Fitness tips courtesy of a toddler

Friday is the day I try to post something about fitness. It’s still Friday as I write this, but it will be pretty late by the time I get it done, so it won’t go up until Saturday. I doubt that anyone will notice and if someone does, I suspect I’ll be forgiven.

Diane's granddaughter at the playground

This is a picture that explains what and who kept me busy today. My granddaughter. Don’t let my strength coach Andy know this, but there is no need to go to the gym when you’re trying to keep up with a two-year-old.

Granddaughter down the slide

We went to the playground after her nap. (No, I did not nap at the same time. I should have.) Over and over again, she went down the slide. And then she insisted that Nana go down too. A slightly taller slide had height limits posted on its side. I came in just under the top limit.

Nana on the slide

No excuses. Had to do it.

Granddaughter at playground

She’s off and running again. Wait for Nana!

Granddaughter at playground

Finally, she sat. For a split second.

Granddaughter at playground

We discovered a labyrinth painted on the asphalt at the edge of the playground and laughed hysterically when we made it through to the end. We did it!

Sunflowers at playground

The playground is at a local school and there is a lovely garden in the side yard. We meandered through the sunflowers and headed home.

Granddaughter in stroller

That little jaunt in the playground ticked off quite a few fitness boxes. Walking a mile round trip from home to the playground and back. Sprinting when she flashed me a devilish grin and ran off, daring me to catch her. Bending over for this and that. Pushing a stroller that carried her and the world’s heaviest backpack has to count for something.

And then there were the other benefits. This past Thursday was the second anniversary of my mother’s death and I’ve also been working on a special series for Catching Health about living with grief. It’s been an emotional week for me. But being able to spend time with my granddaughter has brought me immeasurable joy. When her face lights up and she says Nana or lays her head on my chest, I melt.

Spending this time with her made me realize that even when there is sadness, there can be so much joy. And now, after my busy day with a toddler, I’m not only feeling grateful, I’m exhausted!

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.