Remember being a kid?! I can’t. It was too long ago.
That’s me on the right, in the fetching stripy handknitted sweater with the particularly attractive bowl hair-cut. I was such a fashion icon in 1985.
But if I strain my aged, fading memory back about 290 years, I remember that being a kid was freakin awesome … time was endless, I didn’t run ’cause I wanted to lose weight, I ran ’cause I was It or ’cause I was running away from Callum Parker (he had boy-germs). I played endlessly on the bars (despite the bumps, bruises and concrete burns) ’cause I really wanted to beat Tracy Newton in learning the death drop. I hula’d ’cause I was awesome at it and I skipped ’cause you could win an award if you got the most sponsorship for Jump Rope for Heart. I bounced a ball because in my head I was practising to become one of the Silver Ferns, and I swam because I was chasing Celeste round in the sea trying to get my boogie board back off her. I rode my bike ’cause I needed to get to the dairy for my one-cent sweets, and I climbed trees because I wanted to be just like Celeste’s older brother Kristin (who became my ultimate hero when, at age 7, he jumped out of his classroom window and was chased by Mrs Bowie down the back field, where he climbed a tree to escape her).
Basically, I moved a lot … but the thought of exercise was an anathema to me (haha seriously) and I’d sit out every sports day without fail.
I want to get back to those times! But what’s stopping me? I can still run and I’m still happy to avoid boy-germs. I have parallel bars at my gymnastics studio, and, even if Tracey Newton’s all growed up now, I’ve got new kids to compete against (I train in gymnastics at the same time as seven-year-olds, they’re bound to want to beat me). I’ve got a hula-hoop and I can even use it! I’ve still got a jump-rope … okay I can’t use that. But I’m sure I tripped when I was a kid and it was all cool ’cause I was having FUN!
I don’t have a sea, but I’ve got a swimming pool at the gym and I can find someone to chase (they, however, may not be aware of this). Trees? Millions of em lurking around being trees!
Even if all I had was a hoop, a skipping rope and a pogo stick, I reckon I could still be a big kid and burn a lot of calories.
So … here’s my official kids’ work-out:
1. ride to the park (via the corner store, newsagent, tabac or dairy for your one-cent sweets) or, if you don’t have a bike, run there
2. skip for 2 minutes, bearing in mind that you are Jumping Rope for Heart
3. waist hoop with your pinkest, shiniest hula hoop for 5 minutes, making sure that you check out who’s watching you across the playground
4. race across the park in a zigzag fashion, tagging each tree as you pass it
5. climb up two trees as high as you can go (preferably without falling out of either of them). Try n make it a better tree than this one …:
6. race back across the park, also in a zig-zag fashion, making sure no boys catch you and give you horrible boy-germs
7. grab your bouncy ball and bounce it off the nearest tree and catch it 50 times. No problems if you drop it – but race after it quick and grab it so you can restart asap
8. time for a bit more skipping – this time alternated with hooping. Two minutes of skipping alternated with a minute of hooping is perfect!
9. grab your lolo ball or pogo stick and bounce over to the nearest tree, around it, and back to where you started
10. throw your ball as high as you can in the air and catch it, running after it when it gets away from you.
11. do 10 handstands against the nearest tree … holding each as long as you can but make sure you don’t flash your knickers!
12. do 10 cartwheels – doesn’t matter if they’re not pretty, just go over!
13. play hopscotch with yourself for four minutes – alternating hopping legs on each round and making sure that after minute or so you have a 10 second break
14. time for roly-polys (aka forward rolls) … try and do 10 but stop after each one to reset!
15. Race or ride home to avoid missing curfew … and make sure you stretch when you get there.
Now it’s all over to you … ’cause TAG! You’re It!!