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News from the Nest: My built-in cheerleaders are my biggest fans

I try to exercise on a regular basis. Ideally I'll get to the gym where I can get on a treadmill, turn on my headphones and have nothing but "me" time for a good 30 minutes. However, my busy work and family schedule often hampers my gym plans so I resort to exercising at home. My favorite thing to do is the 30 Day Shred video by the Biggest Loser's trainer Jillian Michaels. It's a hard core 20 minute workout. You're thinking, "Yeah right, how can you get a good workout in 20 minutes." Try it, I dare you.

Often the home workouts include my built-in cheerleaders, a two and five-year-old. Sure sometimes they try to see if they can crawl under my legs each time I do a squat or jump over me when I go down for a push up, but most of the time they give me my space and some encouragement.

The other night I had them both comfortably situated on the couch with colors and paper to keep them occupied for the 20 minutes I needed. Right away my son asked me why I exercise every day. I wanted to laugh as there is no chance that I could possibly do it every day, but that wasn't the answer he was looking for. So I responded and told him that exercise helps me stay at a healthy weight and gives me the energy I need to be a good mom. His response was "why don't you wait until you get thick and then start exercising?" You know, it didn't sound like such a bad idea!

Half way through the video I was into a cardio segment and felt eyes staring at me. As I started to wonder what my kids thought of watching their mom doing jump squats my son blurted out "you can jump really high mom!" Ha! If only he saw me ten years ago! I bet that four inch vertical I now have is really a sight to see!

While I was doing jumping jacks both of the kids joined in. I tried to show them how to coordinate the arms and legs going at the same time but it didn't work so well. Still, they tried. My son has actually made it over half way through the video with me before, until he informed me he was taking a break and grabbed a couple of M&Ms before sitting on the couch to watch me finish.

Towards the end of the video on this particular night I was doing the last bit of cardio and had worked up a sweat. I turned to look at my son and he smiled from ear to ear and gave me a big thumbs up! It was great! The only bad part was I wanted to stop and give him a big kiss for being so sweet, but I pressed on. At the finish my kids came over and gave me two stickers for my hard work. All I could think was "who needs a gym anyway?"

(Lauritsen from West Fargo enjoys writing, in particular, sharing her insight into parenting issues that present themselves daily in the upbringing and nurturing of her two small children.)