Ummm… A Weighted Sled?



Dear Dharma,

I saw something at the gym the other day that I just can’t shake off.

A mom was there with her two daughters. One looked to be a teen, maybe 13 or 14. The other was a pre-teen of 11 or 12. The mom was in fantastic shape. You could tell she worked out. But she had the kids pulling weighted sleds – and that’s not the worst of it.

I’m a gym rat myself and I’ve done sled work. It’s not easy. In my opinion, the amount of weight on those sleds was far too much for those kids. Even with regular weight-bearing workouts I would not pull the amount of weight those kids were trying to move.

Not only were they very visibly struggling, the older one was chanting as she grappled with the weight, “I hate cheese, I hate cheese, I hate cheese…”

I wasn’t the only one giving the mom startled looks. She gave us all smirks in return and just “encouraged” her kids to work harder. It came off as “my kids are going to be fit and perfect like me.” Ugh! These were not overweight kids.

What does one do in this situation? Does one speak up? Discretely alert the gym manager? Or just say nothing and mind one’s own business?


Conflicted at the Gym

Dear Gym,

Yikes.  That’s all kinds of concerning, isn’t it…

And seriously.  Who the heck hates cheese?

Going to crazy mom is going to get you absolutely nowhere.  She thinks she’s doing a good thing.  Of course, she’s not, this is borderline abuse, but for sure she won’t see it that way. You’ll only end up in a conflict situation with little chance of positive resolution.

I would definitely go to the gym manager.  First of all, I’m surprised kids under the age of 18 are allowed in the gym, so that might be my first line of approach.  Second of all, it sounds like a number of paying patrons were appalled by this and shouldn’t have to be made uncomfortable by this situation while they are working out.  And probably most importantly, if those first two factors aren’t enough, I should think the safety of these kids should be of the utmost importance to the manager… you know, in absence of being important to their mother…

To close with an amusing point of reference… I have absolutely no idea what a weighted sled is… But I’m guessing not one of those things you fly down a hill on…



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Categories: Advice, conflict, Fitness, Health


  • Irene says:

    Absolutely. Speak to management. A good gymnasium provider will speak to this matter. As an example, my niece was severely anorexic and worked out aggressively. The gym finally turned her away and told her she could no longer work out there as her health was at stake. Sadly, one can’t expect all gyms to operate with a conscience. And this woman might take her kids to another operation that doesn’t care about health standards. But at least your side … and perhaps the gym’s side of the street is clean.

    • Dharma says:

      Those are all good points, Irene – and good to hear that the gym your niece went to got involved. Hopefully this gym will do the same…

      Thanks for your comment – you always have great insight… 🙂

  • Depending on the child abuse and reporting regulations of the place where this person lives, the gym could be in serious trouble for failing to report suspected abuse.

    • Dharma says:

      Also a really great point… while not the lawyer I always wanted to be, I do think this sounds like possible abuse, and the gym would do well to get involved.

      Thanks so much for your comment – always appreciated!

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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