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How One Family Fitness Writer Learned to Walk the Walk

Catherine Holecko is the Guide to Family Fitness at About.com. Since becoming a mom 9 years ago, she’s mastered the crow pose and discovered the new worlds of kiddie karate and synchronized figure skating.

A few years ago, a friend suggested that I apply to write for About.com. I popped over to check out the list of available topics. The one that jumped out at me: family fitness.

This was unexpected. I came late to fitness. Like, 30-years old late. All the way through school, I was the short, skinny, weak kid who failed miserably at any sport she tried. During college, I gave circuit training and aerobics a whirl (yeah, it was the early 90s, how did you guess?). Post-college, I lived in Manhattan, where I stayed fit by walking everywhere and not having enough money to eat out.

Then, on one of my walks, I passed a yoga studio. I went back for a class, and then another, until I realized: This is exercise. I’m … good at it. And I like it!
Ten *cough* years later, I’m still devoted to yoga. I also run, bike, and play with my kids, plus test DVDs, exergames, and gadgets like pedometers and smartphone apps. Writing about fitness every day means walking the walk. Whenever I think about skipping a workout or driving my kids someplace that’s easily in walking distance, I remember all the advice I’ve written—about being a role model, about finding time for fitness even on the busiest days, and about how good it feels to move your body.

Last week I took care of a friend’s three kids, plus my own son. The boys wanted to play soccer. So I played three-on-one (them against me), with extra credit chasing of a rogue two-year-old. Even though all my opponents were under four feet tall, it was still a workout! My friend told me later that her boys only wanted to me as a sitter from now on, “because she PLAYS with us!”

Now that made me proud. I’m not sure I would have been out there kicking that ball if it weren’t for my writing job. Who says sitting behind a computer all day isn’t a good way to stay in shape?

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April 29th, 2011

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