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!