Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gymnastics

Dr. Awesome,

So my wife and I were talking with our 3 year old son this morning and she asked him if he would like to gymnastics. As you can imagine my response was “excuse me”?
Our son has a lot of energy and we are looking for an activity to get him involved in to release some of that energy. Is gymnastics a manoption? and if not would you have any suggestions for good activities for an energetic 3 year old.
Thanks for your time…you have manvolutionized my life.

Adam from Michigan


Adam,

Gymnastics is one of those things that is very confusing when it comes to manliness. On the one hand, you have the incredible feats of strength, flexibility, and agility required to perform many of the moves. You think the Iron Cross on the rings is easy? Hint: it's not, especially when you do it with just one ring, like I do. But on the other hand, gymnasts often wear tights, which is completely unacceptable. And many of the gymnastics moves are completely worthless in real life. The pommel horse, for instance...I could see that being useful if you ever find yourself on a log in the forest surrounded by bears, since you could kick all of them with maximum efficiency and possibly avoid being mauled. But I think it's obvious that many of the gymnastics moves are so highly-specialized that they don't translate over into real-world skills. So I question the value of spending so much time training in activities that will just get you mauled by bears. Strength and agility can be formed in other ways, ways that don't involve wearing tights.

Which brings me to some suggestions for your son. You want him to blow off energy, but I say why just waste that energy when you could put it to things that would be productive at making your son a stud in training? Here's the training regimen I have for my infant son John, which could easily be adapted to suit a three year old:

Every morning - circuit training, with pushups, pullups, situps, and burpees (both actual burpees, and breast milk burpees).
Mon, Wed, Fri - spiritual and mental formation. We go on a long run, with me quoting to him lengthy excerpts from scripture and other important historical texts. We also listen to arena rock from the 80s.
Tue, Thur, Sat - combat training, with and without weapons, against armed and unarmed foes. John made the four year old from down the street tap out this morning, so I'm kind of proud.

Those are the sorts of activities I'd recommend for your son. Infants are not known for their excess energy, so I'm not pushing him too hard. But I think this is a good routine for making the most of his time. Sure, you could waste time watching VeggieTales and Baby Einstein and learning to sing along with all the characters of various Disney movies. Or you can teach your son to become the man the world needs him to be. He can be a gymnast, or he can be flat out nasty in the gym. You pick. (I don't know if the play on "gymnast/nasty in the gym" thing really works, but I tried)

Dr Awesome

3 comments:

Dave March 22, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

One word... jujitsu

Anonymous March 23, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

i dont think its matters when u are 3. hes is gonna learn to do flips and shit, and then move on to wrestling or something.

Strem April 8, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

i think if u want him to burn off energy u should have him try wrestling. there are a lot of good programs for little kids and if he has as much energy as you say he has potentian to be really good and be able to whoop ass!

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