We've been talking, for a while, about trying to find something physical for Em to do during the soccer off-season. She loves soccer, but is perfectly happy in AYSO and would rather not opt for a year-round club program, with all the extra practices and travel that means. (OK. I'm the one who objects to the travel. But the club teams around here go FAR. I know parents who drive hours every weekend, just to attend one tournament or another. Which is fine for them. They have kids who kick ass at soccer. My kid kicks a ball. And she kicks it well...but not so well that she's got a professional career ahead of her. Plus, I'd prefer to have real weekends, where more than one family member's needs are addressed. Which is not to say that if N starts playing golf tournaments I won't completely change my tune, but he's a different creature, and his golf talents are at a different level than Em's soccer talents.)
In any case...(damn, I can digress like nobody's business, huh?)
So we've talked about various sports, but none really interest her. We've talked about getting back into swimming, which she loves, but "not enough to do it as a SPORT, Mom." Baroy found her a drop-in dance class on Saturdays that was affordable for us, but Saturdays are horrendously busy, and she hasn't been to one yet. Etc., etc., etc. You no more want to hear the various financial and logistical issues than I want to write about them. Yawn.
What it comes down to is that we want--really, we need--to find her something that she can do more than just once a week for an hour, because the difference in her body from what it was during soccer season to what it is now is really starting to upset her.
And so it was with no small sense of pride that, a little over a week ago, as I was setting out for one of my walks, I heard Em say, "Hey, Mommy. Can I come along?"
Since then, she's joined me almost every other day or so for a walk. We've done a couple of walks down the hill to the grocery store in the late afternoon, to pick up stuff for dinner. We've done a couple of walks with Snug. And we've done a couple where we just head across our neighborhood along a tree-lined street for a mile or so, focusing on really keeping up the pace and getting our hearts pumping.
Already, we're looking for ways to up the ante a little, and we've decided to do it by taking on a few 5K walks in the next couple of months. We're going to do the local Revlon Run-Walk with the family of friends from our temple, whose daughter is one of Em's close friends from Hebrew school. And we're planning on doing the Memorial Day 5K Run-Walk in our neighborhood, the one Baroy always runs. I think she'll just ADORE doing those sorts of events, since there are t-shirts and goodie bags and people clapping added to the mix.
Anyway, even without all of the above, she's loving our walks, and I'm just crazy about the whole idea, not just because it's good for her and good for me and all that, but because walking leaves us little else to do but talk. I've been privy to at least a dozen little bits of 10-year-old gossip that I would never have heard about if we hadn't been walking. She has always had a lot to say, my Em, and now she has me all to herself to say it. Not to mention that I can't think of a better pattern for her to set for herself than to pick up a form of exercise that requires almost nothing in the way of equipment and can be done whenever you want to do it.
But of course, I would say that. Because I *am* the Original Crazy Walking Lady. And now I have spawned another.