Monday, August 8, 2011

Cycling On By- 7.26.11

It is true, we look back at certain times of our lives with memories of fondness, joy, compassion, laughter, and pure delight.  I feel grateful I can look back at many times like that, especially the time when I owned/taught Baby Boot Camp in Portland. I LOVED teaching classes, felt invigorated by influencing my own child with health and fitness while helping women take care of their bodies. Baby Boot Camp was my third child, so to speak.  My business wasn't just that, and it never was meant to be, which is how it became very successful. It was a way of life; those involved incorporated the ideals of the Portland classes and dynamic into their daily lives.

2007- Teaching Plank with Makenzie
That may sound odd to think about right now, but it was a huge part of our lives in part because of the girls. I started Baby Boot Camp just before Makenzie's first birthday.  I vividly remember my first class with Makenzie bouncing along in Washington Park, singing and playing, and the excitement the Moms and their families felt after.  Jack said to me, "Erin, you found your nitch.  This is incredible and so perfect for you".  It was the first of it's kind in the Pacific Northwest and the Moms took to it; classes grew fast. Jack was right. Baby Boot Camp was my helped me learn Portland and our family get immersed in many aspects of the the city and community. 

The classes were a blast and Makenzie, and later Emerson, knew nothing but fitness as a way of life. They knew of Moms (and Dads) being healthy with their kids. They knew that playing games can be fun in working out; sprinting when pushing a stroller is what all Moms and Dads should do.  They thought having friends play tag  in the park after class was a great way to spend a Saturday morning, or going to the Zoo to see animals while in a jogger with Mom teaching is tons of fun. I loved seeing the kids mimic their Moms by doing lunges and the bonding with my own daughters doing push ups with them.

Riding Home with Barbie riding with us
On Monday, Makenzie and I were going through photos.  She asked me if I missed teaching Baby Boot Camp, and I said I really did. I missed many things about it, and owning that business.  I missed the community, and how it was what we did as a family on weekends.  The routine of teaching with Jack on Saturday mornings, followed by Barnes & Noble story time was so sweet to start the weekend right.  The little toes kicking in front of the jogger, combined with the girls laughing with their little friends as we taught class makes me smile still.  Starting the mornings with boot campers who became some of my best friends, exercising together, was incredible.  But knowing that what I was doing as my profession, truly helped inspire the Baby Boot Campers to live healthier and more active lives, made the work hours beyond worth it.  While I was reminiscing on the aspects of Baby Boot Camp I loved, I said to Makenzie, "While I miss that part of that chapter in my life, I cherish it and love the chapter we are in now too.  Each part of our lives have their own stories and we are in a new one now that we are writing to be great!".

After talking about those special times, Makenzie asked if she could ride her bike with me to the Club. I was going to do a swim workout and run there to get more miles in, but she wanted to ride along side and read while I swam. A first for her, but why not. While I was excited, honestly I also was thinking I hope I can get a solid mile swim in since this is my training window.  I know it may sound selfish, but I had visions of a great ride there, with me being stopped each lap for a typical kiddo"Are you done yet?" question.  Yes, I did feel bad with these thoughts too because my normal Mom guilt of always wanting to be easy with my kids.

Post swim ride/run home!  New chapter...
It was after dinner, and with just the two of us it felt like we were in a new, more big kid, world. Makenzie on her two wheeler and me running alongside carrying the backpack with our swim gear.  She was steady on her bike and shared stories the entire ride, sounding so much older than I wanted to realize. We got to the pool and true to her word, Makenzie pulled a chair up at the end of my lane and started reading her book.  She knew the time on the clock to check for when it was time to pop in and swim with me. Makenzie patiently read and then hopped in and we swam, played and laughed for another 45 minutes.  We did underwater tea parties, bobbed, and relished just being mermaids together.  We watched the sunset while swimming and Makenzie said to me, "Mom, this marks a new chapter for us. Now you can train with me and I can train with you! Just us- our special time together".  Heart  = melted.

We got dressed, riding/running home in the dark.  I didn't want the night to end for the incredible conversations and time we were sharing, just us, but was excited about this marking a new tradition we will do together.  Soon she'll be comfortable to swim laps beside me too, but I don't want to rush anything as each moment of our lives marks something new. For me, to have her mature, patient and eager to "train with me" gave me another sense that our chapter before helped shape who she is now.  Seeing me always determined to be strong and active, leading my clients along the way, gave her a strength and confidence she carries with her.  I look forward to the next memories to be created during our training sessions.  Again, my little workout partner is leading my way, writing her own story with fine detail.  

Sweet Nora- July 2011
*** Fun addition- Anne, the first instructor I hired for Baby Boot Camp, who became a dear friend didn't have kids for her first few years of teaching. She now has two gorgeous daughters.  Her youngest, Nora, is a baby and when we got home from our bike ride, I opened my email to find a picture of Nora in a Ride Alameda Tricycle onesie we sent her.  The active Mama book continuing being written...

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I am probably out running, but I thank you for taking the time to share. I look forward to your additional input as this blog grows and evolves.
Erin Kreitz Shirey