My Top Tips for Exercising with Kids

For those of you that may be thinking of exercising with your kids but don’t know where to start, this is a post for you.  As I have mentioned here and here, kids can struggle to meet the minimum requirements for physical activity as recommended by the American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM), especially as they head toward their teen years.  Current guidelines are as follows:

  • Children and adolescents should accumulate a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity daily as part of transportation, physical education, sport, free play and planned exercise. The activities should be a combination of moderate and vigorous intensity. Moderate intensity is defined as activity that increases breathing, sweating, and heart rate and vigorous intensity substantially increases breathing, sweating, and heart rate.
  • Sedentary activity is a strong contributor to overweight and low physical fitness. Sedentary activities such as television viewing, computer and telephone use, and inactive video games should be limited to < 2 hours per day.

While my kids are pretty active, I know I can be guilty of leaving them on technology for >2 hours per day especially on weekends.  Progress not perfection.  I believe that the first part of the equation is teaching our children to value and enjoy exercise and this is one of the most beneficial things that we can do as a parent, coach or trainer.  Here are my top tips for exercising with children.

  1.  Monkey See Monkey Do – Exercise in front of them.

We can try and teach our kids healthy habits in many ways but at the end of the day they will be watching and learning from the habits of those closest to them. Typically, most of us will head off to the gym or out the door for a run or ride on our own and sometimes the kids don’t get to see us actually exercise.  Trust me, I am all for a bit of time out while exercising but I also think it is important for them to see us huffing and puffing, sweating, and finding it difficult too.  This may mean taking them to the park and doing your workout while they play, taking them for a jog/walk in the pram, letting them scoot or ride beside you while you run, using attachments for bikes to take them along for a ride, or simply putting on a fitness DVD at home while they play.  More often then not I bet they join in.

2.  Variety is the Spice of Life

Mix it up, keep them interested.  Exercise doesn’t always have to mean running 4km, doing lap after lap in the pool, or just training with your sporting teams.  Although all of these activities definitely have a place, participating in a range of different movements has many benefits for kids.  These can include reducing the risk of overuse injuries and providing opportunity to develop a large range of movement skills, therefore increasing their confidence and the likelihood that they will continue to exercise long into the future.  Research shows that children who do not develop these
skills early in life may be less likely to meet or exceed recommendations for daily physical
activity later in life.  So get busy moving with your little ones.  Check out my earlier post on 7 Ways to get the Kids Active and Outdoors for some inspiration, or if you are stuck indoors (because it is nearly 50 degrees celsius outside as in Pannawonica at the moment), one of my children’s favourite games is ‘Just Dance’.  I have attached a YouTube link so you can see what’s involved but you can follow this link to purchase, it even comes as a smart phone app.  Just quietly, it is hilarious watching your kids playing when they don’t know you are looking.  I love it because they drop the ‘too cool’ facade and just boogie!!

You got up and gave it a go didn’t you??  Go on admit it….

3.  Watch out for Overheating

Be mindful that children have a large surface area of skin when compared to their little bodies, as such they are more exposed to heat and are also less efficient at cooling the body down when it does heat up.  Basically, this means try to avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day, make sure they keep up the fluid intake not just during exercise but also in the lead up to physical activity, they will need more frequent breaks when it is hot, and keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of overheating.  You can read more about it here.

4.  Exercise as a Family – What is good for one is good for all…

Some of our favourite moments have come from being active as a family.

Just get out there and be active.

5.  Strength Training is OK

There is a lot of misconception surrounding strength training and kids but the research supports that it is safe and beneficial when performed correctly.  I found a great article that busts common myths and misconceptions surrounding children and strength training and you can check it out at this link.  My recommendations for introducing kids to strength training are as follows:

  • For the most part, body weight exercises are the perfect introduction to strength training and with all the variations you should be entertained for a long while.
  • Don’t expect perfect technique straight up, it takes time and repetition to develop new skills.  I find that I give them the basics and try not to pick at them the whole session.  As long as they are not unsafe I will cut them a bit of slack, especially in the first few sessions of a new program.
  • Stay with the same program for at least 4-6 weeks.
  • If at all unsure pay for an Exercise Physiologist or qualified health professional to design a program for your family.  You can have peace of mind from anywhere between $60-$120 depending on who you approach.  You may even be able to claim these sessions back through health insurance.
  • Technique, technique, technique.  Children need to master good technique and good body awareness before they even start thinking about introducing weights.
  • Should you decide to introduce weights to a program keep it simple.  Make sure you are very confident in the person instructing your children and the focus must always be on good technique.

Surprisingly kids love boot camp sessions.  We have recently started family boot camp sessions and apart from a couple of spots of whinging here and there, my kids are more than happy to work out .  I think they also know not to waste time trying to get out of it as it doesn’t work with me!  We keep these sessions short and sharp, usually all finished in 30 minutes from start to finish.  Crank out some great tunes and happy days!

6.  It does not always have to be fun.

Shock, horror, I know.  Nearly every article I read is about making sure exercise is fun for kids, blah, blah, blah.  It does have to be enjoyable but that is not where our jobs stop.  I think that if we set kids up with the expectation that exercise and physical activity is always fun I believe we are setting them up for failure.  Instead we should be encouraging them to find the satisfaction and joy in completing something difficult and teaching them how to deal with situations when the going gets tough.

Not everyone will agree with me and that’s OK. Not everyone will understand why I do crazy things such as 4km fun runs with my kids (and expect them to actually try and run it all) or complete boot camp sessions as a family and I am OK with that too.  For me it is simple, how can I possibly ignore four years of university training, nearly 15 years of working in the health industry, a multitude of research articles and my own experience with exercise, when it tells me that staying active is one definite way to increase our chances of living a full and healthy life.  Time will tell, but I am enjoying the journey in the meantime!

 

 

Mothers Day Classic 4km Family Fun Run

As I mentioned previously, this event was merely the icing on the cake on our journey to run 4km as a family.  All the work, the pride, the satisfaction came from training together twice a week, sometimes three times a week, in the lead up to the Mothers Day Classic.  By the time the actual day rolled around it was all about celebrating a job well done.  We decided to make a weekend of it and booked a unit in Dampier, near the beach, where we had a relaxing couple of days playing at the beach, park, and enjoying a dinner out.  The other important part of the weekend was raising awareness and funds for Breast Cancer research.  A big thank you to our family and friends who sponsored Team Campbell and all our efforts. I will let the photos tell the story of our day at the Mothers Day Classic 4km Family Fun Run.

It was a great event to participate in, and it may become a Campbell family tradition.  The husband has been a little forgotten in all this, but his story is also pretty impressive.  My husband would be the first to tell you that he is not the most athletic person but he was quite keen to sign up for this family challenge.  Hubby has never run 4km without stopping…..ever.  The first time he did this was at this event, with three of his boys, holding hands as they crossed the finish line.  Mr Exercise Hitlist was a little emotional, quite chuffed, and it is a moment that he will cherish for a long time to come.  Mission accomplished I say.  Another special mention must go to my eldest child, 8 yrs old, who managed to complete the whole course without stopping.  He wasn’t fast but he stuck to his game plan and just kept plugging away.  This is harder than it looks in this type of event, as there are people everywhere so it is hard to keep a steady pace as you try and weave in and around people.  There were also a lot of children in the event, which was fantastic, but most kids would walk a little, and sprint or jog a little, then walk again.  My younger kids found that hard as they wanted to walk when the others were walking even though they had run much further in training!  They all did a fantastic job, but especially the eldest who was probably one of the only kids to run the whole distance!!  I am beyond proud of my little family.

After returning home from our weekend I asked the kids and hubby what they thought about training, running in this event, and whether they would do it again.

B1 (8yr old) – What did you like the best about training?  Icy poles at the end.  Favourite training moment? When you and I ran that whole 3km.  Did you feel like you could run 4km without stopping at the start?  No way! It was really hard at the start.  What did you feel like when you finished the 4km on race day?  I was really proud of myself, it felt good.  I also felt like I was saving lives.  Would you do it again?  Maybe, not for a while.  I would rather train for a bike race.

B2 (7yr old) – What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Favourite training moment?  When we did that really good run all the way to the pool and then we got to have a swim.  What did you feel like when you first started running? I didn’t like it.  My legs hurt and it was hard.   Did it get easier? Yes!  Some days it was awesome.  What did you feel like when you finished the race? Awesome.  Would you do it again??  Yes.

I found this drawing B2 had drawn a few days after the race....I think he had fun right?

I found this drawing a few days after the race….I think he had fun right?  B2 is the one right at the top yelling ‘Weeeee….’

B3 (7yr old) –  What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Favourite training moment?  The days off.  What about the 3.5km run?  That was good.  When I ran the 3.5km, I felt like I could keep running and running.  What did you feel like when you first started running?  Sore after the run.  What did you feel like when you finished the race?  Good.  When prompted for something other than ‘good’? I liked that we all ran together.  Would you do it again?  Not really.  I want to do a bike race.

B4 (5yr old) – What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Favourite training moment?  When I sucked it up and ran all the way to the shed which was the longest run.  (Just over 2km)  What did you feel like when you first started running?  I didn’t feel like I could do it but I could.  What did you feel like when you finished the race?  Good.  It was my first time to do a race.  Would you do it again? Yes.

Hubby – What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Loved the occasional cheer squads from the locals.  The guys waiting for the bus to go to work, and the more sane locals who were sitting outside having a beer.  Also loved the ticker shown by B1, and B3 when they did their breakthrough runs.  It was hard work though and some days I really didn’t feel like doing it.  Favourite training moment?  It was a training run with Team Rangas, which started out shocking, but then they kicked into gear and ended up putting me through my paces.  What did you feel like when you first started running?  I doubted whether I could do it, I wondered whether my knees could do it.  I thought surely this is just a phase and Beth will give it up.  I was surprised when it got easier.  What did you feel like when you finished the race?  I was a bit emotional, I was proud of myself.  I was blowing out holding hands with my boys as we crossed the finish line.  I was really proud of the twins for digging deep, as we mixed up where the finish line was.  They thought we were done but then had to find something extra to run the extra 500m to the actual finish line.  I was really impressed that the eldest finished without stopping, thought he would be the first to stop given the attitude at the start of the race.  Would you do it again?  Yeah I would.  I would love to do a team event with the family.

Me – What did I like the most about the training?  I love the excited chatter when we got home from a run, when they would chat about how far they ran before stopping, how awesome so and so was today, what we should try next time.  All while sucking on their icy poles.  I think this is really why everyone loved the icy poles!!  What was my favourite training moment?  It still has to be the D-Man running the 3.5km, it just clicked that night, he ran so comfortably.  He was just buzzing, and I swear he would have run the loop again if I let him.  Proud mumma moment.  In saying that, all my boys had runs that just made me proud!  What did you feel like when we first started running?  I felt like this was going to be the longest 10 weeks of my life and it would be a miracle if I didn’t have a mass mutiny.  There was a lot of ‘Sometimes things are hard, and it hurts, but you just have to find a way to get it done’, ‘Suck it up princess’, and ‘We just have to get the job done tonight boys’.  There were a lot of runs where I was really proud of them because they gave up at some point, felt like it was too hard, but then managed to regroup and finish off strongly.  What did I feel like when I finished the race?  I stayed with my youngest during the race and he didn’t have the greatest run.  He was a crook with a small cough and a little overwhelmed by it all, so during the race I actually felt a little underwhelmed and not sure I had met my expectations of race day.  Looking back at it all, it was all that I needed it to be and a great family bonding experience.  My youngest wore his medallion for all of the next week, to school and everywhere.  He would have worn it to bed if he could.  Would you do it again?  Absolutely!

Stay tuned for our next adventure, looks like they are all on board to try something else!

Running with Kids and Keeping it Real – Journey to Mothers Day Classic 4km

I haven’t really explained what on earth made me decide to train for and run in the Mothers Day Classic 4km Fun Run with four kids aged 8, 7, 7, and 5.  Initially, I guess I wanted to share the joy I get from setting a goal, working and training hard, and finally completing the task to the best of my ability.  I also wanted them to feel pride in a job well done.  Exercise is one of the best ways to make yourself proud….it lies completely in your hands.  Run a little faster or a little further, lift heavier, work harder, don’t give in, show up, all of these things build a sense of pride, resilience and self confidence.  I wanted to give this to my kids.

My vision was to train regularly as a family and hopefully complete the 4km without stopping.  Along the way I also wanted to convince the boys that they wanted to achieve this as well, not just because I wanted them to do it, but because they wanted to achieve it for themselves.  An impossible task?  Possibly, but give it a go I would.  Here’s where it gets tricky, how to convince the boys that this was not just a cruel and unusual form of torture?  From the start, I was up front with them that this wouldn’t be easy, that sometimes they wouldn’t feel like running but that we were going to commit to training at least 2x per week until the Mothers Day Classic Fun Run in about 10 weeks time.  There are very few sporting activities available in Pannawonica so I also explained that it was a good way keep fit until the football season started and I may have also reminded them of the fun I had doing the Adventurethon last year and wouldn’t they like to be part of something like that?  OK, OK, hard sell but they were quite happy to agree to the terms.

I will be honest the first few runs were far from joyful, happy family bonding times….the kids were whinging about sore legs and being short of breath before the first 100m was completed.  We set targets for where we would run to each stretch and then that was non negotiable, no stopping before we reached our target.  As you can imagine no one felt the same on any given day so negotiating our targets could be quite tricky and were a point of contention that quite often led to tears.  Mum or Dad pulled rank more often than not in the early days or we would have walked the whole distance before we could agree on where we were running to.

IMG_0370

This was our first run – lots of walking, tried to make it interesting by heading out around the truck and past the big drive in screen.

I find it amazing to look back and see where we started, the boys were shocked if I suggested they run more than 200m and yet most runs now are at least 2km before our first walk.  Our pace on the first run was 10.21mins/km for 2.6km whereas our last run together was 7.36mins/km for 3.4km.  It really does blow my mind, we are capable of so much more than we think we can.

There were plenty of tears along this journey but I went in with the knowledge that jogging the distances that we would be doing would not hurt the kids, that endurance would improve, and that putting down the technology and getting outside would be nothing but beneficial.  I often think that as parents, we want to make things easy for our kids and give them everything, but in doing so we are not giving them the tools to survive the curve balls that life will sometimes throw us.  So I didn’t mind them struggling a little with this as I want them to know they can tough things out and get the job done. This may sound a little harsh but it was my gut decision that they weren’t really hurting, just struggling because it was hard initially and they didn’t know how to deal with that.  Besides, I figure my kids cry when I ask them to tidy their rooms or put away the technology at times so I took it with a little grain of salt.  Looking back I would do the same all over again because they got it.  Each time they may have cried, they were able to regroup and they finished the job and were proud of themselves.  When they completed a great training run, they knew they had done something fantastic and their little faces would glow.

It wasn’t all tears, especially after the first few weeks they all quite enjoyed the routine of exercising together.  We initially split up, with Hubby taking Team Chunky Butts and I took Team Rangas, so it was a little easier to encourage and judge how far to go each time.  I loved the chats along the way, I loved when the kids would choose the targets and choose to push that little further, and I loved the end of the run debrief where they would all be trying to tell each other where they went and how far they went today.  Many great moments along the way.

All in all it has been a great experience to do as a family and come race day it really doesn’t matter what happens.

 

Coral Bay – A Place to Soothe the Soul

We have had this trip to Coral Bay planned for quite a while and the timing could not have been better coming as it did at the end of a bit of a rocky week.  As some of you may be aware, the iron ore prices have been taking a bit of a dive for a while now and we have been waiting somewhat anxiously to see what mining giant Rio Tinto would do to tighten their belts.  Last week was a big week of job cuts, redundancies, cuts in working hours and  pay here in Pannawonica.  It was a bit of a body blow to us with my husband having his hours, and therefore his pay, cut significantly.  You start to wonder whether the sacrifices were worth it, whether you will ever manage to get ahead, whether you will have the resources to provide the kids with all the opportunities you would wish for them in the coming years.  We took the hit and may have staggered for a moment, but at the end of the day hubby still has a good job with some decent perks, he will be home a lot more (which after a year of FIFO we appreciate the value of this), and we have the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful places in Australia in our new backyard. So feeling a little flat, and with thunderstorms and rain rumbling around us not helping the mood,  we headed off to  enjoy our weekend in Coral Bay and have fun with some new and some old friends.

Wishing the storm clouds away for the weekend.

Wishing the storm clouds away for the weekend.

After just over 4 hours on the road and arriving just before sunset, Coral Bay welcomed us with open arms.  Problems? What problems?  Ahhhh….so beautiful. It took the kids about 5 minutes flat to hit that water from arrival.

We stayed at Ningaloo Reef Resort, the rooms were comfortable and had views of the beach.  More importantly the beach and the reef were literally a walk across the road.  The caravan park next door looked pretty fantastic as well and we would probably stay there next time we visit…because there will be a next time!  This time round we stayed pretty close to home as there is plenty to do right off the doorstep.

It really was a wonderful weekend away and even just snorkelling off the beach we were able to see many fish, a big groper, a manta ray, some big clams, and so much beautiful coral.  We spotted lots of crabs on the beach and even an octopus at the boat ramp too.  Next time we visit we will have to book in for a tour to see if we can spot some Whalesharks, Turtles, Manta Rays and lots more marine life. This weekend was the perfect reminder that life is about making the most of our moments.  Endless days at the beach, kids laughter and excitement in each new discovery, good food, wine, and company,  and dragging tired but happy, sandy kids home from the beach at sunset only to fall exhausted into bed at the end of each day….what more does a girl need?

Exercise Hitlist No.3 – Off and Running

I seem to have lost my blogging mojo, not for lack of things to write about but just because.  Kids are all at school this year which is amazing and a little depressing to think that I am old enough to have school age children, haha.  To be quite honest I have been fluffing around at home, enjoying the peace and quite, reading and watching TV, and generally being a big, fat lazybones.  It has been lovely….but it has to stop.  So last week I reviewed my new Hitlist, shook it off and got it into working order.  Here is the latest hitlist. Hitlist 3 To prove that I have not been completely unproductive, I have actually managed to get started on a few of these items. Most importantly, I, have a new training partner.  As the new person in town I was a little nervous about how I was going to convince someone to come and train with me.  On the positive side they don’t know what kind of crazy they will be getting into (mwah ha ha ha ha thats supposed to be an evil laugh).  Turns out it was easier than expected.  Pannawonica has an online noticeboard on facebook for town updates, items for sale, services available etc.  I took a big, deep breath and dived right in.  I put a post on the page stating that I was looking for a training partner for the duration of the 8 week challenge, that I have skills that are quite handy for a training partner, and that if there was more than one person interested I would just draw a name out of the hat.  I was a little nervous that there would be nothing but silence and I would be the weird, new girl in town…not a good look….but thankfully I had a very positive response. Phew!  Anyway, back to the point, I have a new training partner which is very exciting.  Maybe a little scary for my new partner, a mother of two who has never really done strength training before, hehehehe….fresh blood.

I have been to four different classes organised by the gym including a Boxing/Cardio class, Circuit class, Yoga, and Spartacus/100 Club.  All that I have been to have been good but I really love the Spartacus class.  This involves about 6 different exercises for example Shuttle Runs, KB Swings, Weighted Lunges, Med Ball Slams, Push Ups, etc and the aim is to complete 100 reps of each exercise in 40 minutes.  You can do them in any order and as many reps at a time as you like, the only catch being that every five minutes you have to join in and do one minute plank.  The same exercises are kept for a 4 week period to allow time to improve and hopefully achieve 100 reps across the board.  It’s awesome.

The Pannawonica 8 week Fat Burn Challenge has commenced this week and I swear I am having chocolate and alcohol withdrawal symptoms which is quite possibly why nothing creative is coming alive on the blog.  Week one in changing dietary habits is always painful.  I usually find after two weeks the cravings drop off significantly but those habits take a while to stick.  Ho hum.  I have started using the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app on my phone which is actually really good.  Easy to use and the break down of macros is great.

Another thing we have done as a family is to register for the nearest Mother’s Day Classic Fun Run which is in Karratha.  We are hoping to train 2-3x/week and build up to running the whole 4km.  To keep us motivated (and not look like a crazy running group) we decided to split the family into two training teams.  Team Rangas includes the red headed twins and myself, while Team Chunky Butts has my husband and both the eldest and youngest children.  I have also downloaded RunKeeper to keep track of our progress.  Yes, look at me embracing my new iPhone technology…wonders will never cease.  Training has been going really well and it is great seeing them excited to beat their time, or run that little bit further.  I also love listening to them chat about their day, it is quickly becoming my favourite part of the day.

You can support us and donate to Breast Cancer Research here.

Well that is the new hitlist underway and hopefully this marks the end of the blog drought.  What is everyone else up to and is anyone else training for the Mother’s Day Classic?  Where abouts?

Helloooo from Pannawonica

Well I am finally back in action after quite a long leave of absence.  What have I been up to?  Let me give you a quick summary of all the things that I have been doing over the last five weeks….

  • We packed up our house and prepared it for rental before flying the 5 hours back east to visit family.
  • My husband and I had a lovely couple of days in Palm Cove, kid free, to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.Palm Cove Collage
  • Stayed with my sister and had some fun on the Blue Sky Farm
  • Beach Holiday with extended family and friends at the lovely Bramston Beach.  My sister has already done a great blog post about that one so if you want to see how much fun we had, read all about Bramston Beach here.Beach
  • Climbed a mountain or two…Baldy Walsh's Pyramid
  • Walked around a lake and of course swam in said lakeLake4.jpg
  • Swam in some beautiful tropical north Queensland locationsJo Falls Babinda Boulders
  • Visited with lots of family and friends
  • Went off road to visit a beautiful little known waterfall 4wd Mackenzie Falls2 Mackenzie Falls MFalls
  • Flew back to the west coast before embarking on a road trip of 1600km to move to our new home town of Pannawonica in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.leaving perth Mesa Panna2 Panna3
  • Visited the dolphins at the beautiful Monkey Mia Monkey Mia Dolphin Shell Beach

It has been a busy, but wonderful four weeks and now we are finally settling in to our new life at Pannawonica.   It is a small town of approximately 800 people with one grocery store, a gym, a school, medical centre, library, post office, tavern and sports club, and a pool.  We can walk from one end of town to the other in about 10 minutes and I have learnt that a ‘Bung Arrow’ is a goanna.  Apparently the locals feed the goanna’s to keep the snakes away.  I have heard that the flies are not so bad this year but even so I have snorted quite a few from my nostrils and have had my husband look at me like I am a creature from another world as I preceded to gag, cough, spit, and splutter in front of him to try and stop myself from swallowing a fly.  Hmmm, such a lady, needless to say I had already swallowed the fly.  The temperature has been mid to high forties this week with the highest being 49oC.  Despite all this I think we will quite enjoy our time here and I have a hitlist already started!! I have a backlog of blog posts that I will get to in the near future including the following:

  • A wrap up of my previous hitlist
  • The best things to do in FNQ
  • Climbing Walsh’s Pyramid
  • Reasons to check out Monkey Mia
  • My new Exercise Hitlist

I will also be trying to add a few more Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention posts in the future.  If you want to hear more about anything else that I have done over the last few weeks or other topics in general please let me know in the comments.

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 4

Time for my fortnightly update on how my training is going in the lead up to Adventurethon Albany.  I have to warn you that my week 7 was pathetic, the final week of school holidays got the better of me and I couldn’t be bothered juggling kids and exercise.  I could have done it, but I lost my mojo.  All’s well that ends well as I found that the decrease in the intensity of my training didn’t hurt and I had renewed enthusiasm for my week 8.

WEEK 7

Monday:  John Forrest National Park ride with the family.  Wk 6 Run 3 completed, 25mins running.

Tuesday :  CrossFit – dragged the 4 boys along with technology and food, bribed/threatened/and cojoled the boys to behave and let me do my workout.  Turns out they thought it was cool, music was rocking and they loved watching everyone train hard at Hillside CrossFit.

Wednesday:  Exercise Bike – 60 mins and 34km

Thursday: Off to the beach with the kiddos, could not be bothered to do anything today.

Friday:  Tried to do a run with four boys on their bikes.  Let’s just say it did not go well, we had fights over who rode which bike, tears that the bike was stupid, sore legs, sore backs.  I think I carried the bikes more than I ran, then they wanted to stop at the park for a play, then a chain came off a bike which amazingly I was able to fix.  I did manage to get a good run home so all was not lost.

Saturday:  10km hike with Snooze and friend.  Late night volunteering at OXFAM Perth with a 2am finish.  My lovely husband let me have a sleep in the next morning, taking the boys out and to the movies.

Sunday:  Finally an uninterrupted run.  25mins and approximately 4.5km.

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WEEK 8

Monday:  Didn’t do bugger all today, thanking God the kids were back at school tomorrow.

Tuesday:  CrossFit

Wednesday:  Exercise Bike 70mins and 40km.  Wanted to do a run in the afternoon while the kids were at basketball practice but I somehow managed to lock my youngest son in the house and was in the car ready to go before I realised I was one child short.  Understandably he was a little uncertain as to my loyalty and requested I stay and watch him train.  Feeling a little guilty for my momentary lapse what could I do?

Thursday:  Morning was spent cleaning the house (you know the kind you do before visitors come) well that kind of clean so I am claiming that as a workout damn it!  I did also manage to fit a 25min run in as well.  Also on the highlight reel….My parents are visiting for just over two weeks so happy days people!!

Friday:  CrossFit

Saturday:  Mundaring Weir Monster stair workout (while the family was checking out this beautiful location in the Perth Hills).  We then took our visitors to Lake Leschenaultia for lunch and a spot of canoeing.  45mins canoe session.  Final stop on our day out was at John Forrest National Park to check out Hovea Falls. 2km bushwalk.

Big Day Out Collage

Sunday:  30 minute run, approximately 4.8km.

I realised this week that I am half way through my training plan. 8 weeks down and only 8 weeks to go….gulp.  I looked up the Adventurethon Australia website to have a refresher and check out accommodation options.  While browsing I found that they have posted a course outline and there is an extra sneaky 2km beach run in the middle of the paddle leg…I was freaking out at making the 8km run at the end let alone adding more running!!

Albany Enduro

After a slight panic attack I am back in control and to be honest I think the scenery is going to be spectacular.  I will have plenty of time to enjoy it at the pace I will be running! haha.  So this block of four weeks I want to start doing a couple of block training sessions.  I thought I would start with adding some smaller runs after my CrossFit sessions and after my bike rides.  The other things I need to start doing are running with my camelpak, and I need to start kayaking some more.  One session is just not going to cut it.  I still have those vouchers to use and we have finally ordered a family kayak which, to be honest, more resembles a small boat.  My husband assures me it will be fine to race.  Well no one will get near me that’s for sure, I will be the big barge on the water….parp, parp.  Anyway we are still negotiating on a second smaller kayak that we still need so the whole family can kayak together.  Wish me luck.

 

 

Sometimes Life Just Gets in the Way

You may have noticed that progress through this current hitlist is a little slow at the moment.  Life is getting in the way.  For one thing, it is nearing the end of the school term and for our little family that tends to mean that kids are starting to tire, immune systems are down (go away snotty noses, sore throats, and coughing), and tempers are starting to fray.  I am sick of school lunches, sick of washing and trying to find uniforms, sick of homework, and sick of my own cooking.  Added to all that, my father-in-law has not been well.  Over this past six months or so, the decision was made to put him in a nursing home, which is a choice that comes with a lot of desperation, love, guilt, and hope that it is the right decision.  As we now live on the other side of the country it is something that we can only watch from a distance and send the odd care package to let them know that they are in our thoughts.

We thought the slippers would get a few smiles.  You have to find reasons to smile at any time.

Care Package from WA – We thought the slippers would hopefully attract a few smiles.

Recently, Poppy has been having a few dramas, so we decided to organise for my husband to do a surprise trip to visit everyone and check for himself that everyone is coping.  My husband’s sister was also competing in her first figure competition so it meant that he would be able to support her in this at the same time.  While I think everyone involved was glad to sneak that family weekend in, it does take a toll.  For my husband, who flew in from his work shift at 7pm on Thursday night and flew out at midnight the same night, had a busy weekend of catching up, and then caught a flight home on Monday which arrived back in Perth in the afternoon, this only allowed one measly night with us before he had to fly back to work the next day.  The following weekend was a party weekend to celebrate my eldest son’s 8th birthday with 10 extra boys coming over for a play at the park and a sleepover.  As you can imagine, there was quite a bit of planning and not much sleeping involved this weekend either.

Camp Chaos for the Weekend

Camp Chaos for the Weekend

So amidst all this chaos we have had the hubby home for 3 full days in 3 weeks, and while it is beginning to sound a little like a pity party, it’s not.  For I had a moment of clarity while wondering what the hell we were doing.  Why do we make all this effort and cause all this extra work and stress?  It brings to mind our annual family camping trips to Emu Park (which are awesome by the way and you can read about it here), it’s a lot of hard work and we grumble at each other and get a little tetchy.  Why? Why do these things?  And I realised that it is in the effort that we show our love.  Anyone can say I love you and it is easy to love in the good times.  But to commit and persist in the hard times, to put the effort in when you are already tired, that’s when you are really telling the people you love that you are there for them and that you love them to the moon and back.  My family was never a demonstrative family and we rarely say those words to each other, but I have never doubted their love because they show it in a million ways.

love_of_a_familyp

In the meantime there is only a week until school holidays where hopefully we will all get a chance to recharge, the hubby will take a couple of extra days here and there and we’ll catch up, and I’ll slowly keep chipping away at the hitlist.

Kings Park Treetop Walk….A Photo Journey

Through the course of my new blogging hobby I have come across a fit mother of two who blogs over at Fit Mother Hubbard.  One of my favourite things that she is doing is to have a family active day on a Saturday or Sunday for all of 2014.  You can read about it in this link.  Such a small thing, but such a great way to make fitness a priority but also something that is fun and just part of family life!  I try to incorporate family fitness fun into our everyday life but it got me thinking whether I do commit to this as much as I could?  Could I make sure that our family participates in a family active day once a week for a whole year?  I am going to give it a crack and I hope a few of you will join me too.

Tying in with this goal was the Kings Park Tree Top Walk that I have been wanting to do with the kids which is on my current hitlist.  Hubby was away this weekend and the kids and I were in need of an outing before it ended in tears from one or all of us!!  I only had my eldest son’s ipod as I forgot to grab the memory card for the camera before I left the house….but here is our Sunday family active day!

It is Spring Festival at Kings Park which I had temporarily forgotten until there were no parking spots to be found.  We ended up over the other side of the park and a little more of a hike and adjustment in plans.  Kids were thrilled...whinge, whinge, moan, moan.

It is Spring Festival at Kings Park which I had temporarily forgotten until we saw all the people and discovered there were no parking spots to be found. We ended up over the other side of the park with a little more of a hike.

After a hike up and over the hill we made it to the tree top suspension bridge.  Spectacular views.

After a hike up and over the hill we made it to the tree top suspension bridge. Spectacular views.

It is very difficult to fit us all in for a selfie.

It is very difficult to fit us all in for a selfie.

There is something about a smooth green hill that just asks for kids to roll down it!

There is something about a smooth green hill that just asks for kids to roll down it!

View from the top of the DNA Tower.

View from the top of the DNA Tower.

Sometimes I had to carry the youngest....or the two scooters.....or both.  Kids were a little over the walk (just under 2km there and 2km back) so had to resort to good old fashioned bribery in the form of ice cream to get them home.

Sometimes I had to carry the youngest….or the two scooters…..or both. Kids were a little over the walk (just under 2km there and 2km back) so I had to resort to the promise of ice cream to get them home.

Lots of people out and about in Kings Park today...fancy some tightrope walking?

Lots of people out and about in Kings Park today…fancy some tightrope walking?

Spring in Western Australia with all the wildflowers is just stunning!

Spring in Western Australia with all the wildflowers is just stunning!

A well deserved play at the end of our walk!

A well deserved play at the end of our walk.