I don’t usually get to bring my kids to the gym while I’m working out and this is because I am waking up at zero-dark-thirty to get my  rear-end out there and do my work before I have to get ready for the day ahead of me.

Yesterday’s work out was different since I had a half-day. I made the offer to the older three to come along and have some fun at the gym – I had two eager takers: Daredevil (loves to do wild and crazy things, possibly a future adrenaline junkie, I’m not sure) the nine-year-old and Flash the six-year-old (seriously, this kid can go, you should see the leg definition this kid has!). Yeah, comic-book names to protect the innocent, I try to match the name to a trait they have versus matching to a specific super hero. Now they can’t come along and do kid lifts in the weight room with me due to age restrictions and they knew that but were eager to come along. Why? Well there’s a freakin’ bouldering room! Yeah, a whole room with rock climbing/bouldering holds. The room is a repurposed racquetball court, so it allows for a foot thick pad on the entire floor of the room and then about nine feet of bouldering surface on each of the walls, except for the entrance.

I kept checking in on Daredevil and Flash between each of the three lifts I did, letting them know where I am at and what I’m doing in case they need me, seeing if they needed water, etc. When it came time for the run, they were resting in the bouldering room and I made the offer for them to come with me and run on the track. They immediately accepted. We went upstairs and I showed them the different lanes marked for walking, jogging and running, explaining to them that it’s important to stay in the right one out of consideration for the others on the track. With an eager nod they took off down the track and I took a sip from my water and hit the restroom quickly and on the track I went. I caught up to them about 3/4 the way around the first lap, they stayed with me for almost the entire second lap, falling off and walking about 1/4 of the way back – which they knew was ok to do. I briskly walked the third lap and picked up the jog on the fourth lap, catching them again on their third lap. On the fifth and final lap (5 laps = 1 mile at my gym) I picked up the pace and began running. On the last 1/4 of the lap I broke into a sprint to finish strong, wide-eyed kiddos as they saw Daddy flying down the track, they were on their fourth lap of running/walking/jogging. I was walking in circles and catching my off the track when they caught up to me. Daredevil and Flash both wanted to do one more lap, so I let them as I continued to catch my breath and sip some water.

With high-fives and positive encouragement after finishing their final lap, we went downstairs and I led them through Daddy’s cool-down stretches.

And that was it.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple open invitation to tag-along with Dad and they get a good hour and a half of solid fun activity.

Next time, I’ll write on some of the things I have done in the past as well as current examples of things I’ve done to encourage the Legion to stay active.

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