My oldest turned nine recently, and one of his gifts (perhaps his favorite) was a new bike. This bike was the catalyst to an even greater gift I am giving him… one that he doesn’t know about… and it may be years before he fully gets it.
With his new bike, I am fielding questions daily.
Can we bike to school? Can we bike to the pool? Can we bike here and there and everywhere (“we” being the whole family of six)?
My quick surface-y answer to him is “no”, because I don’t have a bike, and I’d need to purchase one. While in my head, the real answer is, “I am not sure I am fit enough to ride a bike.” This led me to think about how much I have changed in the last nine years, and what the next nine years look like. “Will I still be unfit to ride a bike? Will he still ask me if we can ride bikes together? Will I be healthy enough to fully enjoy his tweens, teens, twenties, and so on?” The immediate answer was “I am not sure”, and that kind of scared me.
Agonizing over this conversation led me to a make some choices. Would I keep deflecting his questions to ride a bike? Or would I make some changes… changes that ultimately would be an even greater gift to him… one that my son doesn’t know about, and he may not until he is much older.
Let’s Be Real…
Let’s be real for a minute. I am not sick. I do not have an awful incurable disease or anything. However, I am significantly overweight. I know I have a strong beautiful body that is capable of hard work. Yet, I am fully aware of my family history and the toll obesity takes the older someone gets. While, I am healthy now at age 31, I want that trend to be the same at age 61, 81, and 101. If I don’t change some of my habits, that will not be the case.
The answers to my son’s questions and my reflections gave me a bit of a scare (the truth can be scary right?!). I had two choices in that moment of fear. I could run and push those thoughts away or I could face them and overcome.
I have chosen to overcome.
To overcome this fear, I know what needs to happen; eating healthier, incorporating more healthy activities into life, etc., etc., etc… but guess what? It’s happening! Recently, I completed my first 5K. While I did not finish first or last (though if I had been last that would have been fine too), what is important is that I finished. Also, I enjoyed it so much I signed up for four more within the next three months and look forward to more after that. I am starting to unwrap the gift!
It’s the gift of a healthier lifestyle that will allow me to say “yes, let’s ride bikes to school, the pool, here and there and everywhere.” It is the gift of a healthier life style that won’t leave me with questions wondering if I be fully capable to enjoy activities with my kids. It’s the gift my son doesn’t know he has given me (our whole family really), and I in return am giving to him.