My daughter has always been quite athletically talented. Her brother, she and I had always found time to exercise together ever since they were both still around seven years old. We used to go on bicycle rides together, and they used to accompany me on my early morning jogs by riding their bicycles in front of me. She decided to move in with her mother a few months ago, after having lived with her brother and I for the past six years. We were still close, it was just something she felt she wanted to do. She was used to hitting the gym to lift weights and swim whenever she spent the weekends with her brother and I. She normally did this on her own, citing the need to stay longer to finish up her laps, to do a few more sets of squats, etc.
It was a pleasant surprise, when she asked me to accompany her to the gym for a quick workout, a few hours before she was to return to her mother’s home, this past weekend. After we arrived at the gym, we each proceeded separately through our warm ups (I did dips, while she went on the elliptical machine). I was almost through with my dumbbell series of triceps extensions, dumbbell lat pulls, curls, and chest press, when she walked up to me and asked me to spot her as she did squats with the Olympic bar.
She walked with a bit of a spring in her step as she approached the squat rack. As she loaded the plates onto the bar, she shared a series of updates about her life with her mother, her experiences as a freshman in high school, etc. She then followed me around the gym, as I tried to tailor my workout to what I remembered her workout to be. She still did barbell cleans with the Olympic bar, and worked the plate-loaded pulldown machine.
We finished up our workout, called her brother to accompany us on the drive to her mom’s place, and walked out to the car in the parking lot. It was now dark outside. She was giggling as she shared jokes about her brother, her mom, and her classmates, as we drove back home to pick up her brother.
I was so proud to learn of just how well she was adjusting to her new life with her mother. I encouraged her to continue down the same course, and reminded her that she could be anything that she wanted to be. It’s certainly difficult to be objective about one’s child, as a parent. Even though I’m prone to fret about her (i.e., Will she be happy? Will she be successful? Will her mom step up, and be a good parent to her?, etc.), she continues to impress me with how she –my baby- continues to evolve into a confident, healthy, intelligent young woman, in front of my eyes.