated, “You’ve never been behind the wheel of a vehicle.”

“No, sir.” confirmed William. Jeff laughed and made some joking remark to him. He explained to William what to do, and the workout continued. William is never one to back away from a challenge or shirk a responsibility. He just had to learn it was okay to ask for further directions.

Trucks are not the only novel piece of equipment to be used for exercise. The big tire is called Hoss and the smaller one is Little Joe. Obviously our barn is not used for horses. It is home to a few rabbits and an occasional snake, but more about that another time.

The early morning workouts do more than just build fit bodies. For one thing they get bodies out of bed. That’s not to say those bodies don’t go back to bed after the activity. They also build leadership. Jeff would usually have one of our kids take charge of the summer program.  They would choose the exercise routine for the day, lead the group, and communicate to the participants any changes in the schedule. It made a great addition to college essay and resume talking points.

“Hosted a one month workout program for family and friends during July 2010; my job was to plan the workouts, run them, and start the sessions on time, Monday through Friday, from 5:30 to 7:00 am, with three to nine participants.”

Humor plays a big role in our household. As you enjoy Helen’s fitness video, keep in mind that she is not an animal lover. Wow, remarkable meditation skills!

helen workout

Cool fitness room, don’t you think? Jeff takes a lot of pride in it.

My final thoughts.

Bowling was our family activity when I was growing up. For Jeff and I, fitness has turned out to be our family activity. It has taken different forms from summer crossfit workouts to 5K’s to dance. Hopefully it is embedded into our kids as a way of life.

Your health plays such a key role in your ability to live life. I believe exercise is the magic drug for so many of our physical and emotional problems. My friend’s doctor once said, “Motion is lotion.” You don’t have to push a truck, but a walk around the block may be the start of something beautiful.

When we are in good shape, then we can be in a position to serve others in need. “You can spend a lot of time in gyms and looking in mirrors, but what good are muscles if you don’t use them to help someone?” I said that! I put the statement in quotations so maybe my descendants will perpetuate it. 🙂

As a side note, I have been doing an awesome job of reaching 10,000 daily steps since I found a walking buddy! I’m recommitting to the stretching and strengthening part of the plan. And the healthy foods.




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