Steppin' It Up!

I exercise 3 times a week at our church. It's a pretty big group of moms. They come with all their kids in tow. Moms are on the gym floor doing their thing and the kids are relegated to the 'carpeted area' that sits at the back of the gym.
A young mom, "Cheri", has been coming for 6 months now with a toddler in tow. I have watched her in complete awe as the months have gone by.

It's very dangerous for the moms if kids are running around on the gym floor while we are doing aerobics or even more so, step aerobics.

It's imperitive that the kids learn to stay in the carpeted area.

Cheri has spent many a morning with "Gil" on her lap crying......she has had to carry him while 'stepping'. She has put another 'step' right next to hers and he has sat on that screaming and crying while mom does her workout.

I have seen her walk that little boy back to the carpeted area about 1200 times. She has worked the "Uh-Oh Song" to perfection with Gil. He's 2 years old. It's all about bodily placement. In the last couple of months I have seen her just give him a raised eyebrow when he is about ready to run out on the gym floor. He smiles and turns back.

Not very many moms like Cheri with a toddler or two in tow make it past the first week in exercise class. They come and when their kids aren't completely compliant to the task of staying on the carpet, they give up. THEY miss out on a great experience: Exercise AND teaching their children about boundaries and limits. It reminded me today of the saying, "I'm not growing a garden. I'm growing children."

Was Cheri fully able to participate in class for a few months? No.
Did she work her patience every morning? Yes.
Her abs? Not necessarily.
Did she leave class thinking, "why do I bother?" Yes.
Did Cheri see a bigger picture in the future? Yes.

Her payoff for all of that hard work is now a 60+ minute workout for HER and playtime for Gil with other kids on the carpet. Added bonus: a raised eyebrow at home, does the same thing.

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