Fit4Allteens to Iron Girl - Mom's Story

Parent Success Stories

McKenna and her mom Andrea completed Fit4Allteens in the fall and recently finished the Iron Girl Half Marathon together.

What changes have you seen in Mckenna since she started to become more active and fit?

Since McKenna started training for the half marathon, she has felt stronger and more confident about herself. She likes the way she feels after a good run. And by having a training schedule it's made her be more accountable for her own training/exercising

How has your family changed? Has anyone else made the same commitment?

My husband and I have always been active, and committed to a healthy lifestyle. My son likes to be outside skateboarding and I've gotten the kids to do some 5K with us, but getting two teenagers to go for a run was not easy.

What have been the biggest challenges for your family?

The biggest struggle for our family is finding good healthy food/snacks that the kids would eat and teaching McKenna to be able to make good food choices on her own. The struggle for her is being around her friends that eat whatever they want, or eating late at night at a sleepover.

How do you keep the family focused and committed to being healthy?

My husband and I try and set a good example to our kids by eating healthy and having an active lifestyle. Setting limits on video games or sitting on the internet. We try and have them participate in small walk/runs.

What is one piece of advice you would like to tell parents who are supporting a teen who wants to be more active and fit?

I would tell parents not to make the "diet" or "weight loss" the focus. Get them equipped to make good choices for lifelong good habits. Once you get them on the right path, they start feeling good and they want to start making healthy choices for themselves. And the help of outside support from family and friends, by encouraging them, and giving them compliments helps a lot.

What was the best part of this experience?

Spending the one on one time with her and watching her evolve into being "her own athlete". Loved watching her get the satisfaction with herself after she had a really tough time completing a run and then feeling really accomplished when she completed it.

I was an active runner but on a much shorter distance program. So for us both to participate in something that was new to us both, and that we both had our own challenges was a great bonding experience for us both.

Would you recommend this to other families?

I would recommend this for anyone that has a child who struggles with being active. Getting involved with a running group that had every level of age, size and athletic ability was the best program. She saw that at any age it's a struggle to stay fit and active. Having the encouragement of a group was invaluable.

Will you continue to run with McKenna in the future?

Yes, I definitely will. I thought McKenna would be so glad it was over and not want to run again, but after achieving such an amazing goal that she thought she could never attain, she's already asked when the next training starts...

Read more about McKenna's story.

See what she has to say about the experience.