What I've Been Thinking About...
A few times in my life, actually more than a few, I have gotten myself into a bit of a jam. There is always work to be done and at times, I feel that I keep working with very little consideration to how I am feeling or handling the stress of whatever life throws at you. Then, if not put into check, I find myself getting sick, feeling run down, or experience other health issues that makes you slow down and bring the chaos to a halt. When you feel like crap, you realize that the only thing that matters is your health and getting back to 100%.
During this time of feeling a little off, I was reminded of something I heard back at the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. During an interview, Peter Hotez, an infectious disease specialist, reiterated over and over again the importance of having a healthy body that will eventually play host to a disease. The health of the host body prior to being exposed to any potential threat plays a huge role. So, take care of yourself today, so you can have a better tomorrow.
What I've Been Reading
How Iceland got Teens to Say No to Drugs20 years ago teens in Iceland had the highest substance abuse rates in Europe. Today, they now have the lowest. In three major categories, they have seen drastic reductions in teens who had been drunk in the past month as that number plummeted from 42% in 1998 to 5% in 2016. Cannabis use went from 17% to 7% and daily cigarette use fell from 23% to 3%.
When looking at why kids were chasing these altered states. some members in the government asked, “Why not orchestrate a social movement around natural highs: around people getting high on their own brain chemistry without the deleterious effects of drugs?” They wanted to figure out a way to use healthy alternatives to drugs and alcohol as part of a program not to treat kids with problems, but to stop kids from starting in the first place.
The experiment: The country decided to give families a Leisure Card worth over $300 in US money. This money could be used for recreation activities like sports, dance, arts, martial arts, etc. By doing this, and implementing a weekday curfew of 10 pm, it would get kids off the streets between the hours of 3 pm and midnight which happened to be the times where most of the crime, substance use and other trouble was occurring. In addition to the money, they encouraged parents to spend more time with their kids and worked on improving the school experience for every child. So far so good on the experiment and kudos to them!
Fitness Tip of the Week
It seems spring has sprung and in accordance with the change of season, it may be time to change up our training. Earlier this week, as the sun was shining, I took the kettlebell out in the backyard and got to work. Vitamin D, barefoot training, grounding, and some low level conditioning all while spending some time with the family is always a win. Afterwards, I hopped on the hammock while our daughter played on her swing set and it turned out to be quite a nice afternoon. So here is what I advise:
Some days working with kids are better than others. One day, they may go home and tell their parents it was the most fun they ever had at a workout and on other days, it may be the exact opposite. The same could be said for the coach. I have learned recently that my mood or energy oftentimes dictates how the workouts go. If I have fun, they have fun. If I act like a tyrant, they don't enjoy it and will often times act out like most people do when facing a tyranny.
So what is it that I learned? For one, to get engagement, effort and enjoyment out of a bunch of pre-teens and teens, you have to have a little fun and give them some autonomy. This week, we introduced a fun game or activity and then got the heck out of the way! These games included athletic qualities like working on a team, acceleration, deceleration, change of direction, feints, conditioning and more. You give the kids an opportunity to set the teams, follow the rules, and then let them do their thing. The result was high level effort in a competitive environment with little to no play stoppages or instruction. The kids worked through problems and figured out ways to be successful in the parameters of the game. It was great to see them smiling and breathing heavy all at the same time!
Quote of the Week
"Who will govern the governors? There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves" -- Thomas Jefferson
I hope you all have an awesome week!