Yesterday I took my ten-year old to his second day of football camp. I was watching the practice which was two hours long and toward the end I noticed that many of the boys were starting to wilt. They were just tired out. That’s a normal thing after a summer spent just sitting around for many of them and the purpose of the football camp is to start getting them back into the physical condition that athletics requires. It happens every year. For the first week especially, there are a whole group of kids who droop toward the end of the practice. I’m happy to say that my son wasn’t among them. We had already decided at the beginning of the summer that physical activity was on the menu. He attended three weeks of a formal sports camp over the course of the summer but when he wasn’t in sports camp we did lots of exercise together. We went swimming, hiking and toward the time for football camp to begin we’d go down to the track each morning while it was cool and do a little easy jogging. He loved it and I loved it. Our time spent together doing something active was wonderful. It’s when we had our best conversations without any distractions from the TV or electronic devices including the cell phone. I would have to say that those undistracted conversations have been the highlight of my summer days with him.
I’m a people watcher and waiting a couple of hours for football camp to conclude gives me ample opportunity to observe. The past two days, I’ve set up my chair fairly close to where another woman sits. When her son has a water break, he trots over to get his thermos and she always asks him if he’s working hard. She asks him if coach is happy with him. She tells him he needs to run faster in the drills, that it doesn’t look like he’s working hard enough. She says it nicely and she isn’t pushing him too hard. She’s encouraging him but I’m fascinated by the conversation….and fixated on the fact that she’s clinically, morbidly obese. She can only walk a little, with great effort. For all intents and purposes she’s a prisoner in her own body. I think about what she says to her son, about the way she firmly pushes him to exert himself and it strikes me as odd that the things she wants for her son; physical excellence, maximum effort in pursuit of a sport and competitive competence (which are the rewards of sustained effort) are things that she doesn’t require or pursue for herself. I wish she knew the deep pleasure of a body in motion…one that feels good, strong and capable. She clearly sees the value in it for her son. I wonder why she doesn’t see the value in it for herself?
I’m diligently working to get into top shape by November 1st.. I’m having a great time with my workouts now that I have a specific goal and timetable. It’s been a real pleasure digging in and putting some energy into my quest. I’m still not messing around with my diet. I’m just being sensible but not “dieting.” I probably won’t do much with my nutritional intake plan before the middle of August. Even then, I don’t plan to go overboard with restrictions. I’ll just increase my cardio to help me shed fluff and shred up a little. So far, so good….