Being cooped up is making all of us a little crazy, especially Spartans, who are built and bred to get out of the house and be in nature. If you’re a parent, that craziness has likely gone to another level. Parents are cooking, cleaning, working, and somehow — some way! — attempting to capitalize on the chaos. But it’s a universal Spartan tenant that the key to surviving COVID-19 is getting OUT of the house. Our kids need fresh air, they need to strengthen their lungs to build immunity, and they need to stay gritty.
COVID-19 and Making Connections
COVID-19 is challenging for everybody, and parents understandably are unsure of how best to navigate this uncharted territory. How do you balance crunches with conference calls, while your tots and teens simultaneously beg for your attention? It can make you crazy! (Correction: It is making you crazy.) The unquestionable upside, however, is that COVID-19 is bringing families together. Social distance has meant leaning on your immediate tribe, becoming a team again. We’ve all begun to reevaluate quality time now that we have it so readily available.
All silly, stressed-out memes aside, staying active has been the antidote to this anxious time. Staying active, of course, isn’t just about training and fitness. Maybe it’s painting rocks to make sidewalks more cheerful for walkers and runners, or taking in the nature in your neighborhood, or going for a hike.
Before we know it, we’ll (hopefully) be at our kids’ soccer games again and stressing about SATs. But before we return to our “normal” lives, let’s reflect on what it really means to build resilient kids. It’s about walking out the door and making lifelong memories.
Below is a collection of first-person stories and testimonials from Spartan parents, all of whom are trying to balance parenthood with all of the additional responsibilities that this daunting time demands. Use them as inspiration! Also, make sure to follow our Instagram page, @spartankidsrace, and we will share what motivates us. And if you need another challenge, sign up for the Virtual Race right now!
How Spartan Parents Are Keeping Their Kids — and Themselves! — Active
David Piperno, Spartan CFO, Vermont (Father of May, 5)
We found time for a 9-mile wilderness hike in Vermont. There were lots of black bears around, and this guy (see below) was big! I’d estimate a size 10.5 boot. My daughter is 5 years old, and she hiked 5 miles on her own. She rode the rest in a backpack, but when we saw that bear she didn’t want to turn her back to it. She’s fearless!
Kristen Dollard, Spartan VP of Content, New Jersey (Mother of Avery, 13, and Luke, 8)
We’ve done a lot, but my kids are so active that it never feels like it’s enough. We’ve hydro dipped until we’re hypothermic, made outdoor TikTok videos, baked until we ran out of flour, run for miles, and gone for daily 3 p.m. bike rides with our “bike gang.” But the trampoline has kept them the busiest and the happiest. They’ve made up games, I see them put the dog on it, and they talk late at night while they watch the stars.
Dashee Vavrova, Spartan Extreme Endurance Social Media Manager, London (Mother of Lyam, 8, and Llyon, 6)
We’re a very active family — it’s just me and the boys — living in London, and fortunately we have a large garden to play in all day long! We get very creative and enjoy working with natural resources, so whether it comes to gardening, building a wooden teepee house, wood chopping, running, or doing lots of burpees, we can never get bored! As an Agoge veteran, I’ve learned many fun and useful survival skills that I can now pass on to my boys. It’s much better than watching TV all day long!
Robert McDonald, Spartan Customer Service Rep, Texas (Father of Jonas, 3)
We did the Kids Virtual Race this weekend. Jonas, my little athlete, LOVES doing anything that Dad does. He ran two Kids Trifectas last year “unofficially.” He’s my life!
Cherie Bortnick, Spartan Senior Director of Business Development, Florida (Mother of Brody, 5)
I received the saddest birthday card from my 5-year-old. Brody did made some killer suggestions, including going to the beach and playing freeze tag. To their credit, my coworkers told me to go play!
Marion Abrams, Spartan Up! Podcast Producer, Vermont (Mother of Wilbur III, 16, and Mac, 14)
Isolation from their friends and the pressures of virtual school make our daily runs more important than ever. I run a mile every day, and they run even more. Before this, running was optional. Now it’s mandatory for physical and mental health.
Dr. Lara Pence, Spartan Chief Mind Doc, Colorado (Mother of Keaton, 5)
Mountain biking is big, but we also created a little show called Keaton’s Kitchen, which is right up there with Cake Boss (if I do say so myself). Maybe Keaton will have his own show about the art of eating cookies some day. #nailedit
Jonathan Fine, Spartan Head of Global Brand Communications, Boston (Father of Tinsley, 4)
This was the first time we went running together, and it won’t be the last.