The stressors of online learning have been a struggle for many families over the past year. Especially for parents with three young boys, there is one class that is missed more than all the others: PE.
So the Bodenhamer family in Goleta, California, took measures into their own hands — and it might just be the best thing they have ever done together. Jeremy, their dad, started his own “Heart and Hamer” gym class in their garage, and it has become a daily activity that his sons can’t wait to do.
With three rowdy boys, 9-year-old Titus, 8-year-old Solomon, and 6-year-old Jeremiah, Jeremy started these brotherly workouts as a way to get some of their pent-up energy out.
“The boys were bouncing off the walls, and so I started basically in the mornings, 7 a.m. every day, we’d start with PE in the garage,” Jeremy told Good Morning America.
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For Jeremy, the CEO of a company called ShipHawk, and his wife Bethany, the dean of students at a local high school, they welcomed the regular workouts just as much as their kids did. Both avid CrossFitters, this was a perfect way to spend time with their kids while doing something they love.
“We made Fridays ‘adventure run days,’ so we’d always go a different place and run on the beach, or run at the park, or something like that,” Jeremy explained. “And then in the afternoons right when school was done, we would start our workouts.”
When asked how he would explain his strategy to other parents, Jeremy gave two simple answers.
“First, the kids watch us as parents, so what we do, they’re going to do,” he said. “They’re going to want to work out if we work out. So we as parents have to get moving.”
As for his second tip, he suggested that parents “start small.” Don’t jump straight into big workouts, but rather begin with maybe five or 10 reps and build up from there.
“You’ll be surprised at how fast you see progress,” the dad said. It is plain to see just how much this has impacted his own boys.
“When I do workouts, the only thing that makes me keep doing them is my brothers and my mom and dad,” Solomon said. “And I really look forward to having to do more workouts and getting stronger inside and out.”
Solomon went on to explain how much he has enjoyed being able to spend all this time with his family in the process.
For Titus, it’s been a quarantine game changer: “The best thing is, like, I look forward to it every morning. Waking up and either doing PE in the garage or going on 3 mile runs with [them] every day. All I can think about is, ‘What’s the workout going to be today?'”
As Jeremiah puts it, the minute he finishes his homework and piano practice, he’ll “sprint into the garage” to start exercising with his brothers and parents.
Clearly this is a season of life that these boys will never forget — and it just might be the beginning of a lifelong family tradition!
More than that, the Bodenhamer parents have turned their success into a learning experience, putting together a GoFundMe to donate 700 jump ropes to a local elementary school.
“I try to teach the boys that fitness is more than strong muscles,” Jeremy told USA Digest. “We talk about life lessons like goal setting and building strength inside and out.”
These parents took a tough year and created their own silver lining that will surely impact their boys forever.
To motivate your own kids to get active, follow their family on Instagram, and be sure to share this story with your friends.
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