Thursday, March 11, 2010

Use It or Lose It

I always joke with my friends at the gym that as much as I love working out, I wish the effects were work out and get your body the way you want it, and then you get to take off that amount of time and eat whatever you want and it will stay exactly the same...

well, working out doesn't work that way, and nor does reading.

The boys and I had a discussion about that yesterday in the car. Ben asked if I wasn't getting paid for reading with kids, why am I doing it? I explained to him that number 1, it was something I loved to do, and number 2, I want that "reading with kids" muscle to stay strong. I told him that while I am not in the classroom, it would be very easy to not exercise that part of my brain, and therefore, it would weaken. I reminded him that it will not go away, but it won't be very strong.

Remember, reading is the same way. You can't go hard for a few weeks and then not do any without expecting a bit of a loss...again, it doesn't go away, but it isn't strong -- it atrophies.

That is why a steady pace will keep you going. Like marathoners, we don't sprint...we run where our heart rates are we can do it forever.

Pace yourself, don't expect too much too fast, and remember, the struggles will sometimes wane for a while and then crop up again. Don't give up, or throw up your hands. It is completely normal. You never completely arrive. Just keep plugging away, go back to your fix up strategy, and try again. Step by step.

I know as a parent it is hard -- you feel like you are just rehashing the same issue. But they HAVE made progress - they aren't where they were -- this is just their process.

Don't give up...pace yourself. Take a breath and keep running.

Matt and I had to do that yesterday with an old problem. He had 5 huge novels in his backpack...too many at once. We had to go back to making a priority list for him, just like we did a few months ago. But he immediately felt recharged. "Thanks mom. I needed to get that help. Now I can focus and finish," were his exact words.

Sometimes we just need a kick in the pants to refocus so we continue to work out those muscles. It's easy to slide or take a break...but remember...use it or lose it!

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