Exercise By Example

So #029 on my 101 List is underway, I’ve registered for Run Melbourne and I’m raising money for Oxfam while I put myself through 5km of pain.  Who the hell invented the term Fun Run?  There is not much that’s fun about training for this thing right now.  My quads are like a rock, Dencorub is my new best friend and I’ve found places on my body that I never knew could sweat.  It’s funny to think that about six years ago I used to absolutely love running.  I found it not only enjoyable, but it cleared my mind and kept me centered.  Nowerdays it seems to make me wheeze like I have a pulmonary edema and leave me walking like a cowboy as I try to walk using every possible muscle except my quadriceps.

As amusing as all this is, there has been an unexpected byproduct of my training for this “Fun” Run and that is that my son has been coming with me…

My son is five and while he has a lot of energy, I never expected that he would want to join in when I went for a run to begin my training.  So we went to the local park, thinking that he would be bored after one lap of the football field and want to retire to the playground while I continued running around in circles.  But, would you believe he ran three times around the oval with me?  My guess it that is roughly 500-600 metres!

This got me thinking… is the activity levels in our children partially to do with what we model to them?  Are lazy adults/parents contributing to the growth in childhood obesity?

I know I have days when I am so busy with “stuff” that it’s really easy to ask my son to watch TV, or play computer games, just so he’s occupied and not bothering me.

When I was a kid, I’d be off riding my bike down the street, or I’d have walked through the bush to the back of my friend’s house and be playing in her backyard, or I’d be bushwalking, looking for tadpoles, or climbing the rockface that was in my backyard… so I think part of the problem is also that we’re less likely to let our kids out of our sight these days.  The thought of my son walking out the door with his bike and me not being there to supervise gives me a shiver down my spine, but that is precisely what my generation and those before us did as children.

So given that my anxiety about letting my son go running down the street on his own isn’t going to pass in the near future, I think my best bet to combat the sedentary lifestyle that can so easily creep into kids lives these days, is to exercise by example.  I may even take my son to a Pilates class with me, because seriously, I cannot even begin to describe how adorable he is when we return from our run together and he copies my warm down stretches!

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US Political Irony

It’s a rare day that I actually take the time to comment on the state of the US Political Race, I comment even less on horse racing and gambling, but I just couldn’t pass up sharing this little gem, with thanks to my very witty brother:

Hillary Clinton tipped the only female horse in the Kentucky Derby (which is akin to the scale and nation-stopping-ness of the Melbourne Cup in Australia) to win this year, and that horse not only came in second, but it had to be euthanised on the track, apparently with broken ankles.

The horse that came in first? Big Brown.

Irony at it’s finest.

Rugby Fantasy & Tipping

I am a massive fan of Rugby Union. I grew up in Sydney with many a cousin, uncle and friend playing this fine game. I’ve been attending matches since I could walk and I up-and-moved to the UK in the year that the World Cup was hosted by Wales, just so I could follow the Wallabies on their path to victory in 1999.

Slightly obsessed, you might say.

The Wallabies may have lost a bit of their sheen since John Eales and Rod MacQueen retired, but I have followed them in spite of some questionable coaching appointments and lagging results on the board. That said, let’s just say I wasn’t as keen to rush off to France last year.

But it’s a new year, with a clean score board! 2008 is a fresh season and the Super 14 season is almost upon us. Fourteen teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa this year and the ARU have just announced the opening of this year’s Rugby Tipping and Fantasy Team competitions.

If you’re going to participate, let me know and we can create our own ‘mates’ group so we can enjoy the spirit of some friendly competition.