Monday, 30 April 2012

Eighteen - Working out with Willow - Part 2


We have a Monday morning routine and we (I think) love it.

Because sport is integral to my life and so is my daughter, I combine the two. And, ice the session with blueberry pancakes. You would think Willow was the one who exerted the most energy, if you were to judge her vigour in eating these pancakes. You see, prior to the pancakes, Willow and I train. Well, I do.

So, every Monday, Willow and I go for a run and do a circuit session together. I say ‘together’ but mean it quite loosely ... I run and push her about; and, I throw her about like a wriggly barbell while she giggles and squeals. But, this is a session I really look forward to. I am not sure about Willow’s opinions but she hasn’t complained yet. For me, I am combining running, something I love to do, with my baby.

While I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time researching travel systems. I knew I wanted something that was quite robust and would allow me to take Willow for walks in forests, over hills and along beaches. Living in Kent, we are lucky to have all terrains within quick access, except mountains - we have the North Downs, but they're hills. And, I knew I wanted to share these terrians with her when she was born. I was also keen to be running as soon as I could and knew I had to choose a buggy that could accommodate both. I bought a Baby Jogger XC and it has done its job well. (The grandmothers say it’s quite good in the town too but I try not to go there!)

In the early days, she was in a bassinet on the Jogger. The pushchair has suspension so she slept, I trotted. I said, the early days – a trot was on a good day! As she became more knowing, this progressed to the car seat, so she could be nosey. Luckily, I could attach it to the pushchair. Today, she sits facing forward in the buggy and squeals as we come across ducks and dogs and birds and trees and walkers and runners and cyclists and anything that stimulates her greedy little mind!

In fact, she loves it. And, I’m even more ecstatic about this because Willow is enjoying sport with her mum!

Although the buggy is really manoeuvrable, it’s still an additional 15kgs that I’m pushing (she’s 10kg!) I see this as resistance training - I will be stronger! However, it does roll a bit too nicely, so I have to be sensible not to speed too much! And, because I have to hold on to the handle bars, I see it as useful bike training too, especially as the buggy gets speed wobbles when it’s taken over 8mph and I have to push the handles down forcefully to account for these. (Don't tell Baby Jogger this, apparently the Jogger isn't meant to exceed 8 mph!) However, as Willow is becoming heavier, her weight and her positioning are balancing this a bit more. 

But this run has more than just benefits for me. Of course, I am outside, running, getting fresh air. It has benefits for Willow too. She is outside in the fresh air, engaging with the environment and grinning at what an outdoors life brings. 

Sport is not just about fitness. It is a way of life and a way of life that offers more opportunities than anything else. And by me sharing this with Willow, she will always know.

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