As many of you have likely sorted out by now, I’m a mother of teenagers. It’s true, I’m not just a sometimes self-important writer and general all round smart mouthed gym rat. For some unknown reason, someone, somehow decided that I should be entrusted with the raising of small human beings.
Well, they’re not so small anymore and as the old saying goes “little kids, little problems—big kids, big problems”. Little kid problems are generally fairly easily resolved with either a trip to the timeout stairs (sometimes for Mummy), or a bandage and a cookie (again, sometimes for Mummy). Big kid problems are slightly more… errr… complex, to say nothing of the solutions, which I am generally expected to produce.
But I’m not here to discuss the difficulties of raising kids. I’m here to talk about the healing powers of going to the gym as it relates to parenthood.
Let’s say you had a conversation a little something like this…
“Did you return your math text-book today?” Asked innocently at the end of 1st semester.
“Uhhhhh, no….” Vaguely answered while scarfing down a three-inch thick peanut butter sandwich.
“May I ask why not?” Still rather calmly and might I say, perhaps even hopefully.
“It’s in my locker.”
“I forgot my combo.”
“First week of school.”
Okay so you get the gist of it. I thought it best to take my leave and head to the gym before blowing my cool. I always find solutions while I’m there.
Or how about this one.
“So can you drive to soccer tonight? I know that you were meant to be going to some writer’s group, but there’s this issue with Chloe and Julia because well Liam and Chloe broke up and it’s cuz he likes Julia and well Megan said that her Mum couldn’t drive because they have the whole family coming for dinner and she’s expected to suddenly turn into some 5 star chef or something like that and oh yeah can we also take Katie to get a dress for the Valentine’s dance ‘cuz her Mum’s out of town and well you know her Dad said she didn’t need a new dress so I said you could take her…” The requests didn’t stop there and yes, they were in fact asked all in one breath, exactly as typed.
“Okay, let me think about all of this… I’ll be back in an hour.” I reply somewhat dizzily.
I arrive at the gym feeling confused or maybe even a tad overwhelmed. In fact depending on the problem presented to me to resolve, I may even feel a little cranky. But I don’t want to share those sorts of problems with you. My banner is the “Lighter Side” after all.
Once I’ve changed into workout gear and my music is selected, my frame of mind almost instantly switches to one of control. Personally I think it’s the weight gloves. How can you not feel like you’re perfectly able to handle whatever situation is thrown at you the second you feel that snug fit of the weight gloves.
One set of lat pulldowns and I know everything will be just fine. And then somewhere between the barbell rack and the decline bench I have found the solution.
Whether broken hearts or bad grades are the problem du jour, I know that one hour at the gym will provide me with a reasonable and rational solution to offer my confused or confounded teenagers.
So you see gym time is always a win/win. My baffled and baffling kids are guided through their difficulties and I get to work on that lat definition I’ve been going for.