Lessons Learned from a Group of Middle School Boys

Today’s 44 was a great way to work your hip flexors and butt while getting a  triceps workout.

In the tricep dip position on the floor, pull one knee in to your chest – 

ready
ready
extend leg and dip
extend leg and dip

After doing 44 with one leg, it is necessary to switch legs and repeat (DUH!)!!  The downside is your arms don’t get any break!!!  88 total dips!

ready on side 2
ready on side 2
extend and dip
extend and dip

So, Chris actually took the pictures for me last night (see the fuzzy socks?) but I did the 44 this morning.  However, the first time through I did them wrong – I was just reclining on my elbows and thinking it was a super easy move.  When I uploaded my pictures I realized my mistake so I had to do them all (both sides) again – my butt and hip flexors really got a workout!!!

Screen shot 2013-12-08 at 8.04.06 AMI know lots of people who would rather spend hours with a group of  little kids than middle school kids.  However in my previous life (before kids so 15 years ago) I was a middle school science teacher and a coach (volleyball, basketball and track).

I love the 11-14 year old range of kids – they are still on the cusp of wanting to please adults but also needing to venture off – very teachable!!!

And – they are also capable of teaching us (adults) many things if we are willing to be receptive to them.

Screen shot 2013-12-08 at 8.05.15 AMYesterday while “enjoying” my time in a gym surrounded by adolescents (mostly boys!), I observed several things that I thought were worth sharing.

A little background on the tournament – this was a varsity level tournament so it was mostly 8th graders and many of these boys have been wrestling on club teams for 5-7 years.  (Hunter was 1 of only a few 7th graders from our school who went.)

1.  One of the boys on our team lost his 2nd match and was upset.  As an 8th grader (13 or 14 years old) it is so hard to let anyone see you cry – he was trying to fight it and brush off the tears so no one would notice.  Another one of the 8th grade boys was sitting close to him on the bleachers.   He didn’t say a word – just slid over and put his arm around him for just a second before moving back to his spot.

I thought it was the kindest gesture he could have made!  He showed he cared but he didn’t make a big deal about it.  Most importantly – he didn’t make the other kid feel bad for the tears!!!

Hunter getting ready to start
Hunter getting ready to start

2.  When Hunter lost (rather quickly because he got pinned) in his 2nd match, his opponent took the time to talk to him for several minutes.  This was a boy from another school who had never met Hunter.  On the way home I asked Hunter what they were talking about.  He said the boy was offering up a couple of pointers and things for Hunter to try in future matches.

Wow!!  That kid could have made fun of Hunter for getting pinned so quickly but instead he was kind and offered up some help!!!

waiting for his turn
waiting for his turn

3.  Team support is alive and well!!!  Hunter could have left anytime after his 2nd match because he was done for the day.  However, he wanted to stay and watch his teammates – and these boys really did watch and cheer on the other guys from their team!

Even though wrestling isn’t my favorite, I’m all about supporting your team, so we stayed and watched (well, I watched when someone from our school was up but mostly read my Nook!).

4.  I was a litte worried about how Hunter would react after his 2nd match – he actually got pinned in both of his matches yesterday.  However, he was completely fine when he came over and sat down.  At first I thought his attitude was kind of lax and that he should at least be a little upset.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that he knew going in that he was going to be up against boys who were older and had been competing much longer than he has (just over a month for him!) and that the day would be a great learning experience for him – he went in planning to do his best and to learn as much as he could during the whole experience.

Screen shot 2013-12-08 at 8.33.07 AMHunter didn’t win any matches yesterday but he still came out a winner because of his attitude and willingness to learn!!

So, the next time you’re surrounded by a group of loud, noisy (maybe stinky) pre-teens and teens, remember – they have plenty to teach you if you let them!!!

Favorite age group to be around – babies, preschooler, elementary kids, middle school, high school, college or adults – What is your pick?

Happy Sunday!

Kim

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