A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Teaching my teen the right way to train

Here are a few don'ts:

  • never assume someone new to the gym knows how to train the right way
  • never teach someone new to the gym improper technique, because they will only injure themselves, or fail to achieve optimal results
  • never create unrealistic expectations or celebrate false victories, because the goal is to create a "way of life," a learning discipline, not to achieve short-term fitness targets
I have learned these lessons the hard way, having injured my shoulder over 15 years ago using improper techniques while lifting heavy weights. That is not why I stopped working out every day -- I would have kept going doing it the wrong way until my shoulder fell off. What knocked me out of the daily workout routine, every morning at 5 am, was that my job moved. My long-term Olympus Gym membership in Manassas was non-transferable, and I was unable to find gyms in my area that opened early enough to meet my habitual 5 am workout needs. However, incurring an injury early in an exercise program can discourage a teen like Joe who needs to develop new habits and is new to the gym.

Last night, after having Joe listen to Yoda, he decided that he wanted to come with me to workout at the Audrey Moore Recreation Center instead of playing Halo. A Tuesday night, I knew that Julie, who set me up on Fitlinxx, would be there. For $20, I purchased an unlimited one month pass for Joe. We dropped by Julie's office, and since she did not have anyone on her schedule, Julie was able to set Joe up on a Fitlinxx program. She also recommended that we set Joe up with six lessons with Jerod, a personal trainer who is attending George Mason University.

Although it would be great if Joe makes his high school's baseball team, the main thing I hope that he learns from becoming an athlete is that "it is not the bat's fault." Having taken advantage of Julie's coaching, I notice people using the equipment improperly all the time. Joe's is learning how to workout the right way. According to Jim Rohn, the formula for failure is "a few errors in judgment repeated every day," which leads to "accumulated disaster," while the secret of success is a few disciplines "practiced every day."

Tonight, while I work the rowing machine, maybe Joe will also do cardio, or maybe not. The choice is his alone. Before then, I will have already done my strength training. I'm not sure how I will sustain my workout schedule once school starts, but staying fit has to remain a priority.