Do as I Say and Not as I do Just Doesn’t Cut it Anymore


My patience when it comes to kids is not as strong as other trainers.  When I decide to train a youth I look for a certain level of maturity.  Not so much from the kids; the parents.  With my selectiveness I’ve been very fortunate to train some great kids.  What made them so easy to train was the parent’s attitude towards them and the training.  Like I train adults, I like to make training fun in the beginning.  Once skill sets begin to develop then the active coaching begins.

Recently I took on a friend of my daughter.  Her father happened to be their former softball coach a year prior.  He was concerned that his daughter was too out of shape to make the new team.  The coach wondered how my daughter became so athletic so fast and wanted to know if I could do the same for his daughter.   I told him that my child had been working out with me for fun for years.  I also told him that her daughter training would be similar.

Lil CJ always followed me around and had fun working out with me

Lil CJ always followed me around and had fun working out with me

The problem was the coach’s daughter was morbidly obese and so was he.  I told him it would take some time but watching her food intake was the key to losing weight as I work with her and he agreed.  I also told him that it would help if he did the same to encourage her.  He looked at me and said, “Oh I can’t. My fat comes from a prior injury.”  I could not believe what I heard so I told him that eating right has nothing to do with an injury.  He told me his concern was mostly for his kid, which was another sorry excuse.  I wrote down two educational movies that I wanted them to watch as a family.  He took the information from me as he rolled his eyes.

Lil ZJ wiping my face after a fitness demonstration.

Lil ZJ wiping my face after a fitness demonstration.

We got down to training and during the process the coach chronically added his expertise to the training.  If you could only see how discouraged his daughter looked.  I had enough.  I kindly asked him to watch from the reception area out of sight.  Whenever he was off the floor his daughter focused well.  I thought her dad was bad enough, but her mother was worse.  She was quick to tell me how her daughter is not eating right and not moving fast enough.  The mother had the audacity to say, “She can’t eat what we eat because we are adults.”  Then she chastised me for not pushing her hard enough.  This went on for about a month.  My time uninterrupted showed improvement and promise.  With the parents on the floor her performance was tragic.

I was at the end of my wits with these parents and was ready to end our training.   I even postponed our training for a week.   When they returned, the coach and his daughter seemed to have a positive energy coming from them, along with a new attitude.  The daughter gave me a high five and jumped on the treadmill without me asking.  I went to the reception area and asked the coach where all the good vibes were coming from.  He told me that she made the baseball team.  The new coach and the other children in the league saw a huge difference in her physical ability from last year.   For some reason this promoted the coach to watch both movies over our time off along with his daughter and wife.

Me and Lil CJ regulating at the Fit Family Fun Day in 2010

Me and Lil CJ regulating at the Fit Family Fun Day in 2010

He told me the movies were life changing and together the family started cleaning out their refrigerator of junk food, with his daughter leading the charge.

Another month has past and I’m happy to report that the workout since have been positive.  The family seems to be losing weight and the daughter is now fully engaged in her training.  The only interruption I get now is encouragement from the parents.

This story is not a rarity.  How often do we tell our kids not to drink, smoke, use drugs or eat poorly when you do the not follow your own orders.   Our children are not stupid.  Some how they know your habits and when they fall pray to them eventually it is traced back to what you failed to be the example in.  Kids are starving for leadership and it should come from the home.   If you begin making positive change and set positive standards for yourself then it won’t be as hard to influence your child to do the same.  The old adage of, “Do what I say, not as I do,” just does not cut it anymore.

You don’t have to be a fighter to feel like one. So let’s train!

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