Heading into summer, my mother took one look at us and decided that we needed something to get us up and moving. Don’t get me wrong, we are a relatively active family with my one sister frequenting the gym and the other swimming, we just need some motivation.
The idea is that we must run for at least five minutes every day. If we do this throughout the whole summer, we earn a gift card to a store of our choosing.
I know, five minutes doesn’t sound like much. You get about half a mile, nothing too impressive considering I used to sprint this in tenth grade back when I did track and field. That being said, the goal is just to get us moving and to make sure the youngest sibling is proud of herself.
Recently, Emma has become much more self aware. It’s that awful middle school time period where everything feels wrong and the flaws of your body are pointed out in painful detail and she was quick to take it all to heart. She has gone so far as to purchase a girdle to wear with her eighth grade formal dress because otherwise she thinks any dress highlights how chubby her tummy is. As someone who has stressed that it doesn’t matter what you look like just that you are comfortable, my mom found this to be something she didn’t know how to beat.
Part of being comfortable in your skin may mean that you need to exercise. While Emma does do swim, she tends to snack a lot. We are tackling that separately, but encouraging a second mode of exercise seems to be a good way to show her that you can eat whatever you want and still be comfortable by adding some extra movement to your days.
As stated before, my mom just wants Emma to be comfortable. But she also wants her to be healthy. Considering the fact that eating disorders are highly common amoung girls, especially those around Emma’s age, she decided that a challenge was in order.
If Emma doesn’t lose weight, she may find a love for running. If she doesn’t find a love for running, she may find that even if she doesn’t look how she likes she is incredibly strong and capable. There have already been milestones for her, the first learning that she can actually run for those full five minutes. Every time she chooses to get off the couch and run for those five minutes, she’s improving. Plus, you should see her smile when she finishes those five minutes.
As for myself, I really forgot how much I love to run.