My kids have been talking about wanting to learn flips and cartwheels and more for a while now. I think that’s really awesome. If they could do flips I’d be proud and envious and jealous. At the same time I don’t think they’re too interested in the sport of gymnastics, intense competition, or anything super-disciplined. They’re just kids after all and if it’s “play” and “fun” then it’s good. If it’s “exercise” and “work” it’s boring. I think that’s the same attitude I have as an adult.
Well they are going to start classes in something that is just exactly that. I think of it as a sort of pre gymnastics. The teachers throw in progressive gymnastic skills involving rings, balance beam, tumbling, jumping, etc., but in the context of playing around with some unstructured time. It has a different feel than overly organized youth sports, which are fine but just different. Nowadays when people don’t tell their kids to go outside for hours and the kids naturally do this stuff by climbing trees, playing kickball, or whatever like we used to do as kids, this kind of class is just great. Actually it is really better.
I think if they like this class, they can think about more formal and “serious” instruction later if they want. In any case, they have fun, move around in a gigantic variety of ways, and learn skills and challenge themselves without really realizing it. I think that is what adult exercise should be like, too. Like an American Gladiators or Japanese game show with an obstacle course, but for normal adults, not those already at an elite level of fitness. I couldn’t care less if I increased my one rep max of whatnot by 10% or whatever, at least not in a super precise way. If I did all the stuff my kids do in this kind of class, I’d probably make a bunch of % improvements on any kind of measure, though, as a byproduct. My wife and I were talking about how we’d love to take a class like they’re taking. I hope it fosters a lifelong interest in movement for fun for them. Current projections based on the prevailing pattern in the U.S. forecasts something like 900% percent of people including 870% of kids are obese by 2020 or something ridiculous like that. Ok not really but whatever the real number was is just as absurd.