Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Football, Soccer, & Track - OUT. Tai Chi - IN.

I'm 24. I've never thought of myself as "old". (Of course, being married with three children by 24, who has time to think?!?). Anyway, this was before today. Today, my lovely daughters came home with an information booklet about "Tai Chi". What is Tai Chi, you ask? Allow me to edumacate you! With help from a grainy, photocopied leaflet, I've learned that Tai Chi is a form of martial arts from Ancient China that utilizes ultra-slow, controlled movements to improve everything from your strength to your immune system! Tai Chi is also what my children are doing during gym class. Excuse moi? What happened to jump ropes and pommel horses? Now my children are "putting their heels forward to feel the water, putting their toes back to feel the towel". Am I missing something? I just got more effective excercise writing about it than if I'd done it myself! Those young wippersnappers! Back in MY day we had to run around a football field in the sleet until we "felt the burn". And that was just our warmup! Now kids are doing sets of "waving hands", and "stroking bird's tail". HELLOOOO? El PAC Presidente? Maybe something that burns more than a half calorie, k?

To be fair, The Pamphlet touts Tai Chi as being "scientifically proven" to enhance stamina, balance, and - most importantly - the flow of "Qi" through your body. (Qi being the "life energy that circulates throughout the body, performing many functions to maintain good health." Obviously.) I'm having visions of elementary school students standing on a bluff somewhere, wearing white pajamas and "gathering sun beams". Yup, THAT should burn off a lot of energy!

I'd like to be on board with this, I really would. I'm digging the whole mind/body/spirit/la-de-da thing. I'm just trying to get a handle on the train of thought that went into a physical education unit called "Tai Chi 4 Kidz". Work with me here. ADHD/ADD is on the rise. Childhood obesity is on the rise. As is Juvenile diabetes. As are heart disease, cholesterol, and blood pressure in children. Solution? Lets all pretend we're flowers just a-swaying in the breeze. That'll get your heart pumping! Teachers can't get their (unmedicated) students to sit still during story time, does anyone really think little John and Judy EveryKid are going to focus on 45 minutes of "invisible circles"?!? Not to mention that even if they did, they've only burned off the calories from a mouthful of Cheerios. Good grief. Anyone who has small children knows you need to run them like DOGS to tire them out! Hey kids! Sit down and be quiet ALL DAY, and then during PE, your last bastion of childhood, you'll get to stand in straight lines and run, jump, play unlock your Qi. Fun!

Society wonders why children are getting old before their time. Judy is dressing like a hoochie, John is doing "exericizes" my 81 year old arthritic grandma could do, and they're both OD'ing on phthalates from their damn drinking cups. I just don't know how this is happening!

So the onus, as always, is on the parent. To teach because the teacher doesn't have enough time, to exercise because the coach is too busy "kicking the beehive". Public schools are fast becoming overly-structured daycare. I love my kids, but if I wanted to teach them everything myself, I'd homeschool. I'm human! I simply cannot be a teacher AND a coach AND a mom, all while holding down a full-time job and lactating. I can't. Can't, can't, can't.

Something's gotta give.

Or maybe it's just that my Qi is blocked up.


1 comment:

malisa said...

This sounds exactly like something my dh would write! What is so bad about jumping jacks?