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  • Writer's pictureBrittany K

The Time I Worked Out With My Son

So today I tried to keep up with my 11 year old in a workout. And not only am I so sore I may never walk normally again, I also learned a few things about myself.

It all started when I decided to try a new workout video, and he was about to do a pregame warm-up and stretch this morning ahead of his game tonight. (‘New’ being relative. I’ve had it for years… in the cellophane.)

I thought, my son. My eldest. Perhaps he needs a little inspiration before the big game. I laced up my shoes, put the DVD in and called him upstairs.

“I’m gonna show you a few things today son”, I boldly told him. “Watch how it’s done.”

I’m not sure what ‘it’ really was, but goading each other is a little thing we do back and forth. I pretend he got all his athletic ability from me, and force him to watch me skate, shoot pucks, or race him and totally cheat, or change the rules whenever possible. I declare myself the winner at all athletic endeavors, and before every game, I tell him that if he's half as good as his mom, he’ll be amazing.

He laughed as he took his spot next to me and the workout began.

I should have known this wouldn’t end well, when I saw the clock start at 60:25 or something. I was committed though, and surely 1 hr of ‘intense cardio’ was doable for someone who is still newly back at it after surgery.


Mid-way into the warm-up, when I almost needed a water break, Ben looked over at me and giggled.

“Are you out of breath?”

“NO! Just getting ready to BRING IT” I lied to him.

But guys, the squats DID NOT STOP. Like, my body legitimately thought this was a joke.

“We don’t do this!!” it screamed at me as my joints cracked and popped. Meanwhile I looked over and saw my kid not even CLOSE to breaking a sweat.

Whatever, I figured. He’s 11 and he has kid strength but I’m 34. I have WOMAN strength and damn it, I can out-squat that little nugget any day of the week.

Ya…. But I couldn’t.

Then, they added weights.

At this point he was partially laughing at the expletives that were coming out of my mouth, and also trying to be encouraging.

“Mom. Maybe you can’t do this whole video today. It’s no big deal. Maybe just take a break”.

Oh, HELLLLL no. I will not let my son think I am a DVD work-out quitter (which, by the way, I totally am).

“NO way Ben. I’m just getting warmed up.”

Which was true if you consider just ‘warming up’ the step before total physical stop-loss.

But, I stuck with it, and while I still had choice words for Bob Harper and the men and women behind him, I kept going. Beside me Ben was getting more of a workout laughing at what was coming out of my mouth, then the actual workout.

I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Cool down HAD TO BE around the corner. But, the 25 minute cool down I longed for just wasn’t in the cards. A trillion squats later, as my son lost interest in the workout and started watching me for entertainment, the cool down came and I melted into the carpet.

As I panted and nearly died for a fourteenth time, I asked Ben to get me some water. As he handed me the water he smiled and told me I did a good job, I felt a little tug on my heart. Sure, it could have been partially atrial fibrillation because I was likely nearing a cardiac episode, but there was more to it.

I suddenly felt a little guilty Ok, a LOT guilty.

My son is a great little athlete. He plays football and elite hockey 11 months out of the year. A kid who pushes himself so hard sometimes you have to tell him ‘enough’. And in his sweet smile as he handed me the water, I heard my own voice.

In those few times when after a game, instead of encouragement, I smiled through clenched teeth and asked him why he didn’t do this, or do that, or did he think he could have tried harder? This kid who just reassured me that I did a good job despite flopping around the carpet like some sort of parched, beached mammal.

I felt like the world’s biggest asshole. And I’ll never do it again.

And as if to add to my self-reflection, it feels like Karma is paying me a bit of a visit. I might never get to another one of his games because currently my leg muscles are so seized I don’t think I’ll ever leave the second floor of my house.

Seriously.. our kids teach us so much more than we could ever teach them.

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