Of Fairy Rings, Your Training Base, And Why You Should Encourage Kids (Young And Old) To Exercise


Hi folks,

Fairy ring on a local running trail, photo by FitOldDog

A fairy ring on my local running trail, showing the outer limits of a hidden underground fungus, which extends under the trail, being about 20 feet in diameter and several inches thick beneath the soil.

From time to time you will hear athletes comment on someone’s training base, which refers to their training history, and the strength and skill it provides. We each come with a training or exercise base, both mental and physical, which is derived from our entire life history. If you’ve had it easy you will probably have a harder time with the ups and downs of life than people who have struggled. Why? Because they (their mind and/or body) have been there and know what it is all about, and they have developed strategies for dealing with things.

I think of a persons training base for athletics or exercise as being like a fungus, most of which is underground and unseen. At sports events you’ll be surprised who does well, as this is a more function of a person’s exercise history than how fit or fat they are that day. For instance, at the pool some really overweight person leaves you in their wake – ask them about their sports history and nine times out of ten they were college swimmers. You don’t stand a chance, however overweight they might be. This can also apply to runners and cyclists. You can’t tell a book (or a training base) by its cover.

So, when you walk your kids to school, take them for a hike instead of watching television, pull them away from the iPad to explore local trails or encourage them to join a local football team or take up some other physically active sport, you are giving them a great gift, the gift of a strong training base. My teenage years as a water polo player sure help me to enjoy the swim leg of Ironman races fifty years later. Many years of enjoying a range of sports has also helped me to appreciate the value of a life built around safe exercise for better health.

Build a good training base for your kids, and it won’t let them down. Finally, it is never too late to add to your training base, however old you might be.

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.