Sarah Simpson Column: If you can’t beat them, let them join you?

Sarah Simpson Column: If you can’t beat them, let them join you?

Not generally good idea to bring child into the gym but sometimes the instructors let a child stay

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you’d like them to. Such was the case the other day when I brought my daughter to the gym with me. I knew her little childminding friend wasn’t going to be there but I didn’t think too much of it. Childminding has toys, puzzles, books, blocks, colouring stuff and every mom’s worst nightmare: Play-doh. (That stuff gets everywhere!) I thought even the mention of the possibility of Play-doh would help get her settled and me out of the room and up to the gym.

On that particular day last week I had the snacks packed, her water bottle filled, a treat for after, and her favourite stuffed tiger (it’s technically a lion but sometimes it’s best not to argue with a three-year-old) situated just to her liking — with its head sticking out of her tiny backpack. I thought we were good to go.

When my child realized her friend would not be there and that her mom was about to go to class, her goodbye hug turned into a death grip. I glanced up at the clock and knew I still had time to love her up before ditching her. I drank my coffee with her on my lap and we chatted while other children began to arrive. Then the other, younger children began to cry. One after the other, maybe three of them all told, were not enthused to be there that day. It happens. It only furthered my kid’s resolve that she was not staying. My blood pressure rose.

The other kids’ moms were able to calm them down and after many (many!!) attempts I gave up, signed mine out and brought her to my class with me. It’s not generally a good idea to bring a small child into the gym but sometimes if a mom is stuck, the instructors let a child stay in the corner while their mom works out. They know it’s hard enough for a mom to even get to the gym some days.

I was setting up my equipment for the class when all of a sudden a flushed childminder appeared asking if anyone had seen my kid. (She was standing beside me.) They thought she’d gone missing from the childminding room and they were scouring the facility for her. Apparently my frustrated sign-out looked more like a nonsense scribble and nobody noticed we’d left. I’m grateful they were so concerned for her well being but was also growing increasingly annoyed that my day kept hitting snags. And it was only 9 a.m.!

I set my daughter up in the corner and the workout began. At first she sat quietly. She was intimidated. Soon after the warm-up she just couldn’t sit still. I was about to pop my top.

“It’s bad enough she wouldn’t stay in childminding, now she has to disrupt my workout?” I thought to myself.

And then it happened. My daughter started to mimic the exercises. First it was jumping jacks, then mountain climbers. When we moved on to bicep curls I knew she would need her own weights. I pulled two little one-pounders from the rack and handed them to her. From then on she wasn’t a distraction, she was a young woman getting her workout in, just like the rest of us. She jumped, she lunged, she lifted those tiny weights, and followed along as best she could. My annoyance melted away.

“Strong mind, strong body!” I whispered. “You can do it!”

I turned around to see my classmates smiling at her persistence. And then I realized I wasn’t annoyed anymore.

I was proud.

So what if my day wasn’t going as planned? So what if I couldn’t get my kid to stay in childminding? The truth is she had a much more meaningful experience staying with me. She got to witness a room full of strong, motivated women, working hard and having a good time. She got to see that it’s OK to be a sweaty mess and yes, everybody’s body is different and everybody lifts different weights and that’s OK. She got to see women supporting women and she was so motivated by it she couldn’t help but jump in and participate. I’d trade that for a little annoyance any day.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Raptors Rescue Society will receive $387,350 from the province to help construct its planned Education Centre. (File photo)
Raptors Rescue Society to receive $387,350 from province

Funding to be used for new Education Centre

Police are investigating after a man was killed at a home on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police investigating early-morning murder in Duncan

One arrested after man killed at Cowichan Lake Road home

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in fatal Chemainus hit-and-run

Investigation expected to be lengthy and involved

The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society is planning on opening a child and youth advocacy centre. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Child and youth advocacy centre eyed for Cowichan

Cowichan Women Against Violence Society hopes to open centre later this year

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in workplace accident at Gold River logging site

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19

Ladysmith’s famous Festival of Lights decorations are still up as of March 1, 2021. (Cole Schisler photo)
PHOTOS: It’s still looking a lot like Christmas in Ladysmith

Festival of Lights volunteers cannot remove the holiday roof top displays due to COVID-19

An investigation is underway after two VPD officers were recorded posing for pictures near a dead body at Third Beach on Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
Vancouver officers placed on desk duty after filmed posing next to dead body

Pair put in ‘non-deployable, admin positions’ as the investigation into their conduct continues

(Black Press file photo)
Homicide team to look into death of 11-year-old Agassiz boy

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

A publicly accessible defibrillator as well as naloxone and first aid kits are included in a stand that has been installed at Crescent Beach. It is one of two planned for the South Surrey neighbourhood as St. John Ambulance works to install 1,000 of the life-saving devices around the province. (Contributed photo)
St. John Ambulance aims to install 1,000 publicly accessible AEDs across B.C.

Sponsors sought for stands that cost about $8,000 to equip and install

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history in the NHL

Most Read