What does it mean to be a fit mama?
There are gifts in every day…it need not be reserved for birthday week (or weeks plural as this self-professed brat sees it!) Today, the gift was unexpected. I was teaching my last class before vacation…willPower Barre-Fusion with one of my mother-daughter client duos (typically trio). The older daughter has blossomed in many ways this summer. Along with her 9-year old sister, they come in nearly every weekday morning for 60-120 mins of classes…alongside their fit mama. At 13 years old, the older one is nearly 6′ tall and, due to the severity of her growth spurts, she joined the studio with extremely tight muscles, poor range of motion…and excess body fat.
When movement is painful, a sedentary lifestyle is easy to slip into…along with poor eating habits. This is a microcosm of what is happening with so many of our adolescent girls as their bodies spiral out of control, their iPhone consumes their attention, and the pantry at home is full of…crap.
But, as I look over at her today, I see the “fit woman” she is becoming. She asks questions, she works to perfect her landings, she cares about alignment, and…she looks noticeably different…20 lbs lighter according to mom…despite continuing vertical growth! Beyond her dedicated fitness routine, she has cut out the junk (mostly…y’know, sleepovers don’t count!) And, with mom’s encouragement and pantry re-stocking, she has replaced the junk food in her diet with more veggies and fruits. She’s not counting calories or starving, she’s eating, working out, and…thriving…alongside her mother and baby sis!
In the fitness world, the image of “fit mama” has typically depicted a sexy mother getting fit by herself or a svelte mama working out with her baby in tow. Pregnancy is what would make these mothers an anomaly, not the fitness status of their children. In the skating world, I recall my coach chiding me for eating peanut butter while my mother took me out for McDonald’s between practice sessions. The ice rink stands were filled with overweight mothers. An unnecessary disconnect and confusing obstacle for this female athlete entering her teenage years.
Today, we need to foster, celebrate, and embrace a new kind of “fit mama”. Not necessarily the one who looks perfect in a two-piece, but the one who works out alongside her daughter(s) and exemplifies a fit lifestyle. If not for herself, for her daughter…because, eventually, she will realize the gift goes both ways.