So you will not be surprised when I tell you that tonight found me toting my kids to gymnastics lessons – they’re the only boys in their classes, bless ‘em – with my newly taped neon pink and purple hula hoop in tow. (Turns out that electrical tape is not very durable and so Gym Buddy Allison had the great idea to go over the hoops again with duct tape – it lasts longer, it adds a bit of needed weight to the hoops and it comes in 20 different shades of awesome!) I hooped while I chased the younger two around the gym and through the hallways. I hooped while I had a Deep Conversation with Gym Hubby. I hooped while reading an old copy of Reader’s Digest and walking up and down stairs and in the cafeteria and waiting in front of the men’s restroom for the little guy (no, that wasn’t awkward at all!). Did I mention my kids’ lessons are two hours? I’m at the school for a looong time.
Then when the kids wanted to play with the hoop, I did handstands, press-to-handstands, cartwheels, push-ups and stretched out my splits. I felt pretty awesome by the time the last kid had tuck-jumped his way down the tumble track for the 50th time. Right about here I expect some of you to start waving the compulsive exercise flag and saying (kindly, as you always do):
“Charlotte, you’re allowed to just sit in the metal folding chair and check your e-mail on your phone like all the other parents. You don’t have to exercise everywhere you go.”
And while I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always have the best insight into my own behavior, for me none of this felt compulsive. Everything I did was out of pure joy. I enjoyed playing with my kids – my 8-year-old can dive through a rolling hoop better than any acrobat! – and it was fun to just mess around. There wasn’t any counting of reps or forcing myself to keep going when I was exhausted. There wasn’t hardly even any sweat. Just fun.
So, here are my tips for having a good (fun!) workout anywhere: