Wow!  Has it really been almost 4 months since I wrote something?!  It doesn’t seem like it, but apparently there it is…

Well, here we are in 2013, and the world did NOT end (what a shock…) this past Winter Solstice.  Unless it did and we are now just all involved in some massive cooperative delusion.  Or maybe it’s just me, and I only *think* you’re all here…

My eldest daughter has been surprising me rather a lot lately.  She turned 14 almost 2 weeks ago.  Over the Winter break, she became quite snuggly with me, mainly in the mornings when she first woke up.  She’d crawl into bed next to me and cuddle up in a way that she hadn’t done in a very long time, and sometimes she’d stay there for up to a half an hour, just chatting about whatever came to mind.  I found it very touching, and I told her the other day, now that school has started up again, that I definitely missed our morning snuggle-chats.  She’s also declared that she’s actually *happy* these days (which is a very welcome relief from last school year, when she seemed to be suffering from Depression).  She’s learning to take responsibility for herself, which includes setting healthier boundaries in her relationships with her friends.  There’s still work to be done, mind you, but she is growing up and maturing a bit.

Yesterday, after school, she informed me that she has an assignment this semester to exercise at least 5 hours each week (and she’ll be graded on this, apparently).  Each time she goes to this particular class, she’s supposed to log her exercise times from the past few days.  She told me that she could choose to play Wii Fit or something like that, but she wants to go to the gym with me.  Okay, then!  Looks like I need to change my membership, because the membership I originally signed up for doesn’t allow Guests.

I took care of that last night, though, and we were all set.  We discussed what time of day we’d go (early in the morning, before school), and how long we’d stay (45 minutes) and what we’d do.  This morning, when I woke her up at 5:30, I was prepared for grumbling, but she got up with no complaints, got herself ready, and actually seemed *eager* to get started!  She commented more than once on how wide awake she was, and expressed a true appreciation for the sunrise after the workout was done.  We each ate a Melaleuca Access Bar on the way to the gym, and I showed her where to sign in.  We put our bags in the locker, and headed for the Circuit Training area.  For 30 minutes, we did that, and she got pretty familiar with the various machines.  Then we spent 10 minutes on the treadmill before heading back to the locker room for a quick shower.  We went back home, calling her younger sister on the way (she was already up and playing around on her computer).  I made us all protein shakes for breakfast, and we actually got out the door 5 minutes earlier that we usually do on most mornings!

I’m glad she’s been given this assignment, and I’m glad she wants to work out with me.  I really do a LOT better when I’m accountable to someone else, and now that I know she’s got a grade depending on her working out, I will make sure she does it (and do it with her).  The timing of it is interesting, too, as I had just taken myself back to the gym yesterday for the first time in a few months, with the intent of getting back into a regular routine again.  I’m hoping that, since this is a semester-long assignment, it will be a deeply-ingrained habit for both of us within a couple of months, and we will keep it up long after the assignment is over and done.

My younger daughter is actually kind of jealous that she can’t come with us, but the gym doesn’t allow children under 13, and she’s only just turned 11.  But she’s a generally more active kid than her sister is anyway, so I don’t really think she’ll suffer for a lack of going to the gym.

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