Take a Lap

I’m raising foodies. It wasn’t intentional— I just cook good food, and it seems the kids have gotten used to it. Well, with the exception of Bean and his PBJ fetish. Though even Bean prefers a homemade english muffin to a stale, store-bought. They turn their noses up at the blue-box macaroni and cheese, and ask me to make the homemade version with vidalia onion and dijon mustard, and Jeffrey already knows (and can blind taste test) the difference between Regianno and regular parmesan.

But that also means we have (both genetically and through our gastronomic adoration of all things cheesy and fine) an issue with fitness. The love of good food, combined with trying to adjust to the swamp-like climate of a Virginia summer has made couch potatoes from the best of us. I can’t blame them- going outside to play sucks when it’s near the century mark and the humidity matches. Hiding in the air conditioned haven of the tiny townhouse is all too appealing.

But no more.

Last week the kids and a friend plotted out a one-third mile course through our little neighborhood. For full disclosure, this plot was hatched because the kids kept asking for seconds, and the idea was floated that seconds at a meal could be traded for physical activity. Nothing will motivate Jeffrey to run quite like having an extra helping of lasagna.

Color me skeptical, but a funny thing has happened: they’re going out and running the loop. All of them. And not just for food now- they’re doing it because they like it and it makes them feel good. To be sure, food is still motivating (Jeffrey, at least) but I’m also seeing the beginning of good habits, and a genuine enjoyment of the activity itself.

This morning, a Saturday, Bean and Jeffrey both woke up before anyone else, and in the pre-dawn, came into my room and asked if they could go run. I sleepily acquiesced, and by the time I got downstairs, they were out the door and off. They each ran a mile before breakfast. Jeffrey had to walk the last part, and Bean literally lapped him, but they both came back in for breakfast happy and rosy cheeked.

They were also both happy with one helping of breakfast. I think I’ll go take a lap, too.

5 thoughts on “Take a Lap

  1. That is awesome. The school near my home is by a lake, and there is a paved path around the lake that is one-third of a mile. On the weekends I do my walk around that path; it’s beautiful, with lots of aquatic birds, and all I have to do is count the laps to know how far I’ve gone. And a third of a mile is not that intimidating.

  2. Hi! Thoughts on fun physical things here. If you live in FFX county, they have wonderful rec facilities with pools and fitness stuff for families for very little money. If you drive to Reston, go to Lake Anne and there are beautiful, shady paved walking paths around the perimeter of this big lake where the kids can walk/run, skip stones and look for fish and frogs. There is a wonderful trail along the Potomac (you share the trail with bicycles, but if you go during the week it’s less crowded), although perhaps you all have bikes? The bike trail (W&OD) is fabulous–goes all the way from Alexandria to past Leesburg, I believe (probably 40-50 miles). There are places to hike in Great Falls (waterfalls! and lots of cool shade). The best months around here are September and October, when it’s still warm but not hot and steamy–we’re almost there! I’ve been hibernating too, and I’m sorry to say that I look it!

  3. You’re discovering why Virginia is such a big swimming place. Not much else to do outside in the summer, because it’s too freakin’ hot. Glad that you guys are finding a way to enjoy the heat!

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