A fit parent is a happy parent

July 25, 2013|Lisa Prejean

Editor’s note: Lisa Tedrick Prejean was busy cheering this week for her daughter, Chloe, at the USA Volleyball High Performance National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. This column originally was published in 2011. 

Summer league is coming to a close, and practices for fall are beginning.

In fact, our last summer league game is the day after fall practice starts. It’s a makeup game, but I still find it ironic that the summer schedule and the fall schedule overlap.

It seems anymore that year-round sports are the norm, not the exception.

Not that this is a bad thing.

Just a cursory glance at Facebook reveals how many teens post comments about being bored. Most kids in sports don’t have that opportunity, thankfully.

Active kids are happy kids. They are also not going to struggle as much with weight issues.

As parents, we play an important role in this.

We spend a lot of time transporting kids to practices and games and then we sit on the sidelines. I feel for my friends with kids in Little League. It seems that they have nonstop transport responsibilities, and half the time they don’t know if and when they’ll be able to take a family vacation. They keep winning, they keep playing.


I think insurance companies should offer discounts to the drivers, don’t you? After all, we’re making sure our families stay in shape. They’re healthier, so our health-care costs should be lower, right?

The only problem is, we parents may not be keeping in step.

Come on, admit it. It is difficult to fit in regular workouts in between our jobs, home responsibilities and parental taxi duties.

I’ve tried the early morning workouts, and stick with those for a while, but invariably someone needs something — “Mom where is my (fill in the blank)” — and pulls me away from my exercise plans.

That’s one of the reasons I’ve considered a lifestyle change.

Why should my kids have all the fun? When they’re at practice, why shouldn’t I be moving, too? Typically, I just keep on working at my desk. 

Working, working, working.

Sitting, sitting, sitting.

Not anymore. 

From now on, I am going to pound the pavement during my children’s sports practices. This is not revolutionary. I’ve seen other parents do it.

But getting started seems to be half the battle.

I’ve spoken to at least one friend about this plan. She’s all for it. Perhaps other parents will join us. 

Initially, we plan to walk, but who knows where we’ll go from there. One of the coaches was joking with us the other day. He said we could walk around the field during practice.

Oh, yeah. Like our teenage sons would  like that. Perhaps we should just stick to the side of the road. 

Or we could tell our boys to just get over the embarrassment. After all, a fit parent is a happy parent. Want to borrow the car? Ask me after I exercise.

Maybe I’ll say yes.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail’s Family page. Send e-mail to her at

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