I recently was reflecting on my childhood and thinking about what sparked me to be such an active person. I am the youngest of 3 kids in my family. There is a decent age gap between me and my siblings, so by the time that I was 12, my brother and sister had moved away to college, etc. and I was virtually an only child.
My dad was always active – he liked to walk and play tennis. My mom, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. She was completely inactive, extremely overweight and had no interest in exercising. I saw what little energy she had and how winded she would get just walking around the room, and was determined not to follow in her footsteps.
Around the age of 12 or 13 I started doing aerobics at home in my family room. This was the 80’s, so my VHS was in full effect. (Think leotards and legwarmers) I also experimented a little with running, but didn’t enjoy it. I struggled to get my breathing right. I lived in Michigan, so I was forced to exercise indoors for a good portion of the year.
I had an extremely hearty appetite and was encouraged/required to clean my plate. So exercise was a must if I didn’t want to be 200 pounds in high school.
When I started running marathons at age 30, my parents were not all that supportive. They didn’t understand why I wanted to, thought it was a crazy idea, and that I was ruining my knees. I’m sure they were hoping that my first one would be my only one, but no – it was only the tip of the iceberg!
Both my parents passed away in their 70’s. I’m determined to stay active and healthy for as long as possible. I keep hoping that my high activity level will rub off on my son, but so far at 9 years old, he’s not all that interested and prefers to stay inside and watch TV and play computer games. Fortunately for him, he inherited his father’s extremely thin physique. I hope that one day something will click with him and he’ll be more interested in sports (and to run with me). I also hope that since he is so thin that he will discover weightlifting to make him strong.
All that being said, I know for sure that I am an inspiration to others who want to be active – whether it is walking, running or whatever!
What kind of role model are you?
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!