Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed


May. 7, 2015 Breaking Muscle

In a few short weeks, kids will be flooding the beaches, malls, and playgrounds of the United States to enjoy their summer break. Many of us wish we were them. Of course, we once were and while you can never turn back the clock, all of us have the capacity to live our years ahead by drawing from the important lessons we learned as kids.

They say that pretty much everything comes back to what you learned as a kid. That the best way to know where you are and where you’re going is to take a good look back at where you’ve been. Where it comes to fitness, we can unearth much of what is blocking us and what will motivate us by digging deep into our formative years.

Here are five lessons from childhood and how they can help you on your journey to optimum health, fitness, and wellness.

Finish your Commitments.

My parents made me learn piano when I was seven. I hated it. While my friends were kicking back and having fun after school, I was learning chords. I pouted and complained, but my parents were steadfast, explaining I had to commit to two full years of piano lessons and then I could decide for myself. I ended up quitting after the two years, opting for the allure of Little League baseball and all-important hang time with my friends.

But as adults, if we don’t like something the first time we try it, we often don’t stick with it. Despite not getting summer break anymore, being an adult does have a certain upside in that if you don’t like something, you don’t have to do it. But deep down, we know that success in anything comes down to facing ourselves and tackling the things we don’t necessarily like.

Exercise for many is one of those disliked things. While I‘ve long forgotten the chords I learned in those piano lessons, I didn’t forget the lesson of finishing a commitment. When it comes to fitness, finish what you start.

Go Outside and Do Something.

When I was a kid in the 1980s, video games were the craze. My aunt used to snap at us to turn off the video games and go play a real game outside. In the 1950s, kids were mesmerized by television and their aunts probably snapped at them, too. Now, kids are plugged in and connected 24-7 to every device imaginable. Still, every kid is likely told at some point to go outside and play.

It’s good advice, especially for us fitness junkies. While sweat equity is undoubtedly a good thing, the real games are out there. The treadmill intervals, heavy lifting, and gym time are great proving grounds for the limits of what our bodies’ capabilities. But the gym is about preparation. Playing outside is about expression.

Doing something with your body matters a lot more than what your body looks like.Going outside to play real games, run in real races, and ride on real trails is where we learn to do that something.

Read More on Breaking Muscle

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

Plant-based diets reduce risk of heart disease, dementia, study finds

What does it mean to go plant based?

Read More

Long-term, heavy coffee consumption and CVD risk

Too much coffee could take a toll on your heart health.

Read More

The Essential Role of Sleep in Immunity

Maximizing sleep for defense against COVID and the best vaccine results

Read More

The connection between post-traumatic stress disorder and nutrition

What does fiber, chocolate and living in poverty have to do with PTSD?

Read More

A CEO’s Guide to Planning a Return to the Office

Today’s decisions will set the tone for the future.

Read More

How to Deal with a Shockingly Big Utility Bill

Extreme weather can lead to changes in your utility bills. Be patient and take action.

Read More

Is the Division of Labor Fair in Your Marriage? Here’s How to Figure It Out

Setting expectations about who does what — and adjusting them again and again — is crucial.

Read More

The Hedonic Treadmill: A Look at Our Relationship With ‘Happiness’ and ‘Stuff’

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but not stressing about how to pay the mortgage helps.

Read More