Wild Wishes ...
Are We Killing Our Boys?
It was like a horror movie. As I sat on the bed, “Guns and Roses” rock music vibrating the walls and a massive Xbox screen in front of us. I was sickened. In the dark room, I was overwhelmed by a massive black gun with aggressive humanoid creatures running at it and being splattered.
Today these boys are at work. They are steady reliable talented hard working non drinking non smoking funny intelligent strong brave young men. Outdoor adventures are a regular part of their lives.
The dark figures would explode in the fast moving tunnels and bright crimson blood would burst out, then pool on the floor. These fit, balaclava-wearing athletes just kept coming. The kids just just kept killing. They were pushing buttons on a small console while working together to stay alive; racing along the corridors AND having a conversation with each other AND me at the same time. It was incredible.
Then, a strange thing happened. I allowed myself to be immersed in the experience, instead of judging it. And I got excited. I became emotionally engaged in the action, my heart rate increased and I wanted them to kill more things and escape the bad guys. I began to realise just how clever these kids were at this complicated dopamine-producing team game. It was surreal and weirdly educational. And I got it.
The boys told me they chose ‘COD’ – Call of Duty - because they only had to play it for 3 or 4 hours, rather than the hundreds of hours required to play one of the more committing online games of a similar nature. It was simultaneously fascinating and horrifying.
The next morning, I dragged those same boys down the river for a walk. At first they complained and moaned. I ignored them. I left them alone. Guess what happened?
They set themselves a challenge. The challenge was to work out how to cross the river without getting wet. And, given the slime covered sparsely located bumpy rocks, this was an extreme challenge. They found logs and branches and devised clever physical ways of achieving their goal.
I tried to copy them and soon realised how athletic and skilful their moves were. They were happy, engaged, working as a team, moving, problem-solving and having healthy fun in nature. They were getting their dose of happiness hormones, their endorphins plus all the health-giving and disease-preventing benefits of movement, as well as the mental health benefits of being in nature.
I was struck by the difference between the Xbox game and the river crossing. The Xbox game was reducing their health and the river crossing game was improving it. Both activities tapped into their need for excitement through hormone stimulation but with very different short and long term outcomes. The Xbox game was making somebody else wealthy and the river crossing game was making them wealthy – because your health is your wealth.
Research shows that the health and wellbeing of our young people is declining. (“Never better — or getting worse? The health and wellbeing of young Australians” Richard Eckersley 2008). Have you noticed? Obese and sick kids everywhere; kids committing suicide; allergies out of control and parents struggling to find solutions.
Eckersley states “Fundamental social, cultural, economic and environmental changes in Australia … are impacting adversely on young people’s health and wellbeing.”
“The central purpose of our present social system is to create wealth; we need to make that purpose to create health, in its broadest sense. Making this change requires more than a change in policies. It means redesigning the conceptual framework, or worldview, within which policy decisions are made, rethinking ‘the defining idea’ of how we make life better. It means changing the stories or narratives by which we define ourselves, our lives and our goals.”
Are you concerned about your boys? Are we prepared to change our worldview?
I am constantly searching for answers and looking for ways to engage my kids in healthy activities. But these problems seem worse for our boys. We have become disconnected from nature and the fundamental activities for which our bodies and minds were created.
It’s a daily battle to keep them away from screens, get them to eat healthy food and encourage them to move. Perhaps the best solution is to continue to try to drag our sons (and daughters) outside, away from the screens, and to find shared wellness goals that will keep them mentally and physically healthy. By getting fit ourselves, and encouraging our kids to try to keep up, we can teach them to choose the wealth of health.
Director & Coach
Wild Women On Top
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Wild News ...
2 NEW Groups - Sutherland & Hornsby
We are really excited to announce 2 NEW Trek Training groups starting mid-Term 3. Our newest coach, Jo Vartanian, will be starting a Trek Training group for our Shire girls. Join us for a Taster on Monday 13 August from 9:30am - 12:30pm at Grays Point.
Roz will be inspiring the girls in the hills around Hornsby with her new Trek Training group. Come along to a Taster on Thursday 16 August, 9:30am - 12:30pm, starting from Mt Kuring-Gai.
Gold coin donations on the day go to the Fred Hollows Foundation. Contact the WWOT Office for more details.
Sydney Coastrek Rego - Opens 12 Sept!
Save The Date & Tell Your Mates!
Registration for Sydney Coastrek 2013 is just over 6 weeks away. Mark 12 September in your calendar and get your team together. For more information, visit the Coastrek website.
Wild Trip Rumours
Upcoming trips released in the next few weeks... Bhutan in April, Bungle Bungles in June, Jatbula in July, Borneo Mum/Kid in July, Thailand Mum/kid in Sept and Patagonia in November - STAY TUNED for MORE :-)
Wild Diary ...
Please click on the links for bookings and more information!
Book Trek Training now to get fit BEFORE Summer arrives!
29 July: Bhutan Assessment Walk: Bhutan Team, book your spot!
13 August: Sutherland Trek Training Taster Launch: Sign Up Now!
16 August: Hornsby Trek Training Taster Launch: Sign Up Now!
1 September: Mt Solitary Wild Walk: 1 spot left!
12 September: Coastrek Registration Opens! Save the date now!
15-16 September: Girrakool Patonga Wild Weekend: Waitlist Available!
25 November: Royal National Park Wild Walk: Coming Soon!
9 December: Sneak Peak Night: Save the date!
Wild Tips ...
Trek Training: Posture for Stairs
During Trek Training, you will often find yourself doing stairs...a lot! Good stair posture is vitally important, especially when carrying a pack. As you climb up stairs, remember to keep your shoulders above your hips and avoid slouching too far forward. As you press up to the next step, make sure that you squeeze your gluts and push through your heel. This will avoid straining your hip flexors and tone your bum faster!
Gear: Red Dots
If you struggle with incontinence or little leaks, it's time to work on your pelvic floor strength! Yes, as women, we probably all know that. The trick is to remember to do them! So, buy a packet of red dots and put them in significant places in your life...on the fridge, on the microwave, on the back of your phone, on your steering wheel! Every time you see a red dot, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for 3 sets of 8 seconds.
Nutrition: For The Love of Chocolate
Sometimes, we can’t help ourselves when it comes to chocolate. So in order to avoid going way overboard, try looking for chocolate with a higher cocoa, which leaves less room for sugary additives and more room for healthy antioxidants. (We recommend looking for 70 percent cocoa or higher). Want to try a new treat? Try raw chocolate, a dairy-free form with a strong, natural taste. www.greatist.com
For more info on any of these topics, plus heaps of ideas on training and secret women's business, check out How to Prepare for World Class Treks
Wild Inspirations ...
Congratulations: Angela Brooks
Congratulations to Angela Brooks for coming back from Jatbula and continuing to train with a heavy (16kg+) pack...all while pushing the pace of the group. Well done for inspiring others and continuing to inject fun into your Trek Training sessions.
It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's inspiring Angela Brooks "flying" on the Jatbula Trail Photo Credit: Mel Barton