Mothers are Athletes too – Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s Mother’s Day.  A day to celebrate the woman in your life who not only gave birth to you, but taught you to look both ways before you cross the street and explained to you (okay, shrieked at you) why it was NOT okay to walk your brother like a dog and yank on the scarf around his neck and yell “Heel!”  The woman who let you cry on her shoulder when your boyfriend broke up with you, who cried on your shoulder when you were packing to head off to NY.  The woman who is strong, beautiful, smart….your mother.

No matter what your relationship is with your mom, she is still your mom.  Good or bad, she did her best, tried to do her best. Sometimes she was wrong and you let her know. Sometimes she was right and you begrudgingly let her know.

And sometimes she finally came around to what you have been talking about for years.

“Why are you always exercising?” she would ask me.

“Because it makes me feel better,” I would say.

Now don’t get me wrong. My mom is nowhere near a couch potato. Back in the day, she and my sister and I would move all of the furniture out of the way in our back room and work out with Richard Simmons (love that man!), Billy Blanks, Kathy Smith and yes, I will admit this,  Tony Little. She had all of their tapes and she tried them all. She also had a treadmill that she would walk on every now and again.

“I don’t like to sweat,” she would complain. Boo-hoo.

Eventually, she stopped the tapes and joined a gym.  My father put her on a program with the machines.  She found it totally boring (I agree!).  He would show her exercises with free weights. She would ask him to show the exercises to her again the following week and he would say, “I showed them to you already.  I am not going to show them again.” Great trainer. (Don’t get me wrong. I am a Daddy’s girl through and through but my father, for all his wisdom and knowledge, would never make it as a trainer.  As Mike Boyle, owner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning says, “No one cares how much you know until they know you care.” My father needs to listen to Boyle.) Eventually she quit the gym.  She did not like going, nothing was working for her and my father was no help. (I love you Dad!)

Fast forward about 10 years.  My mom joins a different gym, much smaller than the previous one and starts taking Yoga again. She and my father had taken Yoga a few years early but never really stuck with it on a regular basis.  Now my mom was going twice a week, walking more and feeling great.  But she was ready for more. And she came to me.

I needed people to train. She wanted to get stronger.  And she knew that I would be patient with her.

“I want a program,” she said to me. We got into her gym and started with the basics. Squatting, pushing, pulling exercises. That was a year ago. Today, my mom continues with her Yoga, although she is only going once a week and she trains with me once a week. She is 61 years old.  She squats. She works on her push-ups. She uses the TRX for her rows. And she deadlifts. Right now, she is up to 90 pounds (but she has more in her.)  She is stronger, healthier, happier. She can run after her grandson, carry her groceries herself and climb the stairs in the house with ease.  She is in better shape at 61 than she was at 51.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

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