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What Do You Get When You Cross Jillian Michaels With Richard Simmons? My Daughter.

January 31, 2011

As any parent knows, working out at home with young children can be a nightmare challenging time: they require potty assistance during crunches; lunges are interrupted by demands for goldfish crackers; and push-ups are replaced with horsey rides.

Trying to exercise with my three-year-old daughter involves these things and more. Much more. She puts on a spectacle that is part marine drill sergeant, part Vegas showgirl. Allow me to explain…

It starts before I even decide to work out when my kid starts with variations of the following: “Mommmeeee, time to exerciiiiiise…”

Then comes the work out gear. If I’m doing hot yoga at a studio I’ll make an effort, appearance-wise, but for Tabata intervals in my basement? I’m all about the sports bra and yoga pants (try and contain yourselves, fellas).

My daughter always comments on my “pretty exercise costume” (this is a testament to how low I set the sartorial bar when I’m not exercising) while I comment that the basement is cold and she should put on some clothes. To appease me, she then dons a red witch’s hat and carries a rope (from my son’s monk costume…but that’s another post).

I start the online timer and begin my workout, doing a series of intense intervals while my daughter circles me in a full sprint, cheering me on with, “Great job, mommy!” and “You’re so strong!” which is actually quite helpful.

When I stop to rest, she does, too. Then she proceeds to WHIP ME WITH HER ROPE, saying, “Faster, mommy! Why’re you quitting?!” This is somewhat less helpful, but I’m usually panting too hard to get her to stop.

After I’m finished, she’ll cajole me into doing one more thing (“Why you no do pushups?!?!”), the result of which makes me feel like a kick-ass-workout-ninja. Until she joins me for some final pushups and puts me to shame with her plank, while I cheat with my knees on the ground.

She is inspiring. She is indefatigable. She is three.

A dramatic interpretation of my life.

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2011 7:08 am

    I laughed out loud and then read this to my own daughter. I may regret that. She has a jump rope that I’m pretty sure would sting.

  2. ryoko861 permalink
    January 31, 2011 7:50 am

    Maybe the army is in her future. You could be creating the next R. Lee Emery!

    • January 31, 2011 8:54 am

      Either that or a dominatrix…

      • ryoko861 permalink
        February 2, 2011 7:24 am

        OOh, didn’t think of that!!! At least she won’t take shit from any guys!

      • February 2, 2011 1:03 pm

        It’s my saving grace…!

  3. January 31, 2011 8:33 am

    At least she hasn’t discovered climbing on top of you while in plank….in time, in time.

  4. January 31, 2011 9:09 am

    I could have written this! In fact, I think I did – last year sometime, when I started doing the 30 Day Shred and realized that my kids were POSSESSED by the spirit of Jillian. It was downright scary (and made me want to run away and hide in the closet with a box of donuts). Three year olds are HARD CORE!!!

  5. January 31, 2011 12:05 pm

    I bow to your ability to exercise from home. If I didn’t have a gym with classes, I would never workout.

    Your daughter has a future career. Get ready for her to start kicking you out of bed at 6 AM, cracking the rope, and making you exercise. 🙂

    You really should video tape it too… I see possible millions in your future because I’m sure she’s far more entertaining than Jillian.

    • February 2, 2011 12:59 pm

      Ha – growing through it is enough – no need to relive the drama again on tape!

  6. January 31, 2011 2:14 pm

    “Indefatigable” Love it!

    When your daughter is THE trainer to the stars, she can owe it all to you!

  7. January 31, 2011 2:16 pm

    I love this! I think I should get mine involved more in my workouts(that I keep meaning to start) I know they shames me into running faster when we go to the park.

  8. January 31, 2011 2:54 pm

    I think I love her. Can I borrow her. Maybe she can teach my toddler a trick or two.

    • February 2, 2011 1:01 pm

      Today is a snow day, it’s only 1pm and I’m ready to drive her to your house and give her to you…

  9. January 31, 2011 7:31 pm

    At least you have companions for your exertions. My cats just look at me with disdain, and then trot off to bathe. Mind you, there are no snarky comments about how frizzy my ‘do gets post-workout…

    • February 2, 2011 1:02 pm

      We need to get my kid and your cats together…it would give us time to forget the workout and enjoy a cocktail!

  10. TheIdiotSpeaketh permalink
    January 31, 2011 8:12 pm

    LMAO! Got some advice for ya that served us well over the years…. OVERSIZED PET CARRIERS…… just the right size for a typical three year old kid….lightweight…durable….room for food and water bowls….etc. Straightens these kids out real fast! 🙂

    • February 2, 2011 1:03 pm

      This is fantastic advice! And timely, since my son was getting her to “fetch” some chopsticks earlier today!

  11. January 31, 2011 10:15 pm

    Kudos to you for working out at home!!! I feel very lazy now, as both an exerciser and mom of a 3 year old. Your daughter already has a career while I’m convinced my son probably won’t be using the potty until he’s 35. You want to do an arranged marriage?

    • February 4, 2011 7:06 pm

      Oh honey – you need to get on my exercise bandwagon! The full work-out is exactly 16 minutes. And I fear my daughter is doomed to a career in the S&M field (I hear they’re benefits are horrible). But yes, I would like that arranged marriage, because with your kid’s dance moves and my kid’s cardio capacity, THEIR kids will be, like, super-human!

  12. Elena Aitken permalink
    February 4, 2011 3:58 pm

    Ha ha ha
    I think I snorted some tea when your daughter whipped you with the skipping rope.
    sorry.
    but.
    ha ha ha

    • February 4, 2011 7:07 pm

      I know. I would’ve laughed at the time, too, but then I would’ve puked.

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