I am hopeful that it will help parents promote daily physical activity if they can see what
physical activity means from a teenager's perspective. With this thought in mind I asked
my teenage son to write about what it's like for him to be the son of the Get Active
Mississauga Coordinator. Here are my son's thoughts:
My mother is the Get Active Mississauga Coordinator. And it sucks! Sure it puts food on the
table and in the fridge, but I don't like it one bit. I never get to sit in front of the TV or
computer for more than an hour, without being told "why aren't you outside and
playing" or "what physical activity did you do to deserve to watch that." She
always comes at the worst times and makes me go and be physically active. Every time I'm
watching CSI Miami and they are just about to find out who the criminal is, she comes and tells
me to turn off the TV and go and play. It is a pain in the butt.
The more I think about it the more I appreciate what she does. Every time I go and play hockey
outside I get a little bit better at my shot and every time I play basketball I get a little
bit better at my aim, but I'm still horrible at basketball.
Every time I go outside and do something active I have fun. And most importantly I extend my
life just a little bit more. So as much as I hate missing the end of CSI Miami, I will go
outside and play with my friends.
Currently I am a student at St. Aloysius Gonzaga CSS. I live about a forty minute walk away
from Gonzaga or 3.2 km away just within the boundaries of the school and guess what? Lucky for
me, I have the Get Active Mississauga Coordinator for a mom, and she makes me walk everyday
unless it is raining a lot and even then sometimes I have to walk anyways. I don't like to
walk, but it gives me a chance to catch up with friends and have some laughs. And lately I have
gotten a lot faster when skating. This has greatly improved my hockey skills. I'm slowly
getting more physically fit and it's taking less and less time for me to get to and from
school. I really don't like my mom's job but it helps me in little ways that I will be forever
grateful. Well not now at least, but later on I will be very grateful for the thing she
By S. Callaghan
Epilogue- By Brenda Callaghan
It seems all teenagers have a job. They must complain and they must make things difficult for
parents. However, it seems that they are listening to the messages we send, they do pay
attention to what we role model and what we "preach". Deep down in some hidden
place they know that we are trying to do what's best for them, trying to help and when we are
very lucky, they can see what we are trying to do.
It's important that we role model daily physical activity for our children. We need to walk
to the store, to school and to work when we can. We need to let them walk/bike rollerblade or
skateboard to school whenever they can. We need to make them turn off all screens and get some
sort of activity—shooting hoops, throwing a ball, walking to their friend's house.
Expect the complaints, the arguments and in that one begrudging acknowledgement ("but
later on I will be very grateful for the thing she did") know that there is hope, we have
done our job and laid the ground work for the road they will travel.