IIt is part of growing up and becoming a grown woman that you find your mother physically repellent in every way imaginable. I remember this from my own teens, when my mother had a lemon yellow plush plush jumpsuit that made me want to gouge my eyes out.
My 11-year-old daughter (not pictured above) is extremely advanced in this regard and has been reviewing my physical flaws in a dispassionate but detailed way since she learned to speak. “You’re red here, here and here,” he said once, about three years old, gesturing in areas of my face, “and that’s because you’re old.”
Consequently, I find it beyond fascinating that mother daughter dance and fitness challenges are so popular on TikTok. This is, as they say, one thing. On TikTok, where you can upload short videos that are 15 seconds to a minute long, the creativity is often amazing, but they are not long exercises. Mother-daughter challenges refer more to two people perfecting a specific movement. There are outliers that are really good at things: a mother with a daughter of about eight, both making aerial silks to the most beautiful standard, it was a spectacle rather than an aspiration. Double yoga is a nest of feats of intergenerational balance. But there’s no way I’m trying: we’re not circus animals.
There are a lot of plank and sit-up routines, where the joke is usually the fat mom huffing in the background, and a lot of dancing. Some issues with that: I am explicitly not allowed to dance, hum, sing, or make any gestures during music that indicates that I may have heard it. That has been true since about 2015.
So we started with a synchronized abs workout. We lie on our back, side by side, with our heads at opposite ends, then we do a sequence of basic exercises: sit-ups, bikes, frogs, an incredibly difficult movement called the dragon flag abs, where you lift your entire butt off the ground, then lower your legs very slowly.
Fair play, it was quite difficult for her to focus as she commented on everything she was doing wrong. “Why are you making that noise?” “Can’t you lift your legs higher?” Ironically, we moved on to the dance move because she I was tired, although I think we have been quite clear on this point, I am substantially older. Technically, according to the TikTok gods, we should have been dressed in the same outfit, but why find trouble midway?
I’m familiar with some of the aerobic repertoire from the 1980s, but the modern basics are beyond me. There is a lot going on that is essentially a cross between a haka and a traffic officer having a panic attack, interspersed with a highly technical hip movement. According to my daughter, there is no fun trying to learn even 15 seconds of a dance with someone so uncoordinated. Turns out this is the most annoying thing that ever happened. Tried this so you don’t have to. For the love of God, save yourselves.
What I learned
It’s much easier to exercise together if your child thinks it’s his idea.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism