When Zoom Couldn’t Cut It, Dad Took Over Gym Class

Many parents have taken on the role of teacher during the pandemic. Jeremy Bodenhamer, 42, is working out more than ever since he’s been acting as P.E. educator for his three sons. When youth sports were put on hiatus last year and parks and playgrounds closed, the CEO of packing- and shipping-software company ShipHawk started leading his boys through workouts in the family’s garage gym.

“My boys love school but loathe Zoom school,” says Mr. Bodenhamer, who lives in Goleta, Calif. “P.E. takes the edge off and gets their pent-up energy out.” Mr. Bodenhamer and his wife, Bethany Bodenhamer, dean of students at a local high school, are both avid CrossFitters and have always encouraged their boys to be active. Titus, 9, plays baseball. Solomon, 8, loves hockey and running. Jeremiah, 6, is so into basketball that he watches Stephen Curry’s MasterClass daily and mimics the NBA player’s drills.

In the mornings, Mr. Bodenhamer takes the boys on runs or leads them through short workouts. When they finish with their remote-learning sessions, they meet their dad in the garage for workouts. Ms. Bodenhamer also occasionally joins to make it a family affair. The boys post their workouts and fitness challenges on their Instagram account @heartandhamer, hoping to inspire other kids to keep active. Last fall, the boys raised money through a GoFundMe campaign so they could purchase 700 jump ropes to give to local elementary school kids.

“I try to teach the boys that fitness is more than strong muscles,” says Mr. Bodenhamer. “We talk about life lessons like goal setting and building strength inside and out.”

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