Summer is Officially Over...
Tuesday marked the end of summer for us as our daughter made her big return to pre-school. All summer long she was pumped to return and then about two weeks ago, she changed her tune. We saw a few glimmers of this throughout the summer as she was hesitant to go to places she loves like Pony Camp. We didn't know what to expect on day one but when she saw a few familiar faces at the door greeting her, she was all smiles!
As I prepared her lunch one day this morning, I realized I was a little bit down in the dumps. I think our entire family has been a little spoiled in the fact that our businesses are at home which allows us to spend a lot of time together and we all took that for granted. Last week I spoke about telling yourself, or your child, a little mantra to get through some tough emotions. I am going to stay with that theme as I try to tell myself over and over that the goal of a parent is to prepare the child for the road and not the road for the child. At some point, we have to let them get on that road of uncertainty and intrigue to explore what the world has to offer... good and bad.
Fitness Tip of the Week
Now, with that being said, back to school means a little more free time on my end which I am going to try to make the most of. If you are a parent who finds some extra time in their schedule, even if it isn't much, I have a little challenge for you. Over the next 30 days, I want you to improve your physicall fitness and overall well-being. How will you do that? By challenging yourself to complete 20 workouts over the next 30 days.
What constitutes a workout? Strength training, yoga, a 30+ minute brisk walk, a 20+ minute run, or breaking a sweat on any other cardiovsacular device or training modality you may be comfortable using. This is intentional exercise where you take some time for yourself to better yourself.
What I've Been Thinking About...
For probably close to a decade I have been thinking about the dwindling numbers of kids who participate in athletics. This goes back to my time coaching athletics which began around 2010. Over the years I have seen small football teams, wrestling programs with 2-3 kids on the team, and more recently, sports teams like soccer and baseball not having enough athletes to field a Junior Varsity team. Initially, my thoughts were that there must be some sort of disconnect between youth and high school sports but there is more going on here.
The Aspen Institute releases their State of Play report every year and while looking at the 2021 trends in youth athletics, I came across some numbers that I have not been able to comprehend. From 2012 to 2019 (this is pre-COVID lockdowns), sport participation decreased in males aged 6-12 from 49.1% to 39.1%. A whopping 10% decrease! In girls of the same age, the numbers went from 33.5% to 32.7%. A small decrease but this makes me wonder, only 33% of young girls play sports? (This is a problem that will be addressed in a future newsletter) Now, for kids aged 13-17 in the same time frame, male participation went from 51.1% to 43.5% and in females from 39.0% to 34.8%.
Are you ready for a potential new theory/thought experiment: These years align almost perfectly with the rise of social media. This is mere speculation at this point as I am not able to show a cause and effect but it does show a correlation: social media trends upward, sport participation trends downward.
What I've Been Reading...
The Clergyman's Daughter by George Orwell
George Orwell is one of my favorite writers. His book Animal Farm will forever be a favorite and his other work is equally impressive. What turned me on to his writing happened a few years ago when I read "All Art is Propaganda" which is a collection of critical essays that he penned over the years. Anyway, this book is Orwell's least favorite, one in which he requested to never be printed again.
At the moment, the pastor's daughter has a spell of amnesia and finds herself in the midst of moving around with various homeless groups. She finally comes to realize who she is but can't seem to figure out a way to get back home. She has written to her father on numerous occasions but has not heard back. She is aware of what the newspapers have been saying about her mysterious disappearance and fears her father may believe the scandalous stories and is ashamed of her. Plus, she comes from a small town and knows that there must be tons of gossip going on there and worries that even know the story isn't true, nobody is going to believe her.
Quote of the Week
"What really frightens and dismays us is not external events themselves, but the way in which we think about them. It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance" -- Epictetus
I hope you all have an awesome week!