Thursday, September 5, 2013

Time to Get Moving

As a mom who prides herself on staying fit and considers exercise critical for both my physical and mental health, it's really important to me to instill in my kids the same love of being active. With John, it's no problem. I swear, the kid has two speeds - 100mph and asleep. Even inside the house, he can't walk from here to there; it's a run of varying speeds depending on how urgent the question or the idea he justcan'twaittoshare.

Plus, he plays soccer. This is his third season of Fayetteville Rec Soccer, and he looks forward to his two nights a week of running up and down the field. I think we're finally entering the year where the kids don't swarm the ball and try to take it away from their own teammates. Fingers crossed.

Caroline, on the other hand, has had a tougher time finding a sport or activity that she really enjoys. We played one season of YMCA soccer when we lived in Ohio, but never picked it back up when we moved to Arkansas. She did swim lessons for a couple of sessions, but the pool was a 30 minute drive right at rush hour which didn't make anyone happy. She's asked about kids' triathlons, but with my broken ankle this summer, I never could figure out a way to teach her how to train.

So here we are at the beginning of third grade, still looking for a way to get her more active and into a sport. We floated lots of ideas - soccer, basketball, swimming. None of them sparked her interest. She asked about dance or gymnastics, but I gotta tell you - the kid's got my build. She's out of luck with the long, lean, lithe frame. Then she asked about karate. I can't really explain why, but Justin and were both..... yeah. No.

Then Justin suggested tennis. Tennis! I love tennis. In fact, my sister and I used to sneak onto the courts at the neighborhood club we didn't belong to when we were in high school and make the most of weekday evenings under the lights. Plus, it's a lifelong sport - if Caroline learns to play now, it's something she could do forever. Excellent.

We found a local racquet club where they have once-a-week lessons for beginners on Wednesday nights - perfect - we don't have any other activities on Wednesday nights. They didn't even require a racquet; we could borrow one until we were sure this was going to stick.

So last night, there we were: Caroline's first tennis lesson. And it. Was. AWESOME.

There were three other kids in her class, all of whom had varying degrees of proficiency from previous sessions. I think by the end she was just a little bit frustrated with missing the ball or hitting it into the net, so we talked about how even professionals do that sometimes. When I reassured her that you learn something every single time you hit it into the net, I think that might have helped a little bit.

So we'll see where this goes. I'm just glad she had fun - and who knows. If this becomes A Thing, maybe the whole Coussoule clan will pick up the racquets.

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