Family Inspiration and Fitness Star Power

Finding inspiration in the Fit Family Challenge network.
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Lena Hill, after completing her second Girls on the Run 5K.

Last week, Lena asked me if the Fit Family Challenge was a competition and if we were being compared against other families to see who should win. I completely understand why Lena would ask that question. When she hears words like “fitness” and “challenge,” instantly her mind goes to, “Where will we fall against the rest?”

It’s like a human number line (Lena is working with number lines and fractions in school, so it’s the perfect analogy). Lena is thinking of the FFC as a way to rank family fitness. Uh-oh. Not what I had in mind. But why wouldn’t she think this? Lena sees this human number line system being used in gym class, soccer, swimming, academics and even with regard to her behavior in school.

I’m not completely hating on competing or making comparisons. Competing can drive us. Comparing is how we frame our understanding, and our feeling of belonging. Making comparisons can be really helpful sometimes, like when we’re trying to figure out if a plant is poisonous or not. We look at the potentially poisonous plant in front of us and compare it to the features that are known to be a sign of poison. However, making comparisons can be destructive during the creative process, like when we’re looking for the courage or inspiration to do something new or different from the rest, like change our eating and activity habits. “The rest” could be any group…our family members or friends. “The rest” can even be ourselves and the habits we’ve formed over time. When it comes to people who are ever evolving, I think that comparisons can sometimes break us to the point of not recovering. If we’re looking for connection and understanding, maybe an alternative to comparing and competing with each other is gaining inspiration from one another.

Inspiration. If I had the time to think of a thoughtful response to Lena’s question in that moment, it would have been, “No sweet darling, we’re not competing with one another. We’re being inspired by one another to reach our personal goals.” That would be my Stepford wife response. In actuality, I think I just told Lena that it was not a competition. That was good enough at the time.

But, this is what I really like about the FFC. We are not competing against other families; we are working alongside each other to challenge ourselves, like an experiment, to be better than we are now. Wiser about the choices we make and healthier as a result. As families, we are working as teams to reach our team goal, and the goal is simply to recognize those things that we’ve already been doing well and to build on those so that we become a healthier version of us.

Lena completed her second Girls on the Run 5K this weekend. Girls on the Run is founded on this very concept – that everything a girl needs is already within her, if she learns how to activate her Star Power. Lena and hundreds of other girls accepted a personal fitness challenge, very similar to the Fit Family Challenge. They signed up. They’ve been given the tools. They showed up and they persevered. They reached their goal of completing a 5K. For any family that may be on the fence about participating in the Fit Family Challenge, know that you already belong. The Fit Family Challenge is not a competitive arena; it’s a promise we make to ourselves to CHOOSE BETTER. Like Supergirl who chooses soda versus Supergirl who chooses water. Supergirl will always be super, but it’s the choices she makes that will determine just how super she will be.

Ami Hill, 35, and her daughter Lena, 9, are participating as one of our 2016 Fit Family Challenge spotlight families. Learn more about their healthy family journey here, and follow along with Ami as she updates us this Spring and Summer in the Fit Family Challenge Blog.

Want your family to get active towards a healthier lifestyle? Register now for the Fit Family Challenge.