Following Their Lead

By Jaime Rice

I grew up watching my parents work out together almost every night. If their schedules conflicted, one would exercise while the other was still at work and vice versa. They didn’t have time or money for a gym, instead my Dad built a workout area in our basement. Looking back, it was pretty impressive!

Physical fitness and healthy living was a lifestyle for them. They made sure to incorporate it into their busy lives and made it work. Their love for fitness trickled down to me and my brother. They made sure to get us and involved in sports at a young age.

By the time I was old enough I was playing in a recreational T-ball team with my brother and cousins. I dabbled in cheerleading, I was too young for my school’s basketball team. From there I played co-ed soccer, in which I was the only girl, then played in an all girl league. I went on to play basketball in middle school when I was tired of soccer.

Mixed in all this was several years of Karate with my Mom and brother. My Mom practiced Karate as a child and into her adult years. As we got older she was able to share Karate with us and participate in all our classes thus, getting her workout in while we learned the discipline. She was sneaky that way. You can say my childhood was filled with physical activity and exposure to numerous sports fueling my drive for anything physically challenging.

I continued with my quest into the wonderful world of fitness throughout college and into my adult life. I have tried almost everything: regular lifting at a gym, P90x (which worked great when I was working 12-18 hour days and needed home workouts), crossfit, Zumba-yes zumba, long distance running, bodybuilding and finally powerlifting.

I seem to seek out new and challenging experiences and have my parents to thank for that. Without them exposing me to so much as early as I can remember, I know I would not be where I am today. Looking back now, I realize how much seeing my Mom and Dad enjoying fitness and activity shaped my life and love of healthy living today. They either participated with us, coached a team or were in the stands cheering us on.

I try to carry on that example they set in my daily life. Whether its racing with my nephew, writing this blog, videos I post, giving advice for nutrition or just listening to anyone interested in making a change. I want everyone to have that person(s) who inspired them to be their best and achieve their goals.

I say all that to say this; its never too late to be that example for someone! You never know how you will or can positively influence someone’s life.

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