Friday, June 21, 2013

Family Fitness

Exercise....ha. First of all...cards on the table. Trying to exercise and stay in shape over the last 4 years in a foreign country has been a far from simple process.

The intangibles have been many...for example--- 3 young kids. 2 new languages. and...Whoah! Where'd that cute little girl come from?!?  Yeah...Add 1 more kid to that mix. That makes 4.

Add that to our battle-scarred high-school warrior bodies (we both have had multiple sports-injury-induced leg surgeries) And you have a complicated fitness situation.

But, somehow, despite the strikes against us, it's working.
Not every day.
Not always the way we'd like,
Not without injuries.

But it's working. We've spent the time to figure out how to make our fitness be a part of our lives here, and it's actually working. It's worked because we've found things we actually like, we have chances to compete (which is just a big part of our personalities) and we can do our workouts of choice either at home or close to home with minimal equipment.
Brooke has found a way to take out her aggression on someone other than her husband! :) (Just joking dear) She has found a local Muay Thai group that she exercises with regularly. The best thing? She has developed really neat relationships in the midst of a lot of punching and kicking. Her Muay Thai friends have runs several races together and even traveled to a different island so that two of Brooke's friends could be in a Muay Thai competition.
I,(Brian) joined a local runner's group and compete whenever I can in local 5-K's. And, whenever I can, I do some running with the kiddos in our yard or at the local park. They love it! If you can't tell from the picture, races start early here. Brooke brought the kids to watch me finish my most recent 5-K, and they just made it to see me finish (while still wearing their jammies) at about 5:30 AM. (yes, that was when I finished the race...I started considerably earlier.)
While I like to do shorter races (this might have something to do with me having 13 leg surgeries) Brooke enjoys going longer---her longest race was an 18-K and now she's hoping to do a half-marathon. The kids ask us on a regular basis if we're gonna get a gold medal. Some day they'll understand that we're just mommy and daddy mid-packers...and that gold medals are not going to happen...but for now they are learning that exercise is just a normal part of life, and they love to join in!
Asia has been doing ballet for over a year now, and still loves it. She is starting to practice more at home now as well, and taking lessons has really taught her a lot about discipline and teamwork, as well as some cool ballet skills.
And, when it's wet outside, we can always pull out good old Billy Blanks. the kids love to punch and kick along to Mr. Taebo--- at least for a while. But whenever they can, they'd rather be playing hard outside, which is right where we want them.

So...with a lot of trial and error, we've found some ways that work to keep our whole family exercising---It's not perfect, and what we do won't work for everybody, but after a lot of stops and starts, we have a regularly exercising household that, Lord-willing is developing some good habits that will last a lifetime.

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