Fitness Buddy!

Posted on: May 31, 2012

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” – Mark Twain

Few other quotes could accurately describe the relationship that my mom, Kathy, and I have nurtured for nearly the past 20 years. I labeled my 2-year-old to 12-year-old self as a “terrorist.” I was, at one point, asked not to return to children’s church if that gives you a clear enough picture of the little devil I was for the first 60% of my life, thus far. However, my mom’s ability to rationally explain to me that having a more positive and likeable attitude would reap positive consequences to my actions finally stuck with me at about age 13.

She is able to persuade not only me to reconsider my actions and potentially exchange them for more healthful, beneficial, productive behaviors, but almost anyone. My mom confronts people with such graceful assertion that one may not even notice that my mom really would rather gauge her own eyes out with a spork than attempt to calmly manage them–and they are almost guaranteed to take something positive away from the discussion. I try to emulate the communication skills that my mom uses on a daily basis, and I believe that doing so has allowed me to grow in so many directions.

Effective communication is vital in any relationship be it friendly, professional, family, or romantic. It is human nature to read tone, body language, volume, and eloquence during a discussion–not just the words exchanged. Therefore, it is important we remain attentive to our communicative actions when trying to foster heathy, growing relationships. I have learned to rephrase potentially abrasive statements to be more positively received by the listener– such as “I really hate when you cook steak for dinner,” instead maybe “Hey, next time you grill steak would you mind throwing a veggie burger on for me?”

Beyond healthy communication skills, my mom has put up with my health and fitness obsession for the past 6 years. She not only puts up with it, but fully supports it. She attends my workout classes even when her legs are sore; we walked a 40-mile cancer walk a few summers ago; she comes up with creative and health related gifts for birthdays and Christmas; she doesn’t bat an eye when I tell her my shoes are worn out and I REALLY need another pair; she always makes sure there are several vegetarian options on our dinner table even if I often decide last-minute fix my own dinner or eat with friends.

For almost 20 years, my mom has been my biggest supporter in health(I can’t say 20 years yet in regards to health, because 20 years ago she was pregnant and feeding me Burger King Whoppers and Dairy Queen Blizzards 4x weekly–not exactly “Fitness Buddy” worthy), happiness, and love. So thanks mom for teaching me to not throw rocks at people to make them play with me, for learning to love green  beans without bacon grease, and for pushing through chair pose every Tuesday and Thursday.


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