Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Staying Active

I have never hesitated to share my opinion that the key to staying active is to find something you love to do and do that.  For me, it was running (I haven't run much the past few months but am getting back to it).  For my kids, they never really found anything that stuck - we tried dance, sports, martial arts but nothing grabbed them enough for them to want to really stick with it.

Until now.  Both girls have fallen in love with something that keeps them uber active and I love it!

Ally has found cheerleading.  And for those who hold on to the stereotype that cheerleaders are not athletes, I dare you to try to run, jump and do stunts continuously for 2 hours at a time.  I dare you to lift girls into the air, throw them and catch them, have them stand on your legs while you support them.  They are athletes - and amazing ones.  These girls are strong and have to work as a team every second they are on the floor.  The flyers need to trust their teammates implicitly - and the bases and backs know how important their jobs are.  It is a thing of beauty to watch.

Marianna has found tumbling.  She always loved to jump, but gymnastics didn't stick because she didn't want to do the beam and vault.  She just wanted to flip and tumble.  She has joined a trampoline and tumbling class and loves it.  It is 90 minutes of hard work (she is sore the day after), repetition and bending in ways that  make me cringe. And she does it all with a smile...well unless she is ticked off she can't get something fast enough.  Then she just gets this determined look on her face and goes to do it again.

I love that my girls have found this stuff.  And the best part is I discovered (thanks Kelly!) a gym where they can do both.  If your kid loves to cheer, you  need to check out Black Widow Cheer Gym; and if tumbling is their thing, you need to call Laws of Motion. I can't say enough good things about both of these organizations - we're hooked!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Give me Strength

So here's the truth...I've always considered myself a strong person. I can handle lots, am pretty good at turning the other cheek when I need to, and I can square my shoulders and take stuff head on with the best of them. I try to avoid drama when I can, but when I'm in the midst of chaos I can take a breath and handle it pretty well.

I thought I was strong...then I had children. Now I watch them and marvel at their strength. I don't remember school days being so tough - I guess that's a good thing. I'm sure there must have been days growing up when I felt like I was drowning, but I can't clearly remember any of them.

I've watched my girls have amazing times - giggle with their friends, take silly selfies, act like kids. I've also watched them struggle with things that would make us cringe as adults - people talking behind their backs, realizing friends weren't really friends, trying to figure out "why them".

Even on days when the "why me's" outweigh the silly selfies, I've seen their strength. I've seen them do their best to turn the other cheek, or to just remember to breathe when chaos takes over. I've also listened to them rant and held their hands through tears. I've tried to explain, with little success cause I don't understand it, why some people feel the need to put others down.

Through it all I've seen their resilience and I've seen them be stronger than I would have been at that age. I've seen them develop a thicker skin and I've watched how they have found reason in the actions of others...even when those actions are not reasonable. I've seen their strength outweigh my own.

I wish they didn't need to have this kinda of strength right now. I wish it could stay rainbows and roses for a little while longer. But it can't. So that means I need to continue to nurture their strength, and to find my own when I'm ready to lose it on the situation at hand. I need to make sure they keep talking to me about everything that is going on, and I have to stay in listen mode rather than go into fix it mode. I must encourage them to find the good in all situations even when they are not sure their is any.

Most of all, I need to remind them that it's ok not to be strong all the time. It is ok to lose it, to ask for help, to lean on those who care about us. Sometimes that is when we find our strength we didn't know we had.