When I began my lifestyle transformation in 2008 my kids were 2, 3, and 4 years old. I knew that not only was I changing my life, but I was changing theirs too.
We began bike riding with the kids at the beginning of my journey. Bike riding was something that my knees could handle and though we couldn't go far because I was pulling Ronin and Ella in a trailer and Haley was on training wheels, we kept it up. Soon enough though, both girls were riding on 2 wheels and I had a tag-a-long for Ronin and no longer were we bike riding...we were CYCLING!! 3 miles quickly built up to 5, to 7, to 10, and our longest ride to date has been 20 MILES! 20 MILES with 6, 7, and 8 year old kids. But we didn't just rush out and start off at 20 miles. We TRAINED, we PRACTICED, we ENCOURAGED, we MOTIVATED, we INSPIRED the kids. We let them have a say in WHERE we bike, WHEN we stop for re-fueling, and we ALWAYS make sure that a playground visit is included.
As a society we need to teach our children that fitness is FUN!! We also need to teach them that eating healthy foods, food that nourish the body and the mind can TASTE GOOD!! We need to teach our children how to read menus and labels, how to ask questions at restaurants, how to make HEALTHY choices when they are on their own. I think too often we just expect kids to know what to eat, how to exercise, but the truth is, they need to be taught.
And they are looking to you, their parent(s) to show them the way. You are the the good example. It's in your control. It's up to YOU!
In our house, we do lead by example, and here is the proof of Sunday Funday
Today's ride took us to a new trail which connected to an old trail! We ventured off to the New Tampa Nature Preserve which just opened in late November, 2012. This is a great little park complete with a zip line (adult friendly too!!), rock climbing wall, and rope course for kids. We cycled out the 1/5 miles to the Flatwoods trail, and headed to the bathrooms another .5 mile up the trail. Took a potty break, drank some water, and then hit the trail back out hard! The kids did great. James and Ronin took off, and I stayed back and cycled with the girls. We chatted about form, technique, pedal stroke, friends in class, what we might want for lunch, we just enjoyed the time together. And I snapped a few pictures along the way! I didn't think of snapping mile marker signs until the way back in, so I only got the 8 mile and the 10 mile, but it's all good!! When we made it back to the park, the kids each took one more ride down the zip line and off we went to lunch! YUM!! We took the kids to a sit-down (NOT BUFFET) Chinese bistro. The kids picked Moo-Goo-Gai-Pan with brown rice. I had Buddha's Delight with tofu (all steamed) and James had a super spicy chicken with mixed vegetables and brown rice. It was a lot of food and we had enough to take home!!
It was a really nice day. We were able to spend some quality time with the most important people in our life, and teach them some valuable life skills along the way.
Life is Good.