Health, Slider

F.I.T. to Lead: Prepared for abuela (grandmother) duty

By Carmen Robles
Associate Editor

Nietas (granddaughters) Avery Kate Wewerka, 8 , and Ella Jo Wewerka, age 5.

The Insight 2 Health Fitness Challenge (I2H) has given me more than a new lease in life – it has given me the stamina to keep up with my granddaughters.

I2H has prepared me for abuela (grandmother) duty for Avery Kate, 8, and Ella Jo, age 5. These two fireballs are athletes in tutu’s.

Twice a year I head out to Portland, Ore. where my son Ben and his wife Julie live with their girls. Ben and Julie get to go off on a mini-honeymoon trip and I take care of their little ones. Each trip I come back exhausted. Playing catch-up abuela within a brief time span is challenging work.

This past trip was different, however. I had loads of energy as I walked fast – almost ran – to my gate at the airport. Typical, the gate is always the one at the end of the building. I’m always lagging, out of breath by the time I get to the departing gate. Sometimes the gate is changed and I must get to the new location which is always on the opposite side.

No problema. I could easily maneuver my way around the seemingly endless maze of people, suitcases, wheelchairs, food carts and traffic everywhere coming out of every corner, obstructing my route. Easy peasy. When I left my cell phone in the ladies’ room, way on the other side of the terminal, I sprinted from one end to the other in no time.

Then there are the girls, full of energy, ideas and projects; able to jump around the furniture in a single bound, faster than a speeding scooter and bike with training wheels. Sleep, a five-letter word they hate to hear. Ah yes, thank goodness, I am a Spartan (well, an honorary one, anyway.)

We played “peek-a-boo” like I use to do with their father and his sister, Lisa Jo. We hopped scotched, and I could hop. We even hula hooped, jumped rope, danced, put on a two girl play and chased the cat.

While Avery was in school I took Ella Jo to the neighborhood park. We skipped most of the way and ran the rest. Funny part was, she kept complaining how she didn’t like to walk and wanted to ride in the car. “Silly Ella” I said playfully, “abuela is a vieja (old lady) and I can run. Vente (come) catch me.” Catch me she did.

When I pushed her on the swing, I did squats. To her delight, I faced her as I pushed her little feet. Up she’d go and squatting down I went, coming up in time to meet her feet. Up down, up down we went; her squealing to go “faster” reminded me of Tyrone Minor’s and Jaime Minor’s, “you can do anything for a minute.”

After I2H round nine and two weeks into round 10, I can do anything for a minute, and then some.

Avery, a sophisticated, detailed-oriented young lady, was not into the Spartan-like physical activity her little sister Ella Jo thrives on. A skillful coach, much like the top of the line coaches/trainers at the F.I.T. Lab, she took on the role of trainer.

With her clipboard in hand, she bellowed out exercises for me. “Burpees,” she instructed. “No, not the dreaded burpees,” I yelled silently in my head. When I did the modified version, Avery set down her clipboard and pencil and got down on all fours to show me the “right way” to do them.

“Abuela,” she said her frustration at my lack of coordination clearly visible as she picked up the clipboard and pencil. “You have to do it right. Your butt is not supposed to be up in the air.”

“Push-ups next,” she yelled. I was thrilled to show off since I’m able to do a few, and not the modified version. The real thing. Again, Ms. Do It Right corrected me going down on all fours and with a great deal of pride showing me how she can do push-ups “the regular way” she said, “not on your knees.”

Out of the mouth of babes.

To learn more about the Insight 2 Health Challenge call the F.I.T Lab at (651) 645-5242. Visit the website at

May 15, 2017
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