Fit Family Challenge SpotLight: The Cook Family


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Piedmont Parent’s Fit Family Challenge launches April 21, and we're following two Triad families who are up for the challenge to work toward better health with the help of a team of experts: The Cooks and the Brays.

Your family is invited to join the Fit Family Challenge, too. Get fit, have fun and enjoy some bonding time during the next eight weeks. Find out how you can be part of the Fit Family Challenge.

 

Meet the Cook Family

Heather, 40, who works full time as a speech-language pathologist with Davidson County Schools, is a busy single mom to 10-year-old twins Jackson and Lindsay, and Regan, who is 12. Heather is a lifelong athlete who is always up for new types of exercise such as “mud runs,” which she has recently worked into her routine. “I’ve been addicted to running for 20 years,” Heather tells Piedmont Parent. “I’m happy with my slow pace; it’s my stress relief, and I could not live without it.”

The Cooks’ day starts early. Heather is up at 6 a.m. to get ready for work, and the whole family is out of the house by 7:15 a.m. Jackson, Lindsay and Regan share their mom’s commitment to keeping active. Jackson and Lindsay both play basketball, as well as other sports, and Regan keeps active with jiu-jitsu and Boy Scouts.

In addition to after-school tutoring and fitting in workouts, Heather is in constant motion shuttling the kids to their afternoon activities five days a week. She enjoys cooking and baking, and gets a lot of use out of her slow cooker. But their jam-packed schedule leaves little room for meal planning or trips to the grocery store. For the Cooks, the challenge is not about being more active, but how to find balance and manage the hectic pace of three active kids and a single mom who does it all.

Single parenthood has been the biggest challenge of my life and has taken a lot of prayers and a lot of tears,” says Heather. “But there are so many joy moments if I stop long enough to see them. I need to do that more!”

Challenges:

  • Finding activities the family can enjoy together. “I want my kids to be active,” says Heather. It would be a lot easier on me if I just didn’t allow them to try things, but they each deserve the chance to develop areas they are interested in.”
  • Finding healthy eating solutions for a single working mom who is always on the run.
  • Incorporating “me” time for Heather. “When they are with their dad every other weekend, I absolutely, positively do not know what to do with the downtime,” she says.
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