When I was a kid I hated gym class. Hated it. Hated it because I wasn't good at any of the sports. I was afraid of the ball. I was afraid of the monkey bars. I could barely do a cartwheel. It was humiliating.
Things only got worse as I got older. We actually took couples dancing in seventh grade. Can you imagine my horror when all the boys lined up on one side of the room and all the girls lined up on the other? One dance would be boys choice, the next the girls. Either was intensely embarrassing. It was one thing not to be picked, it was another to see the look of disgust on your potential partner's face as you approached him. Seriously?
Then there was swimming in high school. It's pretty cruel to make a freshman girl wear a swimsuit in front of her male classmates. Let's just say very few of us were confident in our changing bodies at that age.
Even track sucked. When it was time for track, we were forced to jump hurdles (I couldn't) and do relay races, that way one could let their entire team down because of short legs that didn't go very fast.
I decided very early on that I was not athletic. At all. I have always believed that. I have never wanted to join the work softball team, or play beach volleyball. I have always been embarrassed by my clumsiness and shear lack of ability.
I still do not excel at group sports and I avoid them at all costs, however somewhere around college I decided that I needed exercise in order to maintain a cute figure. So I ran. I did the exercise bike. Solo aerobic workouts and it suited me fine. I never pushed it, I put in my three or four miles and called it a day.
I have three boys now. Three boys. I'm pretty sure that there is going to be a lot of sports and athletics, and I do not want them to grow up thinking that girls are weak because their mama is. So I'm not going to be weak anymore. I'm going to run more miles and build stronger arms. I'm going to believe I can do it.
Yesterday I took Evan to the gym with me, they have cheap childcare there. We arrived before the daycare opened so I had Evan help set up my station for "Body Sculpt" He was so excited. He helped me set up my bench, lay down my mat and select my weights, which was his favorite part. We looked at weights that vary in color based on pounds. "Which ones do you think I use?" I asked my son. He pointed to the largest set. I laughed. "No Evan, I can't lift those." His response? "Yes you can mommy. You're strong and fast."
Why yes I am.