Will you judge me harshly when I tell you the most effective answer seems to be chocolate?
But let me start at the beginning…
Since joining Newcastle Can and becoming healthier I’ve tried to bring my family along with me. My partner has joined a gym and has promised to come along to a parkrun when the weather’s better. My daughter has also joined a gym, although this may be due to peer rather than parental inspiration. My kids have both said they’ll join me for a parkrun when they can.
My son likes to see the maps of where I’ve run. He, perhaps even more than the rest of us, may benefit from getting into the habit of regular exercise now. He faces a double whammy in the obesity odds, having both a family history of obesity and an undiagnosed genetic condition causing a learning disability. It’s widely recognised that:
People with a learning disability are more likely to have problems with their weight.
I wish I’d been a better example to my kids when they were younger, but it’s too late now to change their childhood. What I can do is provide a good example now, show them you can change bad habits and make a positive difference to your health no matter your starting point. I know they are proud of the distance I’ve come.
I’m still looking for future challenges, runs and races I can sign up for to add variety to my running and gradually build me up to my planned half marathon later this year. And thus I heard about the Prudhoe Easter Egg 5k. Chocolate stops and spot prizes! Suddenly my son was more keen to accompany me than he had been for anything else I’ve signed up for.
This, it seems, is how to persuade a reluctant teenager to be more active! Image from Pinterest, as is chocolate image above.
I tried to persuade him that 5k is a long way and will take practice…
He tried to persuade me that I was selling him short and should have more faith in him…
I persuaded him to come for a practice run with me this evening, where he could go slow at my pace and show me how far he could run…
The practice run/walk (as it turned out) persuaded him that mother really might know best and he’s agreed to join me for more practice runs.
2 miles in 27 minutes isn’t bad for his first attempt, although you can see we needed to walk often.
He is faster than me, but so far only over short distances. I have more stamina. But he knows he will improve, because he’s seen me do it, so he has no doubt he’ll manage 5k in Prudhoe and get some chocolate.
My partner will be joining us then too. And my daughter was going to, but it turned out it clashed with a course. Our whole family are definitely fitter and more active now than we were a year ago. And maybe by Easter I won’t be the only family member who’s a regular runner.