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Kids at Heart


As parents, Tracy and I have always encouraged our children to participate in fitness and sport. Sport keeps kids active and out of trouble. On the ice is better than off. Sport provides an important outlet of expression and teaches kids new skills that help develop their neuro-cognitive and motor control centres. In essence, sport teaches discipline, good conduct and provides the challenge of healthy competition. And if your son or daughter is playing the game for the right reason, sport is fun. But if it isn’t fun, we don’t “force” our kids to play.

I think the right reason is for love. Vitamin L. That’s why I played sports. I simply loved to play the game and when I did, time had no meaning. I could practice for hours and hours and never get bored. When we were young, just getting out there, doing our best and letting ourselves go was all that mattered. Like passing the puck ‘right’ on your teammates stick, or making a perfect corner kick. It made you feel good to execute your talent well, especially when mom and dad were watching. Kids need recognition to develop self-esteem.

After high school and college, most of fall into work, get married and raise a family. We travel, watch our kids grow up and take in as much sight and sound as humanly possible. But we forgot something along the way. Something that used to turn our crank, make us laugh and make us sweat. We left our ‘sport’ behind. We got caught up, put fitness on hold and now “spectating” is as close as we get to the sweat.

Trouble is, without sport, without movement, without expending calories, we all get into trouble. Serious trouble. We gain weight, lose muscle, develop insulin resistance and become prone to all the diseases we thought we’d never get. And do you know why? It’s because we’ve forgotten who we are and in doing so, we’ve neglected ourselves. We’ve lost touch with that little boy, that little girl who used to play “just for fun”. We’ve become too serious.

I wonder. Do you think our kids would like to see us involved in fitness and sport? Would sport keep parents active and out of trouble? They say that sport provides an outlet of expression, that it can teach old dogs new tricks and even restore neuro-cognitive and motor control function. Sport teaches discipline and good conduct. It nourishes the athletic soul within and creates a demand for muscle. And if you play the game for the right reason, what’s wrong with that?