“Park Core” on Swings (affordable, accessible, at your own risk)

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Hip and Leg Shimmy with Core Muscle Slack: Feet in adjacent swing  seats, pull together as hip adduction, try to simulate walking, crossing, etc. Experiment safely, slowly, gradually. DON’T EVEN DO THIS UNLESS YOU ACCEPT the risk of FALLING OFF and getting HURT or KILLED. Holding onto the chains helps.

Superman Pretense to get Laughs from your Kid Exercise. DON’T DO THIS unless YOU ARE willing to fall and suffer the consequences of injury or death. Cheers!

Rowing Pull-ups Using Swing

Rowing Pull-ups Using Swing: Start out standing, slide under, grasp seat evenly, heels are point of contact with ground, torso is aligned with head, try avoid excessive arching (draw-in tummy to help), and execute rowing pullups. WARNING: DON’T DO THESE UNLESS CLEARED BY YOUR PHYSICIAN, AND YOU UNDERTAKE RISK OF INJURY OR DEATH. Yay.

The Solar Savings Angle to Training in the Park: With as little natural Vitamin D as people get, as many taxes paid, it seems only right to be able to use one’s park for personal self-training so long as you take responsibility for yourself, the risks, and making sure you are using common sense, going slow, and testing yourself at your level of growth. Besides, economics sometimes make gyms and clubs too expensive, too logistically tedious, and yet again, more indoors activity.

Other Safety Tips: Make sure park rules don’t prohibit what you’re doing, and that the fixtures are stout enough to handle you. Some parks have weight limits. Some equipment is rusty. Don’t do this stuff over concrete, or thinly covered concrete or hard dirt. Find a park with soft ground under  your swings. If you’re an adult, give kids first dibs on the park. If they’re using it, use a nearby field for calisthenics, sprints, i.e. whatever else you are cleared to handle by your doctors and physical configuration.

Park It for Parental Fitness by Example

The calling of parenting children, two careers and a half on top of that, children’s engagements, pagers, extended family, the unexpected, viruses, peeing puppies, book deadlines, slow leaks, leaving something in the house, missing item X, reading, financial management, security, training by example…

Oh yeah. Training by example.

First things first. The right and innocent Mohicans. Their tribe comes first. Their needs at their level, on-time.

Can’t seem to train while wearing a funny hat and speaking Buzz Lightyear’s voice to a big headed doll that frankly looks like an alien car hop. Yes, I was told to do this, and I am not insubordinate, just as trained at the Space Ranger Academy.

So, all else crowded out, hitting the park on the way to here or there on Dr. Suess’s Zayt Highway Eight is where callouses wrap around steel, alloy, plastic and rubber; it’s where shoe soles step up on boulders, benches and stairs. Every conceivable way to move. That’s the cohering mission for me as I play at the park, following and or leading the tribe. It is up to me to fuse this into playing harder for more fun with the tribe. Occasionally lessons materialize as if in a hologram in the middle of it all.

I supervise, follow and stay totally aware. But while I do, I’m using the environment to training effect. When the day is over a baton is passed, I’ve a small window of un-fuzzy consciousness plus no luxury of drinking coffee late to write. Late coffee is for crunch and clinch deadlines only.

Parking-it is way-way underrated for parents’ fitness, and when I see some of my parenting peers or nannies at the park sitting, just sitting while their children play and play, I want to go up to them and say:

“Your sales tax paid for this. You can use it, just don’t break anything breakable.”

But my purpose when born was not to annoy people at parks, so I don’t say anything. Words are weak. If I just enjoy the park and train there while playing with my tribe, the example of another parent enjoying functional movement at the park is beyond enough.

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