I was always an athletic kid. I got it from my father who triple lettered in high school. He was the jock's jock. That love of sports was passed down the family. I remember the book Aerobics by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper. Dr. Cooper realized you could judge how fit someone was by how far they could run in 12 minutes. Ages, times, and distances were all listed. It then was expanded to other types of activities. It was all put into a point system and you needed a certain amount of points every week. All us kids made sure we got our points. It also gave us goals of times or distances to try to beat. Now, I'm recalling these details even though they were from the late 1960s so if what I'm saying isn't perfectly exact, that's really OK. I just remembered that if you followed any of the plans you would get fit. And, as a survivalist, a beer belly and weak arms and legs just won't do.
When my kids were younger, I'd bring them to the school track and make them run their age. This meant the 6 year old had to go 1 1/2 miles, the 10 year old 2 1/2 miles. My kids were always running under 8 minute miles. Army standards are slower than that! Now the grandkids are runners. Girl runs under a 6 minute mile. She has been doing this since she was 10! She is now the ripe old age of 12. The kids are competitive, and individual sports where you are timed or use weights are great because while they compete against each other, they are also competing against themselves.
On Wednesday Girl was mad when she got home from school. What happened? Something happened during PE. Now at our schools, PE standards are set at the beginning of the year, measured in the middle and at the end for improvement. Federal funding is given to the district by the amount of improvement. (Sounds like a perfect reason to fudge, doesn't it since an in-shape kid will have less percentage of improvement than an out-of-shape kid.) They had to get tested on pushups. Down on the ground...and these aren't the sissy pushups but regular pushups. One, two, three... The teacher was counting. Girl got a little bored and did 10 as the teacher counted to eight. OK, we are done!
What? Girl wasn't done at 10. She figured she would do about 50 or 60 before she'd tire out. She used to do 100 but since she didn't really do pushups during summer, her goal was 50. She had to stop at 10. That way there'd be room for improvement. Not only that, but she would bring up the rest of the class enough that they'd qualify for the extra federal funding on her ability alone.
Last night I didn't let the kids go to the football game. After all, it was on a school night rather than on Saturday. Fresno won 52-51 against Rutgers. After every touchdown the Army ROTC runs down the goal line and does one pushup per point. Normally Girl takes up a space in the bleachers and does pushups along with them. Thing is, once the score was 28 the Army ROTC stopped doing one per point because many of them couldn't keep up. Instead they just did seven for the touchdown. Girl on the other hand would have done them all. That would mean by the time the game was over she would have done about 250!
So Wednesday Girl was mad because she only got to do 10 pushups. This morning she was mad because she missed out on 250. Now the challenge will be to keep her thinking pushups are fun and staying fit during her upcoming "lazy" teen years.