Running For Fun – No Gym Class

I have come to the firm realization that mine boys NEED at least 2 hours of exertion, exercise and outside time every day.  If they get that they are completely focused and though not wiped out they are relatively calm back at home.

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So on this day we headed out of the city with a friend.  That was me and five energetic, lively boys on trails, by water and in nature.  It always amazes and excites me how they move ebbing and flowing as they are inspired.  Following along I found myself thinking of Gym Class and Track & Field.  Running was not really self motivated but rather it was thrust upon us.  In the case of gym it was a predetermined number of laps for the sake of warm up, testing or just because it was gym time and it was now the time to get physical.  In Track and Field we ran to train and get strong for racing – fun but not the same as this running the boys do.  I would walk down the trail and they would burst past me energetically.  I’d watch them speed ahead and eventually I would catch up….sometimes after a wee jog.  I would find them splashing, chatting and exploring the environment or otherwise chatting and exploring ideas.  I would catch my breath and off they would go again – running free and running just because it feels good.  I found the pace similar to when I have done interval training in the past but the experience was much richer.

I truly believe that kids need to run, play and be free if they are to know how to be JOY without rewards.  Gym class does not create lifelong fitness but enjoying a spontaneous moment that requires exertion does.  I love our non gym classes.  I love that they love to run.  I was a track star of sorts but I loved winning not running.  I am grateful for the opportunities I had but I do think it is sort of sad how we turn an amazing natural experience into a structured activity.

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~ by Nicole on June 5, 2012.

5 Responses to “Running For Fun – No Gym Class”

  1. You are SO right! In fact – it’s not just boys that need outdoor exercise, all of us do! Best wishes. x

  2. So true! This is one thing I loved about homeschool – time to run and play. Let me recommend a book – The Last Child in the Woods. (can’t remember the author)

    By the way, I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award.

    • That sounds like my kind of book – thanks for the recommendation! As well thank you for nominating my for the Kreativ Blogger award! That is so cool – even though I am not sure how that works. However it works I am really grateful for any encouragement to keep writing – other than my own inner whispering! 😉

  3. Running is the only thing that focuses my three. But a hike would not do the same. They need the intensity of a long run as teens (when they were little the hike would do it). Hence, my reason for making them run XC. Love the pictures!

    • XC is pretty neat! I was a sprinter and never ran cross country but I understand as an adult how fun it is from when I try to keep up with the kids 😉 I can see how as they get older the hike might not cut it! Maybe……….here is to hoping it will though! Love the simplicity of no teams!

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