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Challenge: Walking the Talk

My Family Hates Exercise

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My family hates exercise.

There. I said it.

It’s embarrassing and politically incorrect to type that sentence, especially for me as someone who has lost 100 pounds and writes and speaks about fitness.

Yet it is (most of the time) true.

In my immediate family — my husband, me, and the 5 kids, most of us are more…sitters. Once we are moving, we enjoy it. But when we are at home, we tend to like to stay at home. We are readers and TV-watchers, computer programmers and Facebook users. We like long chats over coffee and curling up with a good book in front of our fireplace under blankets.

We build with legos and create elaborate crafts with paper scraps and whole rows of mom’s staples. In the summer we enjoy air-conditioning. Team sports tend to make us nervous and please, don’t throw a ball our way and expect us to catch it.

It’s not that we are totally opposed to breaking a sweat, and we do fit workouts into our days to varying degrees, although it’s on the “have-to-do” list more than the “just-part-of-who-I-am” list.

It’s only in the last few years of my adult life that I have learned to enjoy exercise. I thought it was something people were born with and I simply wasn’t born with the exercise love gene the way other people were.

Our kids have tried a variety of different sports over the years and enjoyed a number of them. The issue came when they reached the competitive level. We don’t want them on a team where they participate 4-6 nights of the week. Plus we think down time and family time are important.

Simply the logistics of a larger family make more than one activity per child tough, too. But I will admit they have struggled to find their place and a fitness activity they do enjoy.

We want to find more activities we can enjoy together as a family on a regular basis. We love hiking together, going for bike rides, and even playing at the park, although we haven’t found a way to work these activities into our everyday routine.

In our efforts to move toward fitness, our whole family has decided to participate in our own created version of a 5K. Some of us will walk and some will walk/run. We’ll go to a park and create our own fun event together. Maybe we’ll take the kids out to breakfast afterwards or some other fun reward for their efforts.

Tonight at dinner our family discussed this new commitment we are undertaking.

Son #1: “I have to walk 300 miles? That will take forever!”

Daughter #1: “No, just 3.1 miles.”

Son #1: “Can I get a big shiny medal? I want to be able to see my face in it.”

Son #2: “Awww, man! Can’t we drive the car there?”

Mom: “What should we name our event?”

Dad: “The Borgstede Herd 5k? There are a lot of us.”

Daughter #2: “I want ‘The Borgstede Pack.’ Packs work together and herds don’t.”

Mom: “The Borgstede Pack 5K. Perfect.”

Does your family love exercise? If not, have you found ways to enjoy it together?

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