I recently worked with a group of children, a troop of Girl Scout Brownies, about 8 or 9-years-old, came into OPEX to earn one of their badges.
The plan for the day was nothing too intense. It included a series of basic bodyweight exercises and mobility movements, as well as education around the importance of incorporating fitness into their daily lives.
And while I hope they learned a thing or two from my gym nerd speak (I can talk air squat form and clam shells all day), I think I walked away with a greater lesson, unknowingly taught by them.
I love working with children. They remind me what it was like to be a kid—something I don’t think of far too often now in my day-to-day adult life.
Simply put, kids are carefree.
As I guided these Brownies through my pre-planned workout for the day, something struck me…
What they did in that hour’s time was not ‘exercise’…but play. They played.
They giggled, they squealed, they ran around the gym, climbed on the ropes, attempted cartwheels and handstands. They jumped over hurdles, rolled around on mats, bear crawled on a balance beam, swung on ropes and even swung the battle ropes around to try and knock me off balance while holding the other end. To them, the gym was not a place to come ‘get work done’; push themselves to any sort of limit; get down on themselves for not squatting properly or hitting a max lift…
My take away from our short hour’s time together, was a remembrance that exercise SHOULD also be playful.
Sure, squats, pull-ups, and push-ups are great and important (everyone should try to do them for the most part), but at the end of the day, these kids found the most joy in running around and simply having fun—full of GRATITUDE towards their activity.
As the Open draws to a close, and many Open competitors and athletes realize they did not qualify for regionals, after a year of training for it, people need to be reminded that this thing we do—called fitness—is a gift. It’s ultimately about fun, play, love of training/sport, and fulfillment. To have growth not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally and even spiritually is the journey of fitness.
While there is most certainly a time and a place for persons (such as high-level sport athletes and military clients) to train, many times, as if it is their job (because it is; i.e. not necessarily ‘fun’ all the time), on balance, for the majority of people, it is crucial to remind yourself that ultimately, you do this thing called fitness, or training, for…fun.
A. RFESS – 8RM in 12 minutes or less – load with DBs in hand
B. Push press – One repetition every 90 seconds x7 sets to find 1RM
C. SA DB row – 4×5-6/arm – rest 30 sec btwn arms
3 rounds for time
21 KBS, Russian – 55/35#
20mins Z1 your choice
10mins 65% effort
40 single unders
10 walk lunges
rest walk 1min
5 rounds not for time
8 KBS light russian
3 strict chin ups
1 rope climb 15′
Open 15.5 or OFF