Right now we have three moms who have started working out at our Taekwondo school. It’s awe inspiring. It’s also the hardest thing imaginable. And these beautiful moms in their tee-shirts and sweat pants, have no idea what great things they are doing and saying to their kids.
When an adult starts trying to learn taekwondo the thought process goes something like this.
Oh my Lord, I’m a spaz. Why did I agree to do this? I look like an idiot. I’ll never be able to do this. Hey, I was kind of awesome tonight. This is impossible. Holy Cow everyone here is so good and I suck. Why can’t I do this? It’s so simple. Hey, I got it. No, I really am a super spaz.
But most nights you leave class smiling because you’ve worked out really had and you had fun…And you don’t quite.
Here’s the great part. Your kids are watching you struggle and they see you dig down and try even harder. It’s not easy, but you don’t quite! Your children watch their mom persevere even though it’s not easy. Is there any greater lesson you can teach them or example you can set.
Most parents watch from the sideline. If your kid isn’t an all-star athlete you spend years encouraging and cajoling. We say over and over, “hang in there buddy! You’re doing great. Don’t give up.” We lie, we bribe and we pray. But we don’t actually remember how it feels to be awkward, uncoordinated and not really good at something. It’s been so long since we put ourselves out there and tried to learn something completely new.
New moms working out know exactly how that feels…and their kids watch…as they refuse to give up.
Also, I think “new moms working out” are turning their sons into better fathers and husbands. Being a mom, especially a single mom, can be staggering, overwhelming, all consuming. It it’s your life and world. By spending one hour a night, three nights a week, you are standing up and saying, “I deserve this. I deserve three hours a week to be a better healthier person.”
And your daughters will know they deserve time of their own, things and activities that are fun and good. You are telling your daughters to be strong.
“New moms working out” are also sending the message that health and exercise, taking care of our bodies is really, really important.
I wonder if the “new moms working out” know they are cutting their rise of alzheimers because they are learning something new?
And finally, here’s some good news. We were all exactly like you just a few years ago, thinking the same thoughts and struggling with the exact same insecurities and fears.
In martial arts white belts line up on the last row and there’s a really good reason for that. Nobody can see you back there so you don’t have to feel as though the whole class is watching! We’re not, we’re all watching ourselves, in the mirror, hoping nobody, especially the instructor, notices how messed up our form, technique or jump spin side kick is.
So train on and be proud! Everybody else is.