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Gabrielle Reece Savors Alone Time in Gym

08/01/2008 at 08:00 PM ET

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Volleyball star Gabrielle Reece loves spending time with her kids, but she also treasures her solo workouts, as they provide much-needed alone time. The 38-year-old was recently heading down to do a workout in her gym when her daughter Reece Viola, 4 ½, decided that she wanted to "come down and hang out with me while I trained." Gabby told her she could, but there were rules to follow and an understanding that "this was ‘Mommy’s time," and that if she chose to "have a fit or yell and scream then she was going to be banned from my area." Reece didn’t realize that her mom was serious, and during the workout started to "turn all energy of the universe into her emotional needs of the moment" and throw a temper tantrum — something Gabby did not appreciate.

So in an effort to protect ‘Mommy’s time’ and keep my word, I did the only sensible thing: I kicked her out.

The fitness guru admits that she did learn two important lessons throughout the experience — "protect your time" and "follow through on your word," adding that "at the end of the day who cares if they scream and yell? Better that they do it on the other side of the door then in your ear."

Gabrielle and her husband, surfer Laird Hamilton, 44, are also parents to Izabella, 13, and Brody Jo, 7 months. Izabella’s mom is Laird’s ex, Maria.

Source: Go To Gabby; Photo by Frazer Harrison for Getty Images.

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Showing 13 comments

Jennifer Griola on

Good for Gabby! As moms sometimes we put everybody first before ourselves which is not only not healthy, but also does not model a good example for our children. Since losing over 90 pounds I definitely am a better mom–I can run and jump and do somersaults with my kids now! Sure, everyday they go to the daycare at the YMCA so I can workout, sometimes they scream, but when I pick them up they are happy & love the time we spend running around the gym. Keep up the good work Gabby in being a great role model to other moms and especially your kiddos!

Nicole on

Amen! I completely agree with Gabby! I wish more parents were like this and would assume the role of “parent” appropriately. It seems too many people are afraid to let their kids cry or let their kids become the center of the universe and have no boundaries. Rock on, Gabby1

Ain on

Nicely done! If only more parents (in Hollywood especially, e.g. Lohan mom — I don’t even know her name) were like her, this world would be a better place.

Keep it up!

molly on

LOVE. IT.

She handled the entire situation perfectly.

Jen DC on

Lol. What’s amazing to people is that this tactic *works*. Putting a kid in his/her own room while they have a screaming fit is great, but only if you explain why it’s happening both before *and* after. Setting expectations is what helps toddlers not throw tantrums because they know what’s coming next.

It’s sad that this is a lost art. It’s just discipline.

Miss155 on

I concur.

JennB on

Good for her. Kids that young also need to learn that sometimes parents want or need to do things alone. Reece will quickly learn that it’s not all about her.

DLR on

Sounds like Gabrielle has watched “Nanny 911″ or “Supernanny” a few times! I love those shows and am amazed how simple discipline and explanations really work with kids who are throwing the most theatric tantrums, although the shows kind of make it seem like all parents don’t know how to raise their children. Even so, kudos to Gabrielle for effective parenting, and for showing her daughter just who the parent is.

Jennifer on

My daughter has the same dress that eese is wearing…its from OLd Navy

workout mommy on

Go Gabby! I love how she says to follow through on your word, so many parents today do not do that.

Cyndi on

I love that she did this. I’m in need of losing a ton of weight and my 2 year old won’t have anything of it. She just screams at the YMCA or vomits so I don’t get that much desired time by myself. I love that she followed through on her warning.

m-dot on

I love it!

Kate on

I bring my almost 2 year old daughter to the YMCA three times a week so I can work out and it has done wonders for her(and me too!) At first she would cry and I would have to leave, but now she walks in by herself and says “bye-bye mom” and I am off to the treadmill. I so relish my alone time at the gym as I also have a 4 year old son who keeps me running. Kudos to Gabby for standing her ground. Moms need to recharge for themselves and to be better parents.

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