Mom, this letter is to you…


Dear mom,

You need to exercise. And when I say exercise, I mean with AND without weights. 
Because you’re never going to stop being a mom, even when you’re 85 years old and your kids’ kids have kids. 
Although you won’t say it, you and I both know that there is no more important responsibility in the world than being a mom. Yes, the soldiers that fight for this country, the doctors that volunteer in war-torn countries that barely seem inhabitable, and those that serve to protect us are all heroes. However, what’s often not said, for fear of taking away from the honor of those positions, is that “lowly” unpaid, underappreciated job of being a mother is more important than any of those positions. Those positions save lives. You create life. In fact, you not only create it, but more importantly, you nurture it. You give life life, and that, in my humble opinion, is THE most important responsibility a Homo sapien can have. 
Because the world is screwed up. I put “lowly” in quotations not to mock you, but instead to mock today’s society and the values it envies. We put athletes, celebrities, and the rich on a pedestal. We watch them, read about them, and wish for their lives. And then when they fall off the pedestal, we’re shocked, almost blindsided. Yet, we completely dismissed the fact that the measuring stick we use for those individuals is not the values you taught us, mom, but instead money and fame. Thus, the only people that aren’t shocked by their fall from grace are the kids still sitting on their mother’s lap listening to the values their mothers tell them are important. Everyone else had fallen for the illusion of importance, draped in gold and Facebook likes. We’re all using the wrong measuring stick. If only we would have just listened to our mothers. 
You and I both know that there would be no beauty in the world if it was not for mothers. Just imagine a world full of testosterone. How ugly. How violent. How uncaring. That’s why you will always be a mom. Because WE need you to be one. 
Now, let me spend a minute and a pay you back for all the lectures I had to hear over the years. Let me do the talking for a second, and you listen. Don’t look at me as your son right now, but instead as a healthcare practitioner that has his Doctorate of Pharmacy, 5 fitness certifications, almost 10 years of experience in both fields, and witnesses almost on a daily basis the healthiest of the healthy and the sickest of the sick. Please. Listen. 
Forget about a swimsuit body. Forget about a flat, toned stomach. Forget about losing that flab on the back of your arms. Although those things may bother you, in the grand scheme of life, they’re meaningless. Instead, I want you to think back over the last 4 or 5 decades of your life. What were some of your happiest moments? What were you doing? Who were you with? Where were you? 
And now, I want you to again think back over the last 4 or 5 decades again. How many times did you pick me when I had fallen? How many times did I or someone else in our family depend on you for strength? How many times were you that rock when we were broken?
Do you see now how strong you’ve been over the years? Do you see the impact your strength has had on this world? 
You were, and still are, the glue that binds this family together. No matter how strong your children get. No matter how educated we become. No matter how much experience we acquire. We will always need you. Our kids will always need you. Heck, our kids’ kids will always need you.
Unfortunately, that strength you’ve had over the last few decades won’t last much longer. Eventually your body is going to succumb to age. And when that happens, you’ll lose your zest for life.  Like a superhero that lost her superpower, you’ll question whether you offer much to the world anymore. It will be a sad, slow demise. Although mentally you’ll be ready for the next life, physically you’ll be chained to this one, watching, waiting… 
That’s why you need to exercise. Although it won’t prevent the inevitable, it will delay it. It will make those golden years a little more golden, and it will make those dark years short and sweet.
See, when it comes to the benefits of exercise, the heart, the brain, and the abs get all of the headlines. However, what is often overlooked, is the fundamental reason we should exercise – to move. Strength. Power. Movement. Those are the things that allow us to experience life. Wait until you break your hip and can’t move. Watch life’s enjoyment evaporate as you’re stuck staring out a window from your wheelchair. Imagine a life without movement. What would you miss out on? Think about that for a few minutes because I guarantee you take movement so much for granted that you probably can’t even imagine a life where you can’t get up from your chair and hug your kids or grab milk from the fridge without a fear of falling.
A drug like Fosamax can help prevent those breaks, but the research is clear, resistance training is the gold standard when it comes to keeping your bones and muscles strong. It truly is the fountain of youth. 
 Much like the world underestimates the importance of mothers, don’t you underestimate the importance of your bones and muscles. And stop with the excuses. You never let me make them.
The gym is no longer just for guys in tank tops and girls that look like they could be models. Everyone goes to the gym. Old. Young. Skinny. Overweight. Even those that have never exercised before.
Don’t tell me you don’t have time either. All it takes is 30 minutes a day. As you always told me, if it’s important, you’ll find time. 
And I definitely don’t want to hear that you don’t know what you’re doing. How many times did I get away with that excuse with my chores? ZERO. The gym, its owners, and its members are there to help you. Ask questions. Get advice. Much like you taught me when I was a child, people are there to help. 
And that’s why you need to exercise. 
The world may have forgotten the importance of raising a child, but I have not. One child. One mother. Can change the world. 
Keep your strength. 
Love, your kids