The trouble with jogging is that, by the time you realize you’re not in shape for it, it’s far too far to walk back. ~Franklin P Jones
Ah yes, Kyle and the idea of exercise. That word, exercise, seems to be a word of torture for him. I guess it does for many of us, but he’s a kid and should automatically want to play and run around. I wish that was the case. Instead, he would prefer sitting on his backside and exercise his fingers on video games. I know this has become the norm with children now-a-days, but I’m fighting it one video game at a time. I don’t want Kyle to add to the statistics of children’s declining health.
About three Saturdays ago, Kyle blew me off to walk the dogs, even after he promised. I guess technically he didn’t ignore me, I couldn’t take his whining and complaining, “Aunt Heather why do I have to take the dogs for a walk? Why can’t you go without me? Why do I need exercise? Why do I have to wear socks?” so I left. Yep, the typical from Kyle. Since it was a scorcher that day and the humidity felt like one hundred percent, the plan was to wait until after church and then go for a quick hike, just so the boys can stretch out their legs. The dogs really enjoy these walks and there’s no reason not to take a little bit of time out of the day to go on a hike. It’s good for everyone, win win. I’ve even tried explaining that to Kyle, not to mention they are his dogs too. He doesn’t care that he is also responsible for them and that means, “It’s just as important for them to get their exercise as making sure they have food and water.” Did telling Kyle all of this work? Nope! He just kept on whining. I mean he was so good in church, serving mass like Jesus’ perfect little angel, but it turned like a switch when he realized I wasn’t going to forget about the walk and I was holding him to his word. I think he thought it was going to be too late in the day, or I would forget. Neither happened.
So needless to say, my patience wasn’t at its strongest and I just left with the dogs for our hike. Kyle didn’t know until he finally emerged from his room, was surprised and probably relieved when mom and dad said that I already departed. Me, Scooby and Seven did our usual three miles. Upon my return, mom said Kyle was in his room reading the entire time. That’s become another sore spot with me too. I get everyone goes through phases of reading, but when video games have been consuming his life, he needs to readjust his priorities and read a chapter-a-day. He was suppose to owe me three chapters anyway. Smart little kid, he knew reading would make me happy and he would have at least fulfilled one promise. Did I mention I also grounded him from cartoons and the computer? When I left for the hike without him, I told mom he was grounded. Mom must have relayed the message.
I’ll admit I was still angry with Kyle. So I put on my running shoes and left to do an easy four miles. The run helped calm me down and removed some of the anger that was building up towards Kyle. Getting the blood moving into the cranium cavity, helped me think clearly without emotion. Upon my return, as I re-entered the house again, even more sweaty than previous, Kyle was sitting on the couch with my mom. He looked at me and started talking about something, I don’t remember what, as if nothing happened earlier. I decided to prove a point and say, “Kyle please don’t talk to me right now, I am still mad at you for dodging your responsibilities and breaking your promise.” He just gave me a surprised look and said, “Aunt Heather I didn’t get to read to all three chapters but I read for the entire hour and I’m not watching cartoons.” Followed by my attitude, “I don’t care, you were suppose to read anyway. You didn’t get any exercise at all today. Do yourself a favor and zip it for tonight.” To reinforce my words, mom chimed in saying, “See I told ya Kyle, Aunt Heather’s mad.” Sometime in the time it took me to take a shower and get ready for bed, Kyle was pouting in his room. For the first time in a long time, he didn’t even want to sleep in my bed. I think he actually took up permanent residence on the couch away from everyone, to prove his point no doubt.
On Sunday, I didn’t walk around like I was still mad, even though I was. In fact, I was going to take the dogs for another hike, just to prove my point. But alas we ran out of time. However, that didn’t mean I was just going to dismiss this incidence, O NO! In fact, before I picked Kyle up on that Wednesday for guitar lessons, I made sure he brought his tennis shoes and socks. He asked me why, and I told him we are going to the park to either run or walk. He didn’t say much beforehand until after the lessons and I was making good on my plans.
The minute we got out of the car and was walking toward the path, he started his whining and questioning. He said, “Why do I have to walk? I rode my bike yesterday, the whole way down the road.” I said, “That’s great buddy but what did you do today? Besides you still owe me for Saturday.” He was in shock that I brought that up and said, “I didn’t know you were still mad at me for that?” followed by me saying “O yes, you thought you got away Scott free?” I told him either we run once around or we walk twice, which is about a half a mile for one lap. Well that caused another throwing up of the hands and a lot of grunting and crying.
I’ll give Kyle credit, during our walk he said, “Ok Aunt Heather let’s run.” Great! Except he ran maybe a few feet and then had to walk. At that point I really saw how out of shape Kyle is, especially for being a ten year old. The entire way around the track I kept encouraging him, until he was ignoring me and then I started the threats. Since I always remained at least ten paces ahead of him, I kept walking once one lap was completed. He started questioning this and I had to break the news that he didn’t run hardly any of the first lap, that means one more lap. Although, I would rather him run intervals, I wanted to prove a point. He followed me around again, whining and crying the entire way. At one point Kyle asked me when we were going to stop and I replied, “Once you apologize for not following through on your promise of walking with me and the dogs and when I get an apology for all the whining and complaining.”
Would you believe he would NOT apologize? Nope, we kept walking around again and again and again. He sobbed for most of the time and stayed about ten to twenty paces behind me. It was nice and cool that day so I felt Kyle was not going to get dehydrate. Not to mention he wasn’t pushing himself, maintaining the speed of a snail. He wasn’t exerting himself too much at all! At one point Kyle did stop me and apologize for not taking the dogs for a walk. Of course I accepted his apology but then I said, “And you owe me another apology for you acting like a baby and throwing a temper tantrum for me helping you with your fitness.” He would not apologize! So we continued walking. I couldn’t help myself, I turned to Kyle and said, “You think you can break me, you have another thing coming, I invented stubborn! I could walk ALL night”
As the night creeped in on us, I yelled at Kyle to stay closer to me, so I could keep track of him. Lucky for me, he’s afraid of the dark so he listened. During one of the laps, I stood waiting for him to catch up and I started to stretch my legs. He joined me and did the same. You know I think he felt pretty good with all the walking and certainly with the stretching. Usually when he stretches he is so dramatic and doesn’t really bend anywhere, but that night was different. I showed him a few stretches to loosen up his legs and without comment, whine or resistance, he did as I instructed. It was at that point, we finally walked together side-by-side to the other end of the track until we reached the car. Kyle then turned to me and apologized. It was after 9:00 pm and we walked roughly four miles. Not bad!
Once we got in the car and Kyle decided to sit in the backseat (which I made him sit in his usual passenger side seat beside me) he commented about riding his bike for exercise. Agreeing with him I said, “Buddy that’s an awesome idea. Did you want me to get a bike and we can go together?” He gave a defeated nod. Now, I am not a fan of riding bikes, I prefer running, but for Kyle I would absolutely do that. Anything to incorporate exercise in his daily activities. I’m trying to make fitness apart of him so he never has to deal with obesity, diabetes and the list of other ailments that accompany overweight. I get running is not everyone’s thing, but since neither of us are into sports, sometimes its the best I could do. I’m going to have to explore other creative ideas.