Exercise - let's call it 'play' - is fun. We grownups get all riled up about it - we tell you it's important, we read about it, we watch it on the news - but we never really tell you what to do, do we?
Maybe because it's confusing for us. You know how mommy and daddy never talk about money at the dinner table? It's because we don't understand it. And we don't really get fitness, either. We're scared to admit, in front of you, that we've never been the quarterback. We'll likely never be your athletic hero. And so, we're not sure how to inspire you to action, though we're pretty sure you should be doing.....something.
You remember a few minutes ago, when I had to call you three times for dinner, because you didn't want to put down the video game controller? Well, let's talk about that. You weren't glued to the television because video games are 'fun.'
They're NOT fun.
See, a video game isn't a stimulator. It's a relaxor. It makes your brain shut off for awhile. You become a passive receptacle - what's a receptacle? Sorry, buddy, a sponge - and you go into 'sleep' mode.
All the bright colours and loud noises also kick off the production of epinephrine and some other really strong chemicals. Just like cocaine - and I've told you to just say no to that stuff, right buddy?
The really beautiful part: it's really addictive. It's like dreaming while you're awake. It's like sticking a funnel into your brain - you could pour anything in there and it would stick.
But at least you're not bored, right, little man? I mean, what parent would want to make you uncomfortable, even for a minute? Not me. Not unless you'd learn something really, really important....or it would help you out later in life....or maybe help you be healthier? Or happier? Or maybe you'd really like it?
Sometimes, it's pretty tough to ask you to do something you don't like. But if I know you'll eventually like it, if you'll only try...well, that's why I get adamant. About exercise, and about eating your vegetables, too. Because it doesn't matter if you like broccoli.....it likes you. And your tongue - that 1% of your body that dislikes green stuff? It's holding back the other 99%. That's where I come in: to compel the tongue to act in the interest of the rest.
Is it better for me, then, to show you some fun stuff? To give you challenges at which I'm sure you'll succeed? To let you swing, jump, run, and cheer others at the same? Or to show you that it's painful, and how to distract yourself until it passes? To hope that, like math (which I also only pretend to understand,) your schoolteachers are doing enough to prepare you for life without my interference? That they'll hand me an absentee slip, so that I can walk away and they'll bear responsibility for your outcome in life?
Lifestyle immersion is what I choose. You'll thank me later.