Monday, June 30, 2008

Exercise, bringing family together.

Yesterday I decided to go for a walk out at my brother's house (formerly known as my grandparent's house). It's in the country and only about 2.5 miles from my house. From the end of their driveway to the end of the street it is exactly one mile. I asked my oldest nephew, who is 7, if he would like to walk with me. He did. There aren't many cars out there at that time, but I told him to stay on the edge of the road and we walked. We walked, and we learned.

He learned that pedestrians walk against traffic and bicyclists ride with traffic. I learned that my shin splints act up at around the quarter mile mark. He learned that cars are supposed to give us plenty of room when we walk, even if that means swerving into the other lane. I learned that at a half mile, I have to turn around and go back or my legs might never get me home. It was at this point, after continuously drifting to the middle of the road, that I felt compelled to teach him another valuable lesson.

I asked him if he remembered the little purple cross at the opposite end of the street. He said he did. I proceeded to tell him that the little girl of the lady that used to babysit him was hit by a car down there and killed. That she was riding her bike with her family and that someone wasn't paying attention and hit her. He looked up at me and I explained that even though cars are supposed to watch out for people walking, that sometimes they aren't paying attention. That it's our job to watch out for them and to make sure we are walking where we're supposed to be walking. As we turned around to head back, he pointed out that I was on the wrong side of the street. Lesson learned.

Tonight I went out there to walk again. I didn't go in the house and get my nephew. I didn't know walking with me meant so much and I brought Lola to work with her on the leash and thought he might be too distracting for her. I had to turn around at the half mile mark again and when I had about a quarter of a mile left to go, my sister-in-law pulled up and my nephew jumped out. He wanted to walk the rest of the way with me. After a while I handed him Lola's leash and told him to hold on tight. He walked on the edge of the road and we talked. Once we were almost there I let him run with Lola (Lord knows I can't) and I met him in the front yard. As I went to leave he asked me when we could walk again. I told him I'd be back tomorrow. So now, if I don't go walk, I'm not just letting myself down, I'm letting my nephew down.

My nephew is rail thin and by no means in NEED of additional exercise, but it left me wondering...where would I be if one of the relatives that I looked up to would have let me walk with them? Would have gotten me to exercise without making it clear that I was fat and needed to lose weight. Where would I be if, when I was 7, someone said, "Hey Kel, I'm going for a walk. Would you like to come with me?" Instead of "Go run up and down the stairs, you're fat and you need to lose weight." What if someone would have cared more about how I felt than how I looked? What if...

As promised, I did weigh in this morning. I lost 5 pounds this week. Total of 16.5.


Carlos said...

great story and great wi. congrats on both. I think about the example i had of how to be active and what example i give my kids... i hope they stay active and learn from my mistakes

sis said...

Kelly I am so proud of you. I know how hard it can be, but it can be done as long as you don't give up. You might take a pause every once in awhile, but you never truly quit. I know that you can do it, it just might be a long road to get there.
Keep on truckin forward.

CJ said...

That's wonderful. You are making a good impression on your nephew. He will always remember these walks, and may actually gain some good health habits from you as well! That's terrific!