My mom has reminded me and my sisters on numerous occasions that when she was in high school her options for athletic activities were 1. Synchronized Swimming or 2. Cheerleading. Much to her dismay Freshman year, she did not make the cheerleading team... also a story we have heard more times than we can count.
In spite of the lack of opportunity as a young girl, I still consider my mom an athlete AND she has all the positivity and pep of a Varsity Cheerleader. In fact, she was the best cheering section that I or my three siblings could have asked for growing up. She stood on the sidelines of soccer games, track meets, dance recitals, and swim meets for years. After all, we had ten times the athletic opportunities that she had and took advantage of as many of them as possible.
What's amazing is that in recent years I have watched my mom slowly (reluctantly) put down her pom poms and set out to accomplish some pretty impressive athletic feats. After years of standing on the sidelines she has realized that the opportunities that weren't there for her as a young girl are actually out there for the taking. It's never too late to start.
Two years ago my mom made a resolution to run one mile every day (I should mention that she HATES running). Not only did she accomplish this, she took up swimming and cycling as well and ended up competing in a triathlon all in that same year. After I signed her up for an "on ramp" program at her local CrossFit Gym she bought her own Olympic weightlifting bar and started doing workouts in her garage. She lives in Lululemon, not just because it's cute and comfortable, but because she is always on the move ready to hop on a bike, chase after her grandson, or do a few thrusters as she walks by her dumbells on the way to the laundry room.
As I sit here on Mother's Day I think about how lucky I am to have a mother who has not only been supportive of my athletic endeavors but who has set such a wonderful example of what it means to be a strong woman. She did not have the same opportunities that I had as a young girl but that has not stopped her from pursuing some pretty ambitious goals in her adult life. My mom will always be our family's head cheerleader but nothing makes me happier than to see her step off the sidelines and onto the playing field. Three cheers for MOM!
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! Let your kids be your cheerleaders for a change!