I recently experienced some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I went camping overnight with my 4-year old son Fletcher and one activity I had scheduled was to climb the sandhill on the Pacific Coast Highway, at Point Mugu. We hit that item on the checklist last on the trip, after Fletcher was already tired from the first part of the day and just wanted to get home. He had seen the hill the day before, but we weren’t able to cross that of our list due to some logistical issues.
Just check out the video, it’s under 30 seconds.
Now, tell me, do you remember the last time you had such fun running, falling, tumbling? The descent was the fun part, the reward, much like going uphill on a ski lift for 20 minutes only to get down the hill in 2 minutes. Did you notice the guy bear crawling his way up? My comment about “only 10 more” was to him. The reason he was bear crawling up is that standing is way harder a climb up the hill as your feet just dig deep in the sand from the steep angle (hard to appreciate on the video) and spreading your load makes you operate more on the surface of the sand. Not only that, it’s a great primal move. I had the pleasure to go up that way with 42lb of live “ruck” on my back for part of the climb.
My favorite part was that Fletcher never once complained, didn’t ask to stop and half way up, during a short break, he was yelling “Let’s go to the top, we almost dere!” His cup was half full, fo’ sho’!
I have been observing his natural development and affinities for outdoor activities. The kid is always doing some sort of Parkour or free running. He never just walks, he has to climb, jump on or off, run, ask me to race, hang etc. I admire his strength yet how supple his muscles are, how nimble, mobile and spry, with no fear. He knows his limits and pushes them, and when he’s not comfortable, he just will avoid danger. When stuck, he figures it out and I only help if there is no other way. He develops physical skills, spacial awareness and geometry. His fitness level? Through the roof. Do as he does for as long as he does it, I challenge anyone to not get a good workout out of it!
Of course, I can’t go on without referencing the Natural Method. In the below example, you can see an individual who naturally developed his physique by only participating in activities pertinent to his existence and survival. He is (was as this is over 100 years old) from a tribe in Africa still living a hunter gatherer nomadic existence for the most part. Most people would envy that physique, functional and aesthetically perfect at once.
While the first book, due in just about 4 weeks, revolves mostly around the exposé of the method, its History, background, how to conduct a model complete training session, how to lay out a training field, the kind of exercises to use to program the session, as well as ways to measure progress for individuals and groups alike, the Play portion doesn’t get fully explored until the 3rd book, due next Spring (book #2 is due in January 2015). So, until then, this little video is a reminder to go out and have more fun. Our time is limited, and if you feel you can’t catch up with a little 4-year old traceur, get the book and start laying out your own process. Your body is meant to do this, and your mind needs the reset more frequently than you think!