I’ve noticed a new trend recently in the fitness classes I teach. There seems to be more mothers and daughters working out together. I once had 6 mother daughter workout teams in class. And in a class of 24, that means half the class was a mother daughter team. Yes, I excel at math. Although my class tells me I can’t count.
One of these mother daughter workout teams is of course, my mom and me.
More on us later. First, here are some of the awesome mother daughter workout teams that have been motivating each other in my classes.
Ashley and Lisa Stearns
Lisa has been a member of Apogee Fitness and Wellness for a few years and is my bouncer in class (she stands by the door and keeps people from running out). When her daughter Ashley moved home to save for her wedding, she decided to join because Lisa spoke often about her positive experiences. Ashley is a lifelong runner and Lisa played and coached basketball, so it was nice for them to find an activity they can share.
They say the biggest positive is spending time together, committing to something and sharing laughs while feeling great emotionally and physically. Ashley says, “My mom looks great since joining and going to Lyn’s classes, which is motivating.” (Ahem, that Lyn would be me). And since Ashley is getting married next spring, that’s an even bigger motivator for them to stay fit together.
Maddy and Beth Visintainer
Beth started coming to classes consistently when she found that exercise helped her sleep better at night. Seeing my mom in my classes (she wondered why I kept calling that woman Mom), she wanted to share that experience with her daughter Maddy. So when Maddy came home from college, Beth encouraged her to join.
Beth and Maddy love spending active time together. They motivate each other and bond over sweat and torture (I mean exercise). I’ve caught them eyeing each other in mutual suffering as I make them do 1,000 butt kicks. Now that Maddy is back at college, Beth will miss her in class, but she sends Maddy care packages (the next one will include a wristlet from Pinot by Lyn!).
Natalie and Marie Sarcinella
Natalie and Marie started walking in the mornings together one summer. After a few months, they wanted more of a challenge and decided to join Apogee. They figured they could push each other to go and with their crazy schedules, it was a great way to schedule in mother daughter time.
Natalie says they enjoy doing many things together and exercising has added a new positive experience to their relationship. They love being able to see first hand the progress each has made and now encourage each other to try more classes. Marie is also my DJ in class (as she stands next to the stereo).
Megan and Mary Beth Schreier
Megan and her mom Mary Beth had joined Apogee together 5 years ago when Megan was a senior in high school. Once Megan left for college, Mary Beth found she didn’t get to the gym often but now that Megan has graduated and moved back home, this mother daughter team is exercising together again.
Megan says, “It’s a lot harder to make excuses to skip a workout when your workout buddy lives with you.” And since she was always nervous about stepping into a classroom, it made it easier to have her mother by her side. She says she prefers to workout out with her mom because she is the one person in the world who will never judge her. “My mom is my best friend and we are really close, but I get to see a side of her that I wouldn’t have otherwise. When I see her hold a plank or do extra bicycle crunches, it makes me even more proud of her and encourages me to keep going too.”
Ariel and Catherine Censor
Catherine described herself as an awkward intellectual while growing up. It wasn’t until she was in her 30’s and had Ariel that she discovered the gym and got into unbelievable shape and certified as a trainer. A lot has happened since, including Catherine being diagnosed with BRCA 2, a mutation that puts her at a very high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. After she had both a prophylactic double mastectomy and a hysterectomy/oophorectomy, she found herself out of shape.
At nearly 16, Ariel is at that phase where she feels self-conscious about her body so when Catherine decided to reclaim her fitness, she asked Ariel to join her. Catherine believes that taking ownership of one’s body is the key to psychic well-being, especially for women. As Ariel’s mother, she felt it was her responsibility to lead and join her on this journey. In the gym, Catherine has to balance being Ariel’s mom with being a trainer. She wants to push Ariel, but doesn’t want to be the “mean mommy.” I see them in the gym together often and Catherine says Ariel is still speaking to her so “progress all around!”
Hsiang-Fang (Emily) Liao and Lyn Liao Butler
My mom was not an exerciser and even after I opened a gym in the city, she refused to workout. It wasn’t until right before my wedding in 2009 that she decided she needed to look good and began taking classes. But soon after the wedding, she stopped exercising.
When I started teaching at Apogee, it took me 3 months to convince her to join. Now I can’t get her out of the gym. She worked her way up and is now taking all my classes, plus a bunch of others. For once in my life, I get to boss her around and make her do everything I tell her to do. But only in the classroom…
Ever since she started working out consistently, her cholesterol has dropped and her doctor says she may be able to go off her meds completely. Not only does she look fitter, she is feeling better and that’s what I want for my mom. I think that is what we all want for ourselves and our loved ones, to be healthy and live an active, mobile life.
One would think having all these mother daughter workout teams in class would cause tension and drama. But just the opposite. We make the classes fun, for ourselves and for everyone else in the class. The entire class calls my mom, Mom, regardless of their age. We laugh, we joke, but we work hard too and build strong hearts and muscles.
So grab your mom, daughter, son, father, cousin, sibling, grandparent (I once had a 91-year-old take my cardio sculpt class in the city. She was fierce and blew away all the 20- year-olds. After class, they all bowed down to her) or anyone you want to spend more time with and get exercising together. There’s nothing like a little sweat to make you bond!
What about you? Would you, or do you exercise with a family member? Let me know in the comments!