I Did Something I Never Thought I'd Do...
In Cape Cod last week we found this restaurant with great reviews called Hangar B Eatery so we check it out. As we pull up, we arrive at a small airport and wonder where the heck the restaurant is (Side note: I now understand how people feel when they come to my gym and see nothing but an old barn and horses!). As it turns out, the restaurant was located inside the chained link fence and the seats were available in Hangar B. On my way walking back to the car to get everyone I noticed a sign that said you can take a tour of the area in one of their planes. For some reason I mention this out loud to everyone and my daughters eyes lit up!
As I am making my way through 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson he brought up an idea that came full circle on this day. He writes, "Our anxiety systems are very practical. They assume that anything you run away from is dangerous." Growing up, I never flew. I don't think I consciously ran away from the idea of getting on a plane but I also wasn't that interested. I was fine staying on the ground and didn't end up flying until my late twenties. The idea of flying in an object through the air at such great heights baffles my mind every time I am on a plane. Often times I cannot shake that thought and even when I do, it usually revisits a few times each trip. It is safe to say I am not the most comfortable person on a plane. Now back to the story...
After dodging Emilia's question of, "Can we go on one of those planes?" multiple times, I finally consented and said yes (For the record, Marisa was much more willing to do this than I). So we board a four seat airplane with a pilot that is barely out of flight school and begin the process. I am riding shotgun and can't believe we are actually doing this. He starts going through his checklist and there is no turning back. While in the air, my anxiety system was in full swing. After a few minutes in air I began feeling a twinge in my hamstring. I thought, this is a terrible time for a hamstring cramp but quickly realized this cramp is coming on because my body was TENSE! I tried to breathe and relax but it didn't work too well. I decided to look behind me and this is when I was able to breathe a short sigh of relief. Emilia was gazing out the window and when we made eye contact, I gave her a thumbs up and a huge smile broke out over her face as she returned the gesture. I thought, if she is good, I should be good. What doesn't kill you makes your stronger, right?
Fitness Tip of the Week
There is an idea out there that eradicates soreness that is a little counter-intuitive that I would like to share. But first, lets set the scene...
Imagine you just performed a bunch of squats in the gym and you hit those legs and glutes very hard. You feel good about yourself but then, when you wake up the next day your legs feel absolutely destroyed. Getting out of bed is a struggle, walking down the stairs is unpleasant, and getting up and down from a chair (or toilet) is a chore. This soreness is going to stick around for a few days so you have a choice to make: do I sit idle and wait for it to disappear or do I get my body moving and try to work some of this feeling out?
The rational mind may be telling you to take some time off so the legs and glutes can recover but as it turns out, that advice will prolong the issue. If your legs are sore from squats, the best way you can eradicate some of that discomfort is by performing squats the following day. This is known as the repeated bout effect. Science tells us that "a single bout of exercise confers protective effect against muscle damage from a subsequent bout of similar activity". Soreness is muscle damage. If you have muscle damage from a specific exercise, the quickest way to reduce that damage and address the soreness would be to perform that same exercise with little to no weight. As the body begins to repair damaged muscles, getting blood flow to the sore areas through exercise can help speed up the recovery process.
Physical Activity & Play...
Earlier in the week I came across a post from The Global Matrix 4.0 which represents the largest compilation of information related to physical activity in children in adolescents. Their report states that there is "a global pandemic of youth physical activity" as only 27%-33% of youth meet physical activity guidelines. This is an alarming trend and what makes this even potentially more dangerous is that those who do participate in physical activity, usually do so in a structured setting lacking variety.
Last week I spoke on why play is important for socio-emotional reasons. If you need a reminder, here is a summary of why physical play is important: The unstructured environment associated with play offers children the opportunity to control their own actions, to solve problems, to work with others, to laugh, to deal with emotions and ultimately, the feeling that they have control of their own lives and fate. When kids don't feel like they can control their environment and how they respond to it, anxiety and depression are soon to follow.
On the physical side of things, some of my favorite memories growing up are playing sports or doing physical activities with friends. We picked the teams, made the rules, handled disputes, and in the end, everyone had fun. We played so often that we got tons of practice running, jumping, cutting, defending, and passing in all types of different environments. Because of this, we developed basic athletic skills that carried over into any sport that we decided to play. This concept gets lost when most activity is highly structured and in a single sport setting. Also, incidence of injury and burnout increase when kids focus solely on one sport or activity. They may be better at that given sport in the short term but will suffer in the long term. Variety is the spice of life for all ages!
On the Road Again
On our way home from Cape Cod, which is roughly a 6 hour trip, we listened to an episode of Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History. I am a huge fan of this guy and this episode in particular was incredibly entertaining (Malcolm Gladwell's 12 Rules for Life). In it, he discusses when a hockey team should pull their goalie, how similar logic can be used when deciding what to do if someone broke into your home (you will never guess what he and his guest recommend) and lastly, the personality trait agreeableness is discussed and its role in decision making.
The closing sentence of this episode description reads, "We think the unthinkable, so you don’t have to" which fits this episode perfectly. If you have a 45 minute drive coming up, I would recommend giving it a listen!
Quote of the Week
"Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right." -- Jane Goodall
I hope you all have an awesome week!