Friday, July 25, 2014

Playful Fitness

Sometimes I am amazed that I get paid to do what I love. Fitness has been a part of my life forever. I remember taking my first aerobics class when I was about 15 years old and thinking, "I want to teach aerobics!" I had to wait until I turned 18 to be able to take my certification exam. Very shortly after my 18th birthday I took (and passed!) the test and started the first part of my career. Now, 24 years later, I still cannot imagine doing anything else. Of course "aerobics" classes have changed a bit over the years and my career evolved to include personal training, but fitness has always been there.

I just finished my July session of Bootcamp for Kids yesterday. While I am thoroughly exhausted from playing tag and running around with these kiddos, I am hoping to have planted a seed within them. What fun it was to see little people smiling and laughing and running and jumping, lifting little dumbbells and using little battle ropes.

For many people as they get older, exercise becomes a drag. It becomes a punishment for eating poorly or putting on weight. It is something people feel forced to do because they are unhappy with how their bodies look. I suppose this is why I love the Bootcamp for Kids program. Children get pure joy from moving their bodies just because they CAN. There were so many moments this past week when they would flex their little muscles and say, "Look how strong I am!" They didn't want to stop moving. Well, they would stop moving long enough to have snacks. That was very important.

What if, instead of beating ourselves up about our bodies, we work towards finding that joy in movement? Rather than thinking, "Ugh. I have to go to the gym" we take a moment to be thankful for our body's capabilities. Need some inspiration? Go to a busy playground. Watch children move and laugh and have fun. If you have children of your own, play with them! Dance and run with them! My own body is feeling the effects of doing this all week with the kids. And you know what? I'm pretty happy about it!

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