Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  Tomorrow is my mom’s 65th birthday.  And, in a blog centered on women, athletics, and inspirational combinations of the two subjects, this seems the appropriate space and time to honor my mother who has been my health and wellness role model.  

When I was growing up, my mom always encouraged my sister and I to participate in activities, all the while ensuring we ate healthfully and regularly.  Cookies were allowed as long as we finished dinner.  There was a time when she spent 4 days of the week driving me to piano practice, soccer practice, tennis lessons, horseback riding lessons, violin and orchestra.  Not to mention the fact that she orchestrated the weekly procession from our house in New Jersey to the Catskills without fail.  My dad would return from work on Friday around 4, at which time my mom would have already packed my sister’s and my clothing, the cat, and our food for the weekend.  I have no idea how she did it.

Fun Facts about My Mom:

  • She hates running.  So she doesn’t do it.  Exercise for her is meant to be fun.
  • She has a more diverse workout regime than I do; she discovered Body Pump in her 60’s, has done yoga for years, loves Pilates, spends as much time in the garden as possible, skis every weekend during the winter, belongs to a hiking club in the summer, and has taken spin classes with me. 
  • She had terrible knees – so she replaced them.  Her genetically degenerating knees and the subsequent knee pain were impeding her active lifestyle to the point that she could not do the activities she loved.  When gardening, with all its kneeling and bending, was threatened, she and my dad spent years researching the new joint replacement technology. 
  • The most frightening phone call I have ever had was speaking to her a day after the surgery and she was still heavily medicated.  It was the first time I had heard my mother sounding vulnerable.
  • Her double knee replacement surgery took place in the month of April.  By December of that year she was skiing again, better than she had been before the surgery. 
  • Her sense of direction is atrocious.  To this day, whenever we hike as a family, we ridicule her for the time she got lost in an RV parking lot off a trail in Colorado.
  • She clips articles from the New York Times for me, based on my interests.  In the past, I have received articles about boxed wine (she knows me well), Oprah’s book suggestions, and the appointment of poet laureates. 

 My mom has always been my advocate.  As with any mother-daughter relationship, we’ve certainly endured our angsty moments.  But, I am proud to say that in my adulthood I can appreciate my childhood, appreciate the relationship I have with my mother, and appreciate her influence on my healthy activities.  So, happy Mother’s Day (a day late) to all the mothers out there, and happy birthday to my mom.

– Joanna