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Too Frustrated To Come Up With A Quirky Title

Posted Apr 30 2008 7:00pm
Hi Joe,

I read this today. I hope to write on it myself as to the implications of such systematic eradication of physical activity in our children’s lives. I wanted to hear your thoughts because I greatly value your opinion. Thank you Joe.

Bobby F.
Age 25
California

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Bobby,

Thanks for alerting me to the story… As I read this article, my first instinct was to bang my head against a wall (or a fully loaded squat bar).

Now that I’m thinking (only slightly) more clearly, I’ll try to reason out a coherent response…

Should we blame the fear of physical activity on an out of control legal system? It seems like everybody’s looking for an easy payout due to “overwhelming physical and emotional trauma” attributed to childhood injuries (or the POTENTIAL of such injuries).

Or do we blame the liberal wacko movement that says we’re supposed to go out of our way to avoid ANY words/actions/thoughts that might be construed as “offensive”? (has anyone seen Jimmy Carter lately?)

If parents/administrators can’t understand that kids need to be kids, I suspect normal, healthy/active childhood games such as tag, touch football and the like will have to go ‘underground’.

Since dog fights are apparently on the list of things not-to-do, maybe we can start gambling on which kid will win at dodge-ball in an old warehouse. (Michael Vick called, he said he wants to put $400 on a kid called “Johnny Slaughter” in the 3rd round.)

There are any number of clichés/lessons one could learn from playing kids games.

  • Life isn’t fair
  • Cream always rises to the top
  • Lose graciously
  • Win with dignity
  • If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig (I don’t know how this one fits in, but I love the saying!)

Back when I was a kid (I could’ve sworn I said I’d never start a sentence with those words), I tore holes in the knees of my pants by playing aggressively on the playground. I had fun playing with my friends. Sometimes I’d lose. Sometimes I’d get bumped, bruised or bloody. But I always got back up.

The more I learned how NOT to lose/fall/etc, the faster my athletic skills developed. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have developed those skills by just reading about ‘em. In fact, we used to play a game called “Keep-away” where it was ONE kid against everybody else. (kind of like football, but there was no goal line, boundary lines or referee)

In fitness, it’s all about the SAID Principle: Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands.

If schools refuse to impose any challenges more demanding than tiddlywinks, what the hell are the kids going to adapt TO? And maybe if there was more physical activity on the playground, there wouldn’t be such a problem with teen-pregnancy?

The more I get to know the human race, the less I want to be part of it.

Now who’s ready for a game of full-contact Twister?

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