A couple of weeks ago my son had a scary breathing (or, rather, lack thereof) episode at school. Long story short, while his diagnosis isn't clear yet, the doctor gave him orders to exercise to work his lungs.
It's November. It's cold. It's dark. Sure, I'll send my son out in the dark with a parka and make him ride his bike. Not happening.
But we do have a trusty treadmill.
How does one get a 13-year-old to work out on it?
I'm either brilliant or really stupid. I've got some extra baggage I'm trying to drop, so I thought that hey, why I don't the two of us have a little competition?
This is what we're doing: Whoever burns the most calories between now and the end of the year has to treat the other person to a movie of their choice, complete with popcorn and drinks. He's hoping he gets treated to some action/fantasy/boy movie, and he's sure that if I win, I'll make him pay for some girlie flick.
He got so excited about it that he immediately made a chart with dates and columns for counting up our calories and everything and hung it on the wall.
Ever since, he's been exercising his tail off, leaving my calorie numbers in the dust. But if this competition is going to be even remotely motivating for him, it has to be a real competition. If he's thousands of calories ahead of me, he'll stop exercising.
So I find myself huffing and puffing on that stupid treadmill in a vain effort to catch up. Every day I get out of bed with sore muscles in places where I forgot I had muscles. I've gotten lots of blisters. Sometimes after exercising, I hobble around the house for two hours, or I cough and hack because my lungs aren't used to the exertion. Oh, and housework has sort of fallen to the wayside.
But no matter how hard I exercise, the kid manages to outdo me. Which means I have to keep working to keep him motivated. I'm dying here.
I got a slight reprieve over the weekend when he (unfortunately) came down with a pretty bad 48-hour head cold.
He's better now, so we're both back on the treadmill. As of right this second, I'm up by about 175 calories (after busting it out for an hour this morning). But he's not home from school yet. He'll take one look at the chart, hop on the treadmill, and leave me in the dust again.
It's good for him, but dang, I'm getting too old for this . . .
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