The Best and Worst of Times

The other morning I was heading out to school donning a pair of running shorts, t-shirt and flip flops.  Strawberry being the little sassy pants he gave me this sage advice:

If you’re going to wear running clothes to take us to school, could you at least wear running shoes instead of flip flops so everyone things you’re going to run.”


I get criticized for my clothing and he gets to dress like Barney.

I get criticized for my clothing and he gets to dress like Barney.

So true confession – sometimes, even on my rest days I just put my running clothes on because THEY ARE COMFORTABLE (okay let’s be honest, I sleep in a lot of race shirts).  But sporting the spandex leads to some interesting conversations.  Lately the conversation looks something like this:

I can’t believe there’s just a few weeks of school left.  Summer’s going to be great.  No routines, no school, no homework…..[insert parental sigh]….Oh my gosh, summer’s coming in a few weeks.  There’s going to be no routines, no school, no homework!”  [insert parental panic]

I’ve been talking to a lot of parental units about how to keep the babes busy this summer…beyond sacking out in front of a screen of some sort.

Yes I have boys, who by nature, are very active, but sometimes they need a little coaxing or nudging.  How do I “nudge”?

  • Kick ‘Em Out.  I literally tell them to get out of the house for 45 minutes or so.  Usually after 45 they are having so much fun that they don’t want to come back in the house.  Funny things like bikes and bugs usurp boredom very quickly.

    Yes we even play outside in the rain...though that happens about twice a year in California.

    An oldie but goodie pic:  Yes we even play outside in the rain…though that happens about twice a year in California.

  • Give ‘Em A Challenge:  My bambinos LOVE races.  We’ve done 5k’s, 1k’s, 1 milers, 1/2 mile races and mud runs.  If they pin a number on their shirt before, get doted on by a plethora of fans during, and get to get free food after…they’re usually good to go!   Get out and train together – lightly jog or and or speed walk together a few nights a week to prepare.
  • After a mud run...

    After a mud run…

  • Sports Sign On:  Most schools or community centers have local sports teams where kids of all skill levels can join.  We’re big AYSO soccer fans in our house.  With practice at least once a week and games, it’s a sure fire way to get the kids moving.  I watched one little fella on our soccer team this year struggle through his first practices, and slim down and got his little fitness groove on and his endurance had done a 180 by the end of the season.


  • Summer Stroll:  It’s the simplest of all the solutions – go for a family stroll after dinner.  Sometimes we just walk up to the nearest Starbucks for a quick cup of iced tea, sometimes we just cruise the ‘hood.  Whatever it is, get the legs moving.  Bike, scooter, walk, jog, do whatever you can to shake your tail feathers together.
  • Dude, Where’s My Car?  I scour the mail, interwebz, etc. for coupons to places that are walking/biking distance from my house.  Last summer we made a habit of biking a few miles each way to a local smoothie shop next door to a bagel place that I had a ton of coupons for and we’d have a late breakfast.  Sometimes I slap on a backpack and the little bambinos and I schlep over on our bikes to get ingredients to make homemade pizzas with ingredients we buy from Trader Joe’s.  I always say, where there’s a will there’s a way.

I could write a list a mile long – but mostly, it’s about moving – especially together.  Start a neighborhood soccer game, go play catch, go for a jog and have your kids ride their bike next to you….just do something.

What are you doing to keep your bambinos active?
We’re doing a 5k together this weekend.  More accurately, they are running a 5k and I will meet them at the finish line after the 10k.  


8 thoughts on “The Best and Worst of Times

  1. Love the suggestions! I have not been brave enough to have mine ride bikes to the nearest coffee shop yet but I think this will be the summer to do so. I want to sign mine up for more races as well. Mostly we are beach bums come summertime though.

    • Oh I love bummin’ at the beach summer, winter, spring, fall…I’m pretty much an equal opportunity beach bum 🙂 But yes riding bikes to the coffee shop is totally nerve wracking at first, but it eventually got better!

  2. LOL at the Barney comment! My kids are both on summer swim team, which practices in the morning 4x/week. I love this b/c it gets them active right from the get go. But we also encourage lots of outdoor time for them. Hikes, bikes, walks, and play time w/ all the neighborhood kids all works. And trips to the beach! : )

  3. I remember riding bikes to Trader Joe’s to figure out what we were going to make for dinner. Good times 🙂

  4. Someone recently asked me what video games I played as a kid.

    Me: “Uh…we didn’t have video games at home. We…mostly played outside. And pretend library.”

    [Pretend library = a game that involved unshelving ALL the books, but at least we were quiet?!? And old enough to put them back when we were finished. ;-)]

    • Library! Ah ha ha! My kids love to play outside and color. I swear they were “active” and physically busy at least 6-8 hours each day this weekend. I was tired just watching them 🙂

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