Keeping up with the Robinsons

That Chris Robinson was able to participate in back-to-back basketball games in a single evening was, in itself, a milestone. But one moment during a July 29 game — a flash of speed that harkened back to 30-year-old Chris’ days as a young athlete — illuminated just how far he and his entire family had come.

Chris and his wife, 29-year-old Jessica Robinson, were winding down their Fit Columbus 90-Day Challenge, a highly anticipated health and fitness overhaul. Chris’ big moment occurred on an already-momentous night on the basketball courts. He gritted out a 40-minute shift that spanned two games in his local recreational league. Weight problems made simply playing one game a struggle for Chris before, but on this night he competed in two, and also broke into a sprint.

In order to avoid injury, he usually pulls up from sprints, but before he could silence his court instincts, he flew down the court at full speed, as he would have during his days as a fit 20-something. It caught Jessica’s eye as well.

“I was like, ‘Did you see me actually running full speed?” Chris recalled telling his wife after the games. “She was smiling and said, ‘Yeah, I did.’”

Moments like these became increasingly common for the entire Robinson family as the 90-day period neared its Aug. 3 finish date. These moments will sustain the family as they continue to pursue healthier, more active lives into the future.

“Those are the things that we wanted, that make us happy,” said Jessica, who was biking as far as 25 miles during a single ride with two-year-old son Matthew and 12-year-old daughter Madison by late July.

The program began with high hopes on May 5, but the stresses of life made committing to a more active lifestyle difficult for the Robinsons. The program threatened to derail at several points. There were plenty of would-be excuses to which they could have succumbed. However, they persevered. Minus professional assistance, Chris and Jessica still managed to shed inches from their waistlines as they experimented with new exercises and healthier eating (they agreed that ice cream was hard to give up in the midst of the humid Ohio summer). Gradually, they became more active and finally reaped the results in the form of looser-fitting clothes and compliments from strangers.

Above all else, they have discovered a new sense of family that is sure to extend for beyond our 90-day look into their lives.

“We look at ourselves differently, and we critique each other now,” Chris said. “We keep each other on the wagon and help each other stay on track. Like, if I miss the gym today, [Jessica] will get on me.

“We were each other’s motivation and trainers, and it made us closer as a family,” he said. “We were always behind each other, and we’re a much stronger family now. I like that. Even though this thing is over, we’ll still carry that with us.”