Friday, July 4, 2014

Rockin' Around the Playground - XMas in July!



HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY EVERYONE!!!



With any luck, no one is reading this, because you all are out watching the fireworks on a gorgeous clear night.  But for those on us on the eastern seaboard, chances are you are like me.  Inside (hopefully with a glass of wine), listening to the distant pops of a few of your more drunk determined neighbors setting off crackers, as your town festivities were rescheduled due to storm Arthur.
No parades for you!


That's all good.  Better safe and happy than very wet and sorry.  My town does a killer job celebrating our nation's independence, and I'm looking forward to two days worth of parades (yes plural - one bike and doll carriage for the kids, one Big Parade on Sunday), food and fireworks.

However, the change in plan does threaten to make Sunday the "Busiest Day Ever", as the kids begged me to let them do the kids race of the Quaboag Plantation Triathlon.  Immediately followed by hauling our cookies back home for the parade and the fireworks. If only they had red white and blue tri kits that would be perfect!  (I am not racing the adult sprint beforehand.  I would kind of like to just to see how much my times improved from last year.  It was, after all, my first triathlon ever.  Something is bound to have improved!!!)

Anyway... Yesterday, after finishing up a hasty day of work, I dragged the kids to the town center to practice before the storm hit.  Neither child has been on their bike in weeks, since we've been doing more family rides with the trail-a-bikes.  I wanted to be sure that they could keep the bikes rubber side down.  A little practice beforehand could very well stave off a total freakout during the race itself.


Clouds like this... what could go wrong??

The town center has a dirt track around the athletic fields that is just shy of 1/4 mile.  I told the kids they each had to complete 4 laps on their bikes before they could retire to the playground.  While they did so, I'd get as far into an interval workout as I could before the skies opened, running one loop at a relaxed pace and sprinting the next (which for me means keeping pace under 9:00 minute miles).
Sweat dripping
Little girl chasing little boy (harder to see) on her bike
To say that it was hot and humid does not give the brief workout justice.  It was murderously oppressive - like breathing nice warm tomato soup instead of air. The thunder started threatening, a few drops fell.... but we stayed until it really started pouring.  (I've gotten enough compliments on my favorite "Are my kids still chasing me?" shirt that I just have to share where I got it.  LOVE this shirt..... especially when my workouts occur with kiddos.)

Before we left (and once we got home since it was cut in half), I added in a strength workout using the playground swingset.  It was hard (ouch really hard), but I also had fun playing around and the kids thought I was hysterical.  That silly mommy......

Pushups using 2 swings.  Photo credit - Little Yoda Girl

So yes, kids and I BOTH got in our workouts for the day.  Which is really important, because <<pausing to step up on soap box>> it's really just so fundamentally, critically, just-no-way-around-it-important that kids get out and get moving.  There's a reason this picture is funny:

No judgment - I had bacon for breakfast too

Americans love their bacon.  And their ice cream.  And their TV, videogames, and sedentary office jobs.  Though I do see it changing, ours is not a culture that encourages physical activity.  Even now in schools recess and gym is being shortened or cut, allowing for more class time.  I certainly understand the pressures of education, but... kids just aren't meant to sit still.  They are meant to run, play, climb, fall, scrape their knees, and generally act like hooligans in every direction for most of their days.  One of the best ways to encourage this is to be a role model yourself.  Or just drag them out...


She only looks sweet and innocent...
more star hair!
Stepping back down OFF my soapbox, I will also admit that that little speech I gave is a bit misleading.  I do believe all those things, but truthfully my kids are out and moving so much because they are, near as I can understand, the small human equivalents of Dalmations.  Large, friendly, incredibly hyper dogs that must be exercised vigorously for hours each day.  My kids, being 5 and 6, seem to live to annoy each other, and possess boundless energy which with to do it.  In fact, they have 4 settings:

  1. Running around like mad things (swimming, hiking, biking, jumping etc. also included in this category)
  2. Trying to kill eachother.
  3. Sleeping
  4. Videogames.

I admit to the judicious use of #4, when #1 is no longer an option, having already done so for large chunks of the day.  When I've lost my voice from yelling at them (#2), and #4 is still hours away.  People think I'm kidding when I tell them we started using laps around the house as punishment for my daughter when she was three years old.  We're not kidding.  And it's not really a punishment, because she likes it so much.  We are just trying to tire her out.... 

They are good kids.  Great kids.  But a mom's gotta do... you know!

Now that we've all agreed that kids in motion is a matter of survival (yours or their is up to debate), I wanted to share a very cool find from today.  The rain kept us indoors, so we took the kids to the Worcester Ecotarium, our favorite local children's museum.  There is a fabulous new exhibit, all about different ways for kids to get moving and get active.  Partially disguised in a superhero theme, Run! Jump! Fly! has stations for climbing, surfing/snowboarding, strength training (boo yeah just like Mommy at the gym!), martial arts, dance, and yoga. 







After completing each station, the kids get a stamp on their card.  The flip side of the card is an Activity Challenge for the following three days, where they record everything they did to get moving, up to 60 minutes per day. 

How many kids are gonna get to write "Triathlon" on their card??  Oh yeah.....

Lest anyone think I'm slacking with all this museum fun, I did get in a one hour brick today.  In my basement, on my trainer and treadmill, which was remarkably peaceful.  Cool and quiet with lots of bad TV to watch.  Ahhhh.... adding this into my "more often" column.....

Tomorrow Team Cupcake Tri will be crushing the competition at the town Bike and Doll Carriage parade, having spent a few hours decking out their bikes and helmets with all manner of dollar store Christmas in July junk.  I hear our Elf on a Shelf will also be making an appearance....

Sneak peek.  His helmet is under there!
Can I leave on for the triathlon?  USAT?

Enjoy the fireworks -- and a safe, happy, and ACTIVE holiday weekend to you all!!


2 comments:

Axel Kussmann said...

I love that swing set workout! I've done the split legged squat before but not the rest...

Courtney Fields said...

Swing set workout for the win! You should probably put together a whole workout post for that, haha. Those push ups must be killer! The core work to stay stabilize must be awesome.

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