Family Hike With Kids Gone Wrong

The Next Family

By Brandy Black

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My perfect day has changed so much since having kids.  It starts with a workout at Barry’s Bootcamp.  I’m a true fan.  I have been going to the West Hollywood location on and off for over 12 years.  Susan thinks I’m crazy to trek all the way out there for a one-hour workout but even the drive is cathartic for me.  I have twenty minutes to listen to my own music or better yet, sit in silence.  And even though I drag myself up the stairs from the parking garage dreading the pain I’m about to endure as I round the corner I know I’m going to feel amazing at the end of it.  I make small talk with the twenty-year-old treader next to me hating her hot body, but everyone around me is either on the news, a celebrity, or incredibly young and they ALL have hot bodies.  I look in the mirror and think.  I’m almost 40.  I am proud that I can still handle Barry’s.  Sure enough I walk out dripping in sweat and feeling like the weight of the world was left on the gym floor.  I crank up the music and drive to my second favorite destination, Fresh Pressed Juicery on Santa Monica, I grab three akelizers (their best drink) and off I go. This was my lovely perfect morning today.

I came home and my wife and I got all the kids ready to do the Observatory Hike in Griffith Park.  Susan is always complaining that we never get to do the things that she wants to do—hike, go to Ojai for the day, or see live music.  These are top on her list and not so much mine.  I love hiking but not with a 4-year-old and twins.  It’s exhausting.  But I have had my perfect morning, I’m feeling inspired, our oldest appears to be growing up and rarely asks to be carried so I’m game.  We gather the team and off we go.  Sophia is in a great mood skipping along, the twins are in the double mountain buggy stroller and we are hiking.  It’s a perfect day and I’m suddenly realizing what an asshole I’ve been for not letting this happen every weekend.  I breathe in fresh air and listen to my daughter chirping away and running from vista to vista.  It was a bit steep at times and took both Susan and me to push that blasted stroller but we prevailed and made it to the gorgeous Observatory atop the park.  We hydrated, wandered, and headed back down.  Suddenly I began slipping, Sophia fell to her butt and Susan (the trainer) was sledding down the hill in her super cute but worthless treadless Pumas.  I’m traversing the hills, Sophia’s crying and telling us to “throw her down the mountain” because she’s suddenly not having fun anymore and Susan is panicking in her super cute worthless treadless shoes.  I began cursing this hike, the babies were crying, the sunblock was wearing off and this was no longer fun.

Fun.  What does it mean really? One minute it’s a blast and the next I’m being screamed at wondering why I tried so hard in the first place.  I sat, exhausted, watching the Super Bowl with friends realizing that some days I’m winning and then there’s a blackout and suddenly I’m losing.  I guess I should just be proud that I’m out on the playing field.

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