I don’t have competitive kids and for that I am really grateful. I’m really not interested in dedicating a huge portion of our weekends and evening to a sport. But I do like for the kids to participate in something that gets them out of the house occasionally and maybe even gets them some exercise. Homeschooling adds a little bit of a challenge to that especially as the kids get older. Thomas has played soccer since he was very young but he is now too old for the rec center league he played on, so it’s time to find something new.
We thought about going back to our old stand-by, ice hockey but Thomas just wasn’t that into it and considering how inconvenient the rinks and the times are I wasn’t into forcing the point.
Next he thought he would like to try boxing, he’s actually been wanting to try it for about a year. So when a “Groupon” deal popped up for a boxing ring that was right down the street from our house (that I didn’t even know existed) I couldn’t resist.
Our first time there was completely intimidating! This was a real gym with lots of big guys hitting the heavy bags and boxing in the ring. I thought I had walked into a Rocky movie. One guy came out of the ring with blood running down his face.
Thomas was supposed to start his warm up by jumping rope…If you ever watch a group of homeschoolers try to do jumping jacks you’ll get a good laugh. Some of those things that are so normal for school kids to learn during PE, homeschool kids just don’t do. Turns out jumping rope may be another one of those things. Poor Thomas had no idea how to jump rope. But he kept trying no matter how embarrassing it was.
Finally it was his turn in the ring (not “rink” like I called it on twitter) to practice some boxing skills. He really liked this part, he actually liked everything about it (besides the jumping rope.) On our way home we talked about signing up for a monthly membership where he could come and work out several times a week.
I did talk to the owner of the gym about my concerns of brain damage and the like but he assured me repeatedly that football was much more dangerous. Eventually I had a chance to to tell him that I actually never let my kids play football so that wasn’t really an issue.
We went back for Thomas’ second session, (the deal was for 4 sessions) Thomas started back with the jump roping doing much better this time, then moved through all the stations. On the way home this time he shared that boxing was not for him. He did not want to join the gym after all. But not for any of the reasons you would guess (like being punched) it was because when you take a boxing stance you hold your fists right under your nose while your hands are wrapped in cloth or these strap like things. Turns out they smell really bad and Thomas just couldn’t stand the smell of them. So no more boxing for him.
He did however go buy a jump rope and he has been doing that daily in the yard.
Next thing he wanted to try is rock climbing. Again its not terribly convenient but it’s very affordable and something he could continue doing as an adult. He has done it in the past so we know he likes it but this time he seemed ambivalent. He enjoyed a bit of the climbing but didn’t even want to stay through the whole session. If he decided to join the club he’ll go 2 days a week for about 1.5 hours each time. I think it’s still on the table but I need to talk to him some more to get his thoughts.
We still have one other sport in the works. He just started Karate at the Tues co-op and so far (its only been 1 week) he really likes it. Maybe we’ll be adding in some more martial arts to his schedule. Or maybe that 1 class for 45 min a week is enough for him.