Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Raising a Wonder Girl

Even before I started on this fitness journey, I had a rule for  my daughter--I didn't care what she chose, but she had to participate in an organized physical fitness activity every school year. I can tell that she already lives in her head a lot. A LOT. I didn't want her to neglect her body "in favor of her brain" (a lie I frequently told myself throughout the years).

I also wanted her to become comfortable in her own skin before Princess Culture really messed with her. Already this feels like a losing battle. It kills me that her current favorite princess is Sleeping Beauty. I want her to realize that waiting for someone to save you is useless--in the end, you've got to wake yourself up.

Ultimately, I don't want my daughter to think of herself as a pejorative.

Anyhow, the past three years, Miss has participated in dance and tumbling. Last year, she seemed to lose the joy in movement.* Actually, it was a rough year all around; we struggled with epic meltdowns, often as a result of her own perfectionism. Whenever something became difficult, she fell apart. Because she's a smart cookie, she gets most intellectual things pretty easily. But the physical and social aspects can be tough. All the more reason for my rule.

This year, we talked a little bit about dance, but I was worried about the baggage. Thankfully, soccer caught her fancy. ("Momma, one of the coaches is a girl!") We also got a flier from her school about a karate program. Since she's a huge fan of Kung Fu Panda,**  we presented  this as another activity for her.

Last night she had her first lesson. She came home excitedly chattering away and showing me her Stranger Danger defense moves. I'm hoping this will not only give her strength and confidence, I'm also hoping it will give her more techniques to still herself emotionally.

When we were cuddling in her bed, I said, "I'm proud of you for trying karate."

"Momma, I'm proud of myself."

* I think it was more the time of day rather than actual ability in retrospect.
**  Viper is her favorite of the Furious Five.