Last night, at Fitness Club, we paired each person with another person. The pairs were then given instructions to stay together – running, jogging, walking – for 8 laps (this is a little more than a mile in the parking lot we use). Additionally, they had to go at conversation pace. All of the pairs were given 4 nonsense words or places and had to take turns telling a story connecting them together. Once they ran out of story, they could talk about anything else they wanted.
I’ve written before that we are Better Together. Last night was this at the one-on-one level. Participants who are usually dragging feet, complaining something hurts (my hair, my toe, my stomach, my ankle) are smiling and actually jogging with their partner. The partners, who are usually sprinting to finish the workout, are actually smiling and coaching their partner.
A couple of the pairs last night included a parent. I am careful not to pair a parent with their own child when we do any kind of team activity as this is difficult on both the parent and the child. I learned a long time ago that my own child isn’t a fan of my coaching until he learns the difference between coaching and parenting!
When the pairs finished, there were accolades all around. Kids high-fiving kids, parents high-fiving kids (their own and others), praising each other in front of the group.
What just happened there? I think in my head about these moments. Are we building future athletes or are we building future leaders? Are we building kids and adults who can talk and run and the same time or are we building relationships between kids and adults? Are we building individuals who look out for each other at school, on the playground, in the neighborhood?
Yes. To all of that. Whether it’s Fitness Club, soccer, swimming, dancing, or any other activity that puts kids together (bonus when you can add adults in there), you are building kids that will become better athletes, leaders, friends, and allies.
We are Better Together!