Sometimes I miss being a kid. The endless summers, the only aches and pains I had were from a skin knee, and if I fell down I would actually bounce right back up from the ground. There were many lessons I learned about life as a kid, but it’s not until I was an adult that I realized the full value and benefits from these lessons.

The play area – Ever notice where children play nowadays? When I was a kid you didn’t play on the couch or the chair, I played on the floor. Building with Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, or playing with a train set; all the fun stuff happened on the floor. My mom and dad with would get on the floor and help me build my imagination. The only things that usually happened in a chair in my house was eating and doing homework. Today for fun, kids usually sit in chairs or on the sofa for hours at a time playing video games. How much conversation and interaction is there between kids or grandkids when they are playing a video game? The lesson (or how to measure your fitness) is how you interact with your kids/grandkids. Are you tossing a ball, building a furniture fort or building a rocket ship to the moon with construction toys? You can judge your fitness level by how you get on and off the floor. If you have little kids or grandchildren you know that there is more interaction, happiness and fond memories playing on a living room floor than from watching from a chair.

Falling down – Falling down is a part of life, of course as a kid I usually would just stand back up and brush myself off. When I fall down now, I would start with a full body scan before moving to make sure all of our body parts (along with keys phone and glasses) are still working, followed by occasional sound effects declaring the great effort that is made to get up off the floor. The lesson is preventive. Sooner or later we all slip or trip, but practicing balancing exercises and techniques will minimize the risk of falling, and should be part of everyone’s workout program.

Self monitoring – Electronics – I remember going out to play ball with my friends and my mom telling me to be home in time for dinner. No cell phones to remind me or to track my every move, just the knowledge of getting “the look” if I was late; and that was enough motivation to keep me as aware of the time as a precision Swiss watch.  The lesson in a world of electronic monitoring devices (smartphones, heart rate monitors, Fitbit watches), is that we lose the self-awareness abilities that’s in all of us. There are training methods that combine technology (heart rate monitors) and self-awareness techniques (ask your trainer for more information about this). The ability to self-monitor is more valuable to our health and fitness success than any electronic device.

Failing – The most successful people have learned this lesson well; succeed by failing. When we are little, our goal is to learn through experiences and failing. There’s usually not much harm in a little kid failing in numerous endeavors as they try to learn how accomplish various tasks. Obviously failing in your work as an adult can have serious ramifications.  The lesson is not being afraid to take chances. If done correctly you can experience the risk of a new project and the thrill of success that can only be felt when there is risk involved. Being afraid to fail can lead to a lifetime of missed opportunities and adventures; and isn’t that what life is all about?