I found myself pondering active lifestyles the other day. I’ve gone through a struggle the past month or so. I shared a little about it in my last post. I started wondering why I have been trying to be healthier. What exactly is my motivation?
The standard answers are that I want to be around for a good long time for my family, I want to keep up with my kids, I want to feel stronger and healthier. All are very valid reasons and have gotten me through some rough patches where I wanted to quit going to the gym or wanted to skip out on a run or workout.
It struck me that there is another reason why I keep going. It’s something that’s part of my character and it is something that I want my kids to know and have as part of their character, too.
Stick-to-it-ivity. Determination. Perseverance.
When my kids see me struggling, I also want them to see me trying my best.
When my kids are struggling, I want them to try their best, try new solutions, keep getting up.
Living a healthy lifestyle is one way that my kids have stick-to-it-ivity demonstrated for them consistently. They know that Mommy goes out for bike ride events, they’ve cheered for me at local running events, we talk about Mommy working out at the gym at lunch. We do active things as a family- from visiting 100 Acres at the Indianapolis Museum of Art to walking around Conner Prairie to riding bikes or going for a walk in our neighborhood.
What I don’t want my kids to see is a pattern of starting something and never finishing it. What if I’d tried running for a week and then just decided it was too hard so I quit and sat on the couch instead? What if I decided that having fruits and vegetables in the house was too much work so I’ll just stick to fast food instead? What if getting my family up and active was too much of a burden so I just gave up and popped in videos all day long instead?
Sometimes, I have a hard time finding my stick-to-it-ivity. Sometimes, I struggle with commiting to the things that I know are important to me. But then I remember that part of why I am trying and going and doing is that I want my kids to have someone to look to when they are struggling or wanting to quit.
There is certainly a time and place where quitting is the right thing to do. Determination doesn’t mean you never quit. I’m at a point where I have given up running. And facing that decision was pushing me down. I felt like quitting running meant quitting all my healthy choices. It was a big factor in that emotional eating issue and a big factor in my lack of attendance at the gym.
I had a realization, though. Just because I choose to stop running doesn’t mean I choose to stop making healthy choices. I can ride my bike instead of run. I can increase my weight lifting abilities instead of run. I can walk instead of run. I can hike instead of run. I can still be active and healthy and have stick-to-it-ivity in my healthy lifestyle- even if I’m not doing the same healthy choices and activities as when I started.
And the really cool side benefit is that my kids see that I’m still going. My kids learn, in an extended kind of way, that Mom is the kind of person who doesn’t just quit or give up. My kids experience my determination on a regular basis. What they hopefully learn from that, in the big picture, is that Mom will also not give up when it comes to fighting for them. Running a half marathon or cycling 30 miles or hiking up a mountain are all very tangible demonstrations of getting through life. Each step or push forward or up, even when (especially when) it’s tough to keep going, is an accomplishment. Also, you don’t have to be first, fastest, or go the furthest in order to win.
Stick-to-it-ivity. I won’t quit. I won’t give up on taking care of myself, on teaching my family those healthy choices. I’m going to fight for my kids. I have determination and grit. Sometimes it’s a struggle, sometimes there is weakness but the true value of stick-to-it-ivity is that you keep coming back to it, keep trying again, keep going.
What keeps you going? How much stick-to-it-ivity do you have?
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