I’m not the gym-goer I used to be. I no longer celebrate a hard workout with a cold beer, for instance.
I also don’t give kids the stink eye when they walk by me at the gym.
See, back in the day, I purposely chose a gym that did not allow children except for a sliver of time on Saturday mornings. I avoided the gym on those days after I had accidentally gone for a swim at that hour. There they were, children happily splashing around my pool. My pool. I didn’t like sharing.
Note to self: Maybe that’s where my son gets it…
I’m no longer at the child-free gym. My husband and I bought a house, and the move necessitated finding a gym more conveniently located (because we were catching on to the excuse each of us kept using to avoid the gym because “it was out of the way”).
Since we had a baby on the way, we decided that we should find a place that had childcare options. Long story short, here I am, singing “It’s fun to play at the YMCA” every time I get out of my car.
The place loves kids. LOVES ‘em.
And I enrolled there on purpose.
My 25-year-old self shakes her head in disbelief. Who are you?
While I don’t really mind kids hanging around my gym area these days, I’m not that kind of woman who smiles fondly at them, so don’t worry, I haven’t changed that much. There was a boy yesterday that walked up to his mom as she pedaled away on the stationary bike and while he waited for her, he started doing jumping jacks.
OK. I smiled. I admit it. Damn. Motherhood is making me a softie.
But, I thought to myself, this is the point of a gym like this. You bring your kids here and they can’t help but be active. There’s nothing else to do but be active here. And that’s what I want for my kids.
Not too long ago, I got my son his first membership card to the Y.
It took forever to get his picture taken since seeing himself on screen was fascinating and he could not help but stare at his image. There was not chance of reaching him when he was in “the zone” so each time I asked him to smile, he continued to stare mouth agape at his image. I finally gave up and picked the shot of him least likely to make me laugh each time I looked at it.
But, boy, you should’ve seen his face when he got his card.
He’s just now beginning to make use of what the Y has to offer. His first taste of the Y was at swim lessons. It was sorta fun for him, since he largely ignored the teacher during every class. But, he’ll be able to look back and laugh about the class because someday I can tell him stories about his daddy splashing around the pool singing silly songs with a bunch of mommies. We can all have a good chuckle at those stories.
In the last six months, though, we’ve seen his physical abilities progress marvelously. The Y near our house has an enclosed play area of tubes and slides – a kid-sized hamster cage – and at our last visit, my son suddenly was tall enough and strong enough to climb up it without assistance (I still hovered). The next time we go, he’ll scramble up there like it’s no big deal. I dread the day when he’ll climb up it without even stopping to wave at me. How sad will that be?
Do you take your kids to the gym? What do they like to do there?