An exercise in patience

Hope you all had a fun and safe holiday. We in the wishfit household had an action-packed weekend. We did a little of this,

and some of this,

and ooohhed and aaaahhhed over this.

That was all on the third of July, at a Denver-area concert and fireworks show. Lot’s of fun, but nothing that required either exercise, or much patience. That part comes next.

On the fourth (which also happens to be Mike’s birthday-yeah!), we hopped in the car bright and early to head up Hwy. 70 into the mountain wonderland that surrounds us. We’ve always been a hikin’ family, but since moving back to Colorado, we’ve taken full advantage of all this great state has to offer. It’s not uncommon for us to spend at least one weekend day exploring local trails, either with the kids or solo (we take turns on kid-duty so the other person is set free for fishing, a trail run or a bike ride).

Yesterday, Mike decided he wanted to head back to a trail he tried with the boys earlier in the year, only to be turned away because of too much snow. This time, the weather was a spicy 90-plus degrees in Denver, and a perfect 64 degrees at the Dos Chappell Nature Center and Mount Goliath trailhead.

Everyone started the 3-mile hike in good spirits. Since about age 4, (he’s almost 6 now) Garrett has been a great hiker. He charges at a pace that matches ours, and does not require much parental motivation (i.e. bribery). I am hoping by the time Graham reaches that age, he will do the same. I am not holding my breath. While he enjoys being active and outdoors, he definitely has a more laid back style. Meaning he wanders. He meanders. He stops to inspect every. single. rock. He is also not super coordinated, so he tends to fall, trip and scare the crap out of me on narrow trails and ledges. Luckily, he is not much of a crier, so he manages to shake off scrapes and bruises pretty quickly. Graham’s main motivation is the promise of a granola bar at the top of the mountain. “I hungry. Are we on top of the mountain yet?”

This is where the patience comes in. If you’ve read much of this blog, you understand we’re a pretty active family. It’s called wishFIT, after all. Because fitness is such an integral part of our lives, Mike and I want our kids to love it too. We want them to be healthy and active now, so that in the future exercise will be a natural part of their lifestyle. So we play games with them, get them involved in sports and take them hiking. With little kids, that requires a lot of patience. Gone are the days of steadily trekking to the summit and then relaxing for a bit at the top, taking in the view. Now we walk at a snail’s pace, “wowing” and “uh huhing” at every bug and stick. We play mind games (it’s not as bad as it sounds) to get the little guy to just keep moving, and we are constantly scanning the trail for death traps (ok, maybe that’s just me). But most of all, we are breathing deeply, and not because of the altitude. We are trying to stay calm and keep from hurrying Graham along so much that he stops having fun. Because that’s the whole point, right? Make it fun. Make memories. Make hikers and nature-lovers out of our boys, so that some day, when they can walk faster, they will still want to hike with us.

How do you keep your kids active? Do you take them hiking? Do they do it for the love of the trail, or for the snacks you pack?

Btw, Mount Goliath is part of the Mount Evans Recreation area. If you live in the Denver-area, or are planning a trip, it’s well worth the visit. Check out the website for more information.

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3 thoughts on “An exercise in patience

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