No, not literally, though I think that would be fun; however, metaphorically I am juggling up a storm.

This year we’ve been trying to add some fun into our family life mix. My husband and I have enjoyed a few date nights at the Everett Silvertips hockey games, we took both kids to the Washington Stealth lacrosse game (totally amazing), we’ve gone ice skating as a family a handful of times, and I even snuck in a girls’ night when my mom and I went to see Anne of Green Gables the Musical. I think we had more outings in January than we did in the last three months combined. While we certainly won’t keep up this pace, we are realizing how much we can do as a family now that the children are getting older (the boy is 6.5 and the girl turns 4 next week). It really is fun!

Seeing how WE enjoy watching sports together and participating in physical activities, I’m really working to expand the availability of youth activities at the YMCA where I first started teaching hooping classes. This is where the juggling comes in. Funny thing is, I’m so excited about it all, I’m not feeling overwhelmed by it – just busy!

In December I approached my supervisor about offering a children’s running program to help get youth prepared to participate in our branch’s annual 1.6miler/5K race in the fall. The idea was so well received, I’m kicking-off the program in April. We’ll do a second session in the fall (maybe even having satellite sites at some of the elementary schools to reach a greater population). So my work is cut out for me to get the program up and running with a name, volunteer coaches, integrating the Women’s Sports Foundation’s GoGirlGo! program into the girls’ groups, and advertising all of this goodness. As a former teacher, the author of a running book for girls, and the parent of a boy who wants to run (and a girl who just can’t wait to be old enough so she can join in the fun, too), this truly unites all of my passions! Can you sense that I’d be jumping up and down if I could do that and type at the same time??!

I don’t want to rush January at all, especially with a VIP birthday celebration next weekend (more ice skating!), but in February I get to teach hooping classes again. I’ll be doing a thirty minute class as a warm-up class for our Y members who take a spin or cardio class right afterward. I think it will be a nice addition to what the schedule already offers – and I can’t think of a more fun way to kick-off a morning than with a hula hoop. On Saturdays I get to teach a family oriented hooping class that will integrate games for parents and their children to play together. I hope that it inspires many hours of campsite, beach and backyard play as the weather improves and families head outside for adventures.

I’m thankful for these great opportunities to share my passions with others. It all looks good on paper so far – let’s see how it goes when I actually toss the running program & hooping classes balls up into the air with the mom, wife, school volunteer, dog caregiver, writer, and mom-taxi driver balls that area already up there. If nothing else, it’ll be colorful! If it all fails, I can always go with my husband’s suggestion to try Roller Derby. No, really. He’s serious. But that’s for another post.

Here’s to happy running, reading, hooping or whatever adventures your life holds!