As some of you are aware of, I had my first son and child, Logan, last month. While time has already started to fly by, thousands of thoughts about him and my growing family’s future have passed in and out of my mind already. One thought in particular has come up a number of times and that’s how do I keep him (and any potential future children) growing up healthy, strong, and happy. Of course my hopes are to lead by example; I played sports growing up, through college, and I workout at high intensities at PR Star on a daily basis. I hope these patterns will simply pass on to Logan automatically. I mean it only took my wife, Caitlin, a few short months of wearing down before she got hooked on CrossFit too so hopefully it’s natural for Logan when the time comes!
I know a decent amount of information regarding childhood maturation and physical activity. I was a PE teacher for a number of years and in college I had several extensive courses on human motor growth and development. Still, I feel as though there is more to be learned. I want Logan to have every great active and athletic experience I had and more! Of course I understand that every child and person are not the same, he may not have the same competitive drive that I had, and he may not even like physical activity or sports. That is obviously acceptable, however the fact still remains, the more active a person is, the healthier they are! Diet and nutrition play a large factor as well, and he will eat what we feed him and hopefully he’ll develop good habits through that. Nonetheless, the boy will need to move.
It has come to be my strong belief the CrossFit methodology is superior to all other exercise programs. I am 27 years old now and have been doing CrossFit for the better part of three years and I am in far better shape than I was in my late teens and early twenties (and mind you, I was a collegiate and professional soccer player). The evidence of my personal practice as well as the practice of hundreds of members in our gym in undeniable! So my clear and evident thought regarding my family is how do I get them involved? Not only that but involved and thriving!
So I started doing some more research recently. I had learned a lot in school. I’ve learned even more throughout my teaching career, but a whole new world opened up when I began CrossFit. To me it was rather shocking when I read a CrossFit Journal article that stated the exercise prescription for youths is the same as for adults: “constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity (relative to the individual).” At first I found this shocking, thinking the article was saying that children should do the exact same movements and programs that adults are doing in the gym. However, the relativity factor of the statement plays a large role. It then started making more sense to me. Our youngsters should be doing similar movements; the squats, the hip hinges, running, jumping, supporting and moving our own weight, and moving external loads. However the more skilled activities need to be coached and fine-tuned (i.e. the weightlifting, gymnastics, etc.). But once those movements are honed in and done safely, there’s no reason a child could do the exact same WOD that our adults are doing relative to weights and modal domains they’re capable of! And of course while they are learning (like many of us adults still are) scaling to a skill set is always a viable option (We know that anything in infinitely scalable ).
So the conclusion that I’ve come to is that my boy is at least going to try this stuff when the time comes. I might start him off at home and I KNOW our CrossFit Kids coaches at PR Star will do a great job with him when I decide to get him in on a Saturday during the school year. If he likes it, awesome! If he doesn’t, we can revisit it from time to time as he grows up, after all we know I’m hooked and he’s going to hear me drone on about it for eighteen years at home and beyond that. And if it becomes something that he just doesn’t tolerate, at least I tried! Nevertheless, he will be as active as I can make him be. He is a little boy after all. I know I loved playing outside; in the heat, in the cold, getting sweaty, getting dirty, and getting scrapes and grass stains. Why won’t he?... Anyway, wish me luck y’all, I have some time before he’s up and moving around so in the mean time I’ll try to get some sleep and keep hitting the gym as hard as I can! After all, I want to be around and active for and with him as long as humanly possible. Happy fitnessing!