The Best Lesson My Mom Taught Me About Fitness

POPSUGAR Photography | Anna Monette Roberts
POPSUGAR Photography | Anna Monette Roberts

Whenever it's my birthday, my mom always begins by telling me the story of my birth: "I was pulling up my ballet tights over my big belly one morning when I felt something and thought, 'I think that's a contraction. Ugh, I'm going to have to miss class!' Your dad didn't believe me, but I told him, 'Honey! I'm two weeks late. I'm due any day!'" Yep, my mom pirouetted and grand jetéd throughout her whole pregancy, even at two weeks late, and was bummed about missing a class because she had gone into labor. That's my mom for you . . .

She always prioritizes staying active, no matter the circumstances.

That's the lesson she has instilled in me since before I can remember, because very soon after my birth, she was back at it, bringing me to ballet class in my carrier. She would just plop me down alongside everyone's ballet bags and the upright piano. And she would continue to bring my sisters and I to class on the weekends. There wasn't a day or an excuse to prevent her from going to class, and no, not even her children would stop her from staying active. If we were sick, she'd find a last-minute sitter so she could still hurry off to the studio. Talk about dedication!

My mom always finds a way to get her daily dose of activity in. When she travels, she looks up the nearest yoga and Pilates studios to visit. When she lived in Amsterdam, she fearlessly rode around like a local in her granny bike halfway across town each day to make it to her favorite ballet studio. And day-to-day, she schedules her workout to be the first thing the does in the morning, so it's not weighing on her throughout the day.

Growing up with this mentality, I've found myself following suit. I was recently asked if I had helped my mom develop a healthy habit, and I have to say, it's the other way around! My mom introduced me to ballet as a small child, yoga and Pilates when I was in middle school, and TRX as an adult. For the last 15 or 16 years, we have often attended classes together, and in recent months, have gone on a yoga retreat to Italy!

This small lesson has influenced my life in such a big way, as despite the to-do list, despite the crazy amount of stuff to accomplish, there's always a window of opportunity to squeeze in a moment of activity. No excuses! And like my mom, in staying active, I get to feel my best self. Thanks, Mom!