I’ve trained with many trainers, fitness instructors and coaches throughout my life but my mother was my first personal trainer, because she taught me to love exercise.
I was her third and final child. So once she had me, she was determined to get her body back. Every morning we got up as a family and ate breakfast together. My father went off to teach high school social science and my siblings went off to elementary school.
As soon as everyone else was out and the dishes were cleaned up, we headed downstairs in our lovely bungalow and we exercised.
We did Jane Fonda and Charlene Prickett workouts. I wore my leotard and tried to keep up with my scrawny little legs. My mother was always encouraging and helpful.
I was actually super strong for my size. She nicknamed me “Bam-Bam Jones” the first time I picked up a full laundry basket of clothes and lifted it over my head. I was about 3 or 4 years old at the time.
And so we added that to our ritual. I would carry the laundry basket behind her and up the stairs.
I remember always wanting to be with her and follow her around. I loved having her all to myself. I had that privilege up until I went to school at age 5, then she went back to work full-time.
Throughout the years, exercise has continued to be our bond. Trust me when I say, we don’t agree on a lot! She wasn’t so keen on the amount of sports I played, since it wasn’t very feminine, but when she did come to my basketball and soccer games, she was the loudest one cheering me on. My parents took turns attending all my activities and my father was my soccer coach.
I also hated dresses because I couldn’t ride my bike properly in them and threw a temper tantrum when she forced me to wear them. When we moved to a bigger house and I got my own room for the first time, I was so upset that they made my room pink. Light pink walls and dark pink carpet! I was livid! But once I got my own money I covered them with basketball posters and black history icons. Hehehe
For a long time I didn’t even think my mother liked me. Probably because I battled her at every turn. But I realized I never gave her a chance to know me. In the last 5 years we made an agreement to make an effort to get to know and understand each other better.
In an effort to be a better daughter, in December 2013 I flew my mother to Tobago so she could spend her birthday being pampered. She had been through a lot. Her mother had passed, which brought some sibling drama; she had filed for divorce and her Parkinson’s disease was ever present.
We spent 4-days at a beautiful resort, with no TV or wifi. We talked, laughed, argued, played cards and of course we exercised together every morning. She never lets me correct her form, no matter how many certifications I get! LOL
Every night we went out to eat and I instructed her to order whatever she wanted, this was her trip, and all expenses were paid.
The highlight of that trip was when we were sitting on our private balcony, me reading and her dozing in and out of sleep. With her eyes closed and a smile on her face, she said to me “Dev!” and I replied “Yes mummy!” She paused for a second before she continued and said, “This is why you have children.” I just smiled in response. She went back to sleep and I went back to reading my book.
In Health and Wellness,
Devon M. D. Jones
Personal Trainer Specialist
Certified Boot Camp Instructor