Yep, we did it again, we survived another bike ride. I was sure that by now we had everything together since we are practically pros. I mean I packed all the necessities, specifically water. Plus, we did not leave home without the magical bike seat cover, air in tires and helmets. Now we are all set since we even had a brief discussion and agreed to ride for six miles again. As we take off I feel like we are really getting the hang of this biking thing. We are moving right along on the trail, around the curve, a slight descent down a hill and all without any problems. Just as I am thinking no problems, I notice my son is abruptly stopping his bike on the trail. This time, it at least took about 5 minutes to register the first complaint. Winning! Read more…
Yikes! Bike rides with kids again.
Well, we had our first ride of the summer season a couple of weeks ago. This turned out to be a very long short ride. After spending too much time getting everything together for the ride (bike rack, hats, water bottles, proper gear etc.), I secured the bikes on the rack and headed for an afternoon of fun, well at least that’s what I thought. I was way too excited. I should have known right then I was living some type of fantasy. Crazy me, I’m still a believer. As I sat in the car line waiting for my son’s school to adjourn I just knew this was going to be the perfect after school event. It only took a nano second for me to wake out of my slumber once he reached the car. “Can we go home before we ride bikes?”, he asked. I replied, “no” we will be really late.” We were meeting some friends and going home would mean we would be at least 30 minutes late. I asked the reason for wanting to go home and of course, this was the one day that he felt like he needed to use the bathroom (yes, it was more than pee). I offered to take him to a public restroom but he insisted he could wait until later. Cool, we are all set. We met up with friends and about one minute after taking bikes off the rack he announced, “I really need to go now.” Luckily we parked at a shopping center so we made a pit stop at our friendly electronic store. Ok, now we are rocking and rolling and maybe after being on the trail for all of 2 minutes he declares, “My butt is hurting” and needs to stop to rest. I oblige and after he also has a drink of water we are all set, for the umpteenth time. Now I am enjoying the ride and I be damned if we aren’t stopping again. His butt is hurting and the handlebar doesn’t feel right, the gears aren’t changing properly. Now, I want to have a meltdown but I’m trying to hold it together. After all, we are riding with friends and I don’t want to look like I don’t have it together, but really I don’t have it together. My friend must have sensed things were falling apart and offered her son’s seat cover for him to try. Jesus is real, because once he sat on that seat cover he took off and rode like the wind. I had to pedal like a mad woman to try to catch up with him, afraid he would try crossing the busy street without supervision. We survived. Whew, still wiping sweat.
So….. I decided I just didn’t get enough and we headed back out again this week. This time, I was feeling like a pro after getting our first ride of the season behind us. First things first, I purchased a seat cover. I picked him up from camp and the first thing out of his mouth is “Are we still going biking?” I replied, “Yes” and his response was “It’s too hot to ride bikes.” So I explained the plans and he insists he still wants to go but was just saying it was hot. I just couldn’t wait for him to try out this new seat cover because I knew it was going to forever change our bike riding experience. We didn’t even make it onto the trail and I hear him say, “I’m gonna take this cover off.” I’m pretty sure I had a fire in my eyes when I asked the reason and he explained it was making his seat too tall. To the rescue again, my friend had a quick fix and lowered his seat. Good save!! Now we are on the trail riding. There were about 10 more abrupt stops and wobbling across lanes. Even though it started off rocky, and we had to stop for tired legs, gear checks, water stops and just because stops, we made our very long short ride of 6.2 miles. Not only did we make it, he even requested to go a little further the next time. And just like anyone who’s a glutton for punishment, I’m sure I will oblige on our next bike ride.
I’m still learning lessons. 1.Perseverance is powerful, and I’m not talking about kids, this was for me. 2. Have all the necessities checked before leaving home (inflated tires, water bottle holder, seat adjusted, seat cover if needed, bug spray etc.) 3. As long as you are moving, fitness is in progress. 4. Take a deep breath and enjoy, believe it or not, it doesn’t last long. Fleeting memories.
Staying active with children in tow
Well it’s official, summer vacation has begun for my eleven-year-old son. In between summer camps and time with family, what shall we do? Getting workouts done is still a must. Well, we could go for another one of those very long short distance bike rides where we stop every few minutes for water. I know he means well but when you are hoping to sneak in an 8-mile bike ride things can get a little dicey. I’ve learned that while I am not able to keep my routine workout or schedule, we can still accomplish a lot and have fun. Well, a little fun on some days. In addition to biking, there are other great activities such as swimming, hiking, a group fitness class, or going for a walk/run that you and your kids can enjoy as a family. There are a few things you can do to make sure these activities are filled with laughs and less crying (and I don’t mean the kids either).
- Going for a bike ride or jog on the trail is a great way to burn calories. Prepping in advance is essential to making these successful activities. Start by having completely filled water bottles, explaining the bike or walking route and assuring them that lunch or snack will follow definitely helps. Going out on the trails late morning is the ideal time. By then most people have cleared it to head off to work and it’s also late enough so that everyone can sleep in and finish up with the ride just in time for a snack or early lunch. This is a great time to practice interval training. Make it fun by giving them a short distance to run and follow-up by a brisk walk and repeat. When you return to the trail see if you are able to increase your run distance before having to walk. Not to mention, if you decide to bike and they are still learning etiquette while riding on the trails you probably won’t get too many glaring eyes or near miss collisions.
- The pool can also be a saver if your child is a pretty independent swimmer. While you are swimming a few laps they can get in a swim with you and maybe even work on their stroke/technique. It’s a good idea to build in enough time at the end so they are able to just have fun and play in the water before leaving. Did you know swimming is a total body workout and one of the top activities for burning calories?
- Taking an exercise class together is a great way to get in a workout and maybe even be a team. Participating in family boot camp classes or Zumba will give you the opportunity to get in a total body workout. These classes are a great way to challenge you and perhaps try something new. Keep in mind that if you have younger children some of these classes may last an hour. It fine to leave early because it’s all about having fun. Managing expectations and being supportive is what’s important when starting a new activity.
- Hiking is a great way to get to in exercise and explore at the same time. Hiking is about more than exercising and is learning and bonding experience. We’ve learned so much during hiking about the outdoors as well as ourselves while hiking. I’ve even been able to overcome some of my own fears and be simply amazed at how courageous my son has become. Packing snacks and dressing for the occasion is critical.
- It also helps to have incentives to take part to get started without a lot of fuss and opposition. Although I would much rather not see electronics while I am outside, I must admit, initially, the DS was a life saver while going for walks. Apparently you are able to collect game coins to use while playing simply by turning the device on while you are walking. Finding friends to go along for a group adventure has always been a motivator, a great way to explore and spend time with my son.
Initially, the thought of participating in some of these activities with my son seemed daunting and even got off to a rocky start. There have been many times I questioned what sane person would even consider taking this on since a headache seemed to outweigh the benefits. However, by the end of what sometimes appears is a “what are you thinking” kind of an ordeal, I am always proud that we stick it out. I know I certainly gain a lot from our experiences and think he does too. Now, let’s see what this summer has in store.
What are some ways you have found to stay active with a child in tow?