In the days when gyms and studios were open I found I had a chance to change Duncan’s view of his old Nan.
Half term had come in a rush. Duncan said ‘when is my sleepover Nan’. The only available overnight clashed with my gym session, one of three a week I have to keep strong enough to pick up and keep up with these growing boys.
‘Would you like to come to the gym with me?’
Putting ourselves first
The fitness studio manager told me it was OK. For many women, Nans, Grans and Mums, it is all too easy to miss taking care of yourself and can be hard to find a child-friendly gym.
I knew Duncan would be welcome. We set off. I talked about what happens at the gym and why building up my strength matters to me. He listened attentively.
We arrived. He buzzed for me and we went in.
Learning while in action
Rather than be told to sit and keep quiet Grace had laid out a mat for me and one for Duncan. She carefully explained what we were to do.
After a few bridges and stretches Duncan was given two and then four blocks to balance on his hands and feet while laying on the ground. I went on to do my weighted squats, bicep curls and weighted lunges.
Then I prepared for a 60kg lift with a bar behind my neck. Behind me I heard Grace say ‘look at your Nanny’ to Duncan.
She told me Duncan’s jaw had dropped as he went ‘WOW Nanneeee’. I completed my set to be met with an admiring beam.
For me it is important that the children grow up seeing exercise and taking care of yourself as part of living a long and happy life. Exercising takes who I am and how I live to a new place. It is not just about the fun of exercising with friends, or being able to run upstairs, catch a bus or lift a child who has grazed a knee. It is about living well. And I loved sharing it with Duncan. Being a good role model leaves a stronger memory in his mind about both and growing old. Exercise may start in childhood but it ends in the grave.
-Talk about health and fitness
-Show your grandkids what exercising looks like
-Help them see exercise is a lifelong activity
-Keep fit and enjoy being part of the fun of your grandkids life for years to come
-Seek out a high quality professionally qualified personal trainer