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Working very hard and having fun are not mutually exclusive. It all has a lot to do with attitudes towards exercise and activity.
I think Coach that this statement needs to be qualified with the realisation that in saying it on here you are kind of preaching to the converted. I think the original post was reflecting on how society as a whole views exercise. From what I have read MOST people on here do enjoy their efforts. Many in normal society do not. It would be like us trying to fathom out what a trainspotter gets out of their particular activity, but quite a few get pleasure out of it, but most in society regard them as odd. Similar feelings are often expressed towards people who go to a gym or who go running on the road....Trying to explain the pleasure one gets from the "pain" of effort would probably be pointless. In that sense if the objective is to get the population moving, then more fun may just be the solution, and as Liam rightly said you might see a gradual progression by some towards the harder stuff when they realise that it wasn't quite as daunting as they realise.....
The mentality of treating it as a fun thing to do is for people who find it tedious to work hard on an intense workout. I AGREE to what this article says, being able to achieve what you usually don’t get is a SATISFACTION beyond that sense of having fun.
I completely agree though that fun activities are a great option. And that there needs to be a shift away from traditional exercise options in most societies.
Well we agree on something then. I'll be honest as a PE teacher by profession the rot starts to set in at school. There is too much emphasis on competition, and over analysis of performance in recent years especially. Schools should not be attempting to churn out future pro athletes or coaches. Instead PE should be the gateway to as many activity experiences as possible, ranging from various dance forms, playground games,to competitive team and individual sports and everything in between. I cringe when I see some schools make every child do some form of sports qualification or award. They often over educate the whole fun out of it all. PE should be where activities are explored in breadth, not depth. If someone discovers an activity they love in the course of a lesson then the school should then help them locate a club or group where they can then explore it further....
The emphasis on competition in this country, ( which has been fostered by successive recent Governments and the desire to create a legacy and prove the money spent on the Olympics to be worthwhile ) is only beneficial to those who are good at those competitive activities. It robs many of self esteem and discourages them from participating in future. Children can be healthily competitive....it's when they are pushed, influenced or directed by adults that the problems start....FUN should be the main driving force behind activity. The self motivated will then compete with themselves or others of the same ilk if they are so motivated to ( internally that is..not by adults or extrinsic factors such as trophies etc...)
I think that's what I was trying to say when I said that play is an active verb. We need to revive the idea of play as something we actively engage in and make the distinction between active play and more passive relaxation activities.
Which reminds me--older multiuse swimming/fitness facilities here tended to be named leisure centres. The new ones are called recreation centres or sports centres. I think that's an interesting linguistic shift that reflects our cultural ideas of what "leisure" means. We once viewed going for a swim or playing a game of racketball, for example, as a kind of leisure time activity, not some kind of painful moral obligation.
Also, I think school PE programs can help encourage activity, but I also think kids need good examples at home. Just like children who are avid readers tend to come from families where parents are readers and support and encourage reading, I think parental behaviours around activity definitely have an influence. I attribute some of my adult enjoyment of physical play to growing up in a family that went swimming together almost every weekend, did nature walks and hikes together, camped, played soccer at family picnics, and so on. My grandfather broke his leg while playing baseball with my cousins in his 70s. These examples of lifelong playful activity stick with people, and so we now carry a bag of various balls, baseball gloves and bats, and a couple of frisbees in the back of the vehicle to any sort of outdoor gathering.
But I don't think of that as workouts. I think of that as normal, healthy human activity. I think it's actually helpful to make those distinctions. Then maybe people will stop seeing a pickup game of tennis or a walk with friends as some arduous thing that they can't possibly do without fancy clothes, special shoes, and a full-on hydration system. If people see those things as fun and not formal exercise, maybe they'll play more.
“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde
Sometimes, well-meaning individuals close to me suggest that I should 'do less' to have a less tight schedule/not feel so tired in the evening... well, what they actually mean is for me to cut down things I enjoy, like going for a swim with my folks, lifting, working in the garden, walking to the bus instead of talking the car, not cooking every meal we eat....
So I feel more up-beat while washing the dishes?! Phew.
Challenging yourself in the gym or playing hard is fun. Sure, it's good to sit back with a book or even watch a movie once in a while, but I already have to be locked in the office for 8 hrs 30 min a day, and I intend to do everything possible to have the as much of the rest of my time spent on fun things.
Deadlifts are hard. Failing when you thought you gonna get it this time, for sure is hard. But on the whole, giving this time to onself, the pure expression of self-love that the time in the gym is never gets old, never gets non-fun for me. The key was to stop worrying that I was so much worse than pretty much anyone else, that I suck athletically. Take the competition and coach's and parental abuse out of it, and lo and behold, it was fun. Unlike anything I experienced in my childhood. I am almost 40, and I still remember insults on the wind as i was running those 5 K race back when I was 11.
Now I don't let ANYONE to dare make me feel small when I do my thing.
Well we agree on something then. I'll be honest as a PE teacher by profession the rot starts to set in at school. There is too much emphasis on competition, and over analysis of performance in recent years especially. Schools should not be attempting to churn out future pro athletes or coaches. Instead PE should be the gateway to as many activity experiences as possible
I totally agree with this. If my childhood PE classes had focused on individualized activities instead of team sports I probably would have become physically active way earlier in life. Instead, I waited until my 30s. I think I was 35 when I realized I was an athlete, too.
By individualized activities, the kinds of things I would have come alive for include ocean kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, running, bicycling. Stuff where the only person you need to compete with is yourself or where there is no need for competition at all.
As someone who does a lot of hiking, I have heard the fun concept described by long distance hikers as 1st order fun and 2nd order fun. First order fun is where you are doing something and you are having fun and you know you are having fun while you are doing it. Second order fun is where you are doing something and you aren't having fun at all--perhaps you are stressed way out of your comfort zone by treacherous mountain passes or dangerous swollen creeks--but then after you make it through, you say, man, that was FUN!
Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.
Why are they exclusive? What's not fun about 20 chin-ups and three sets of push-ups? What's not fun about sprinting? I fail to see a need to divide fun from work. Work is usually fun, anyway. So my work-outs will always be fun-outs and you get to deal with it. I see your strange little rules, and I eat them for breakfast.