What I've Been Up To...
Last weekend things got a little interesting at the farm. On Thursday we had two huge boxes delivered totaling 600+ pounds. Inside those boxes laid 173 pieces of wood and probably about 1000 pieces of hardware. It was time to build our daughter a swing set. Reading the directions, it states, "it will take two moderately skilled workers 12-14 hours to build". Considering what later happened, I am not so sure I would consider myself to be moderately skilled. Let me explain...
About two hours into the building process, which only had us on Step 3 of what felt like 100, I had to get up on a ladder and screw something in from the top. The swing set stands over 8 feet so I was a few rungs up with a power drill ready to put in some work. If you recall, it was about 90 degrees last Saturday and as I was pressuring down on the drill, my hand slid off the tool. The drill stayed locked in to the bolt and because my hand slipped, the drill rotated around at roughly 180 degrees and smacked me right in the cheek! The battery pack of the drill made some great contact with my cheek bone and left me with a one inch wound that basically split the skin open. It wasn't a pretty wound but in time, like all wounds, they eventually heal. After it happened I thought to myself that if I were to get a scar, it would be a lifelong reminder to Emi of the sacrifices her father made for her...
Or his incompetence with power tools!
What I've Been Reading...
The Psychology of the Child by Jean Piaget
The title of this book is somethings that fascinates me. Most of who we are as adults are a direct result of how we were brought up from our very first breath. According to Piaget, there are two types of learning: assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation occurs when we modify or change new information to fit into what we already know. This would be something like learning math incrementally. You learn a little bit at a time until you understand complex equations. Accommodation can be defined as revising existing cognitive schemas, perceptions, and understanding so that new information can be incorporated. Lets say your parents teach you that all people from Pennsylvania are Amish. Then, when you go to college, you meet someone from Pennsylvania and realize that they are not Amish.
In addition to these learning insights Piaget talks about all aspects of childhood development and is considered to be the forefather of this type of research. His research on play is incredible and is what led me to read this book.
What I've Been Thinking About
Last week I was having a conversation with Marisa about drinking during adolescence. She never really did, I did a bunch. Aside from the influence of our peers, she asked why and I had no great answer. A few days later something led me to research sugar consumption and addictive substances and I found some eerily similar things that had me wondering if there is something going on here. Let me explain...
Dopamine is released when individuals consume both sugar and addictive substances. If we consume a good amount of sugar in childhood, and we feel that dopamine response regularly, would this feeling encourage us to keep searching for that response? We can accomplish this by continuing to eat or drink sugary substances or we can find that feeling in other things like alcohol and narcotics. Things like sugar highs and sugar crashes are terms used fairly regularly if you hang out with parents of young children. These same highs and lows occur with alcohol consumption and drug use. I just started thinking and reading about this so my thoughts aren't fully developed. This could be more correlation than causation but either way it is what I've been thinking about!
Fitness Tip of the Week
I had a conversation with a parent this week that basically went like this: I want your son to play on all these baseball teams but he needs to get stronger and faster. I have heard this narrative before. You can swap out baseball for any other sport and get the same story. If you are constantly going to games, tournaments, showcases, etc. then there will be no time for improving strength and speed, two attributes that can help take you to another level athletically. If you are a weak freshmen who plays only their sport of choice, and you continue to do so throughout high school, then you will be a weak senior wondering why you haven't improved much. My advice was if you are concerned about playing too much baseball you are probably right. Trust your feeling and take some time off. If you want to improve strength, you are going to have to spend time in the gym lifting weights. If you want to improve speed, you are going to have to get stronger and run sprints. You can't ride three horses when you only have one behind to sit on! Choose which quality you want to improve upon at this moment and focus on that.
Quote of the Week
"There is no friend as loyal as a book" -- Ernest Hemingway
I hope you all have an awesome week!