Yesterday was a special day at the track and field day camp I work at during the summer- OBSTACLE COURSE DAY!
Before heading off to for the afternoon camp session, I engaged in an embarrassing, bathroom mirror-selfie photo shoot. Not sure what possessed me to do this (I’m not typically into mirror pics, I swear!), but the evidence remains-
Now, you’re probably wondering what “Obstacle Course Day” entails. Basically, we use anything and everything track and field-related to set up an obstacle course for the kids. The highlight is always the high jump mats; the kids looooove jumping/bouncing/sliding down the cushy mats! There’s hurdles for the kids to go over (and under), cones, hula hoops, dizzy bats, and LOTS of FUN. We try to get creative and make it as cool as possible for the kids.
And they love it. While there is almost always a kid begging to sit out of a 400 meter run, they jostle and push to get to the front of the line to do the obstacle course first!
As I was watching them running around having a blast yesterday, it occurred to me that this is what exercise should be about. Not burning calories or losing weight. Simply exercising for the pure, unadulterated fun of it.
I think this may partly be why I was so enthusiastic for soccer when I was younger and NOT into running. Soccer felt like fun, running felt like a chore. It took a long time for me to find the fun in running (and sometimes, it still isn’t that fun- like when it’s 90 degrees and humid!).
This is part of the reason I’m soooo happy all these really cool 5k races are popping up!
There’s the Color Run (I did this one and thought it was an awesome idea and race), the 5K Foam Fest and Mud Run, the Electric Run, Color Me Rad, the Run For Your Lives Zombie 5K Obstacle Course, AND SO MANY MORE. People are thinking up some pretty darn creative ways to get more people excited about running! I think this is great, both because of the impact this kind of movement will have on people’s health (goodbye obesity epidemic perhaps?) and hugely important in the growth of running as a sport.
Here’s my Fun Run Bucket List (Half-Marathon Edition):
Disney Princess Half-Marathon (or any Disney Half really.)
Mud and Chocolate Half-Marathon (CHOCOLATE. Self-explanatory.)
And I’m sure there’s way more out there that I’m going to have to add to this list!
So I hope that the kids at camp enjoyed Obstacle Course Day enough to be inspired to sign up for one of these fun runs- or to just get outside and have FUN, however that may be! After all, a wise rapper once said, “You only live once”.