I'm sure some of you watched the story on these two, precious girls from Alvin Texas? They have gained national attention lately for sweeping adults in many endurance events across the world!
Alvin is about 20 minutes away from our house, so the story caught my attention immediately!
Apparently these girls have stirred up quite the controversy, or should I say their parents-being accused of pushing these girls WAY too far in this sport.
I have mixed emotions about this one...
On one hand, it's frightening to see such small girls out there competing with adults every weekend, sometimes twice in that same weekend. It's scary knowing there's not a lot of evidence on the harm this may/may not cause on their little, growing bodies. Also, the PE teacher in me worries about the burn out. Children would always come and complain about too much in their weekends/week days. They weren't able to simply "play" outside with their families and friends because that particular sport took up all of their time. Then I'd see that child a few years later, they had quit due to being TIRED of playing/practicing...having their life centered around that sport at too young of an age. Will this happen to these girls?
On the other hand, I was a typical unhealthy, "fat" kid growing up. Of course I had friends and was always doing something fun but I was overweight and to get me to exercise on purpose...well, that didn't happen often. I recall many days after school while my mom was at work, going in the pantry and eating until I couldn't shove anything else into my mouth! (Ugh. I remember it all so well and it makes me feel sick thinking about it). So while some children were outside playing, being fit and having fun. I was stuck indoors stuffing my face in front of the TV watching episode after episode of "Saved By The Bell." (sad that I remember that detail as well). Then I'd feel guilty from eating so much junk and go back into the kitchen to comfort that feeling of disappointment as well. My gosh, my heart aches for children out there going through those same emotions, fears, feelings of worthlessness. So many of today's children are SO unhealthy, far worse than I ever was at that age, and that makes me frightened, sad and angry all at the same time. SO when I think of this aspect, I respect these girls for being active, fit and wanting to push themselves beyond their limits and hopefully the love of running will stick with them for a lifetime.
But then you must consider, are they being pushed too hard? Are their bodies going to see the effects of this years later when it's too late?
Well here, let me share a little from the NY Times article posted on their story and this controversial issue,
"The Welsches enjoy the outdoors — camping, hiking, biking — and they wanted their two children to be active in sports. Kaytlynn tried soccer, basketball, gymnastics and softball, but none of them captured her heart. Her puny size often placed her at a disadvantage. “During soccer, people would run right over me like I was the ball,” Kaytlynn said. In school, some kids called her “midget.” If she wore green, they called her “leprechaun.”
Kaytlynn was 8 when Rodney read something in a magazine about children’s triathlons sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. Competitors could be as young as 7. The distances were not very long Kaytlynn wanted a chance to win, so the Welsches gave her swimming lessons and bought her a faster bike, first a three-speed, then an eight-speed. Her performance improved, though it was only in the running that she truly excelled, passing others one by one as they struggled toward the finish line.
In 2010, Rodney began entering his daughters in road races: 1K, 5K, even 10K. They usually beat anyone their age and outran most women in their 20s and 30s. He wondered if his daughters were “some kind of endurance freak kids,” and late that year, he entered them in a half-marathon.
The girls handled the 13 miles well enough, but the more memorable part of the day came afterward. A woman introduced herself as a pediatrician and gave Rodney a scolding. Your daughters shouldn’t be running in events this difficult, she told him. Don’t you know you’re hurting your kids? Unsettled by that berating, the Welsches began researching the risks of running and took the girls to a series of doctors. A podiatrist and an orthopedist checked their bones and joints. An endocrinologist said that although the girls were small, their growth patterns were perfectly normal."
"...During the previous two years, Kaytlynn had competed in more than 90 endurance events, about a dozen more than her little sister. Some were children’s races of modest distances, but most often they covered mileage meant to challenge adults. Kaytlynn had finished two marathons. Both girls competed in triathlons, an amalgam of limb-exhausting skills where they typically swam 500 meters, cycled 13 miles and ended with a 3.1-mile run."
There are drawbacks, she realizes: “Kids at school tell me: ‘Man, Kaytlynn, you’re no fun. You never come over on the weekend; you can’t spend the night.’ And I say, ‘I have races on the weekend, so of course I can’t spend the night.’ I don’t have that many friends at school because of that reason.”
"In January, after Kaytlynn completed the Houston Marathon, there was an announcement at school congratulating her. She had covered the distance in 3 hours 45 minutes 15 seconds, the second-best time that day for female runners younger than 19. A few days later, some kids discovered that her name was not listed in the marathon’s official results. “They called me a liar,” Kaytlynn said. Actually, her name had been expunged because she was later disqualified. Rodney had finessed her registration. The minimum age was 12, and Kaytlynn was only 11. “I guess a lot of people complained I was too young and I was going to break my bones,” she said."-NY Times
And now that you've formed your opinions on that issue, I'd love to know your thoughts and what you think? I guess I have so many mixed emotions on it, having a huge passion to end children's unhealthy behaviors, childhood obesity and other health-issues that our children will face in their future. Maybe you'll offer a different perspective on this...
Weekend eats: were delicious! Breakfast yesterday, we finally tried the cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread we picked up last week at Trader Joe's(I swear I'm going to build one of these stores in our area!...well, I'm sure gonna try!) and it was delicious paired with frozen grapes and eggs! A family favorite side dish is frozen grapes! We bring these camping, pack them for a snack, eat them when we're in a snacking mood and the best part is that all four of us enjoy these, A LOT! It's hard to find a snack that we all enjoy but this is definitely one of them!
Yesterday we spent a lot of time food prepping for the week! We made string beans, broccoli chopped, both raw and steamed, zucchini, grilled chicken, lots of strawberries washed and separated into single servings! Ground turkey cooked with diced tomatoes, black beans and lentils. We can use this dish to top salads, make burritos for the kids, quesadillas on FlatOuts and much more!
Yesterday's salad was UHmazing! lettuce, spinach, lentils, cranberries, sunflower seeds, flaxseed meal, and a little mozzarella cheese. Topped with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar! Mmm! I think lentils might be my new, favorite food since Trader Joe's makes these cooked and ready to eat! How easy and DELICIOUS, a great way to get protein when you don't feel like cooking! Or if you stink at making lentils from scratch! I've tried with many failed attempts. I either overcook or under cook and we're crunching them at the dinner table...uh, why can't I cook them? My grandma always made them perfectly, but then again she made everything perfectly :)
and finally, my son's lunch! We wake up each morning and I ask him what he wants for lunch. This was his request...and it makes me so proud that he eats so healthy and balanced! He sure loves these Chobani Champions tubes!!
Turkey Wrap with neutfchael cheese, lettuce and turkey. Chobani tube, strawberries from our local farmers market and of course-some cheez-its! The bottled water isn't pictured because he packs that part himself! Ha!
Have you thought about and written out your goals for the week? DO IT NOW! If you are at work, scribble it onto a Post-It and smack it onto your computer! If you're at home, you have NO excuse...wait, nobody has an excuse! Get busy setting those weekly goals and focus on reaching them!
Make healthy living a priority in your life and the lives of your family and friends! Spread your love for a healthy lifestyle with people around you and hope it spreads throughout your community! Now is the time to set the example and show others how wonderful life can really be when you are active, eat right and don't allow junk food to make you feel less-than-fabulous! The junk food isn't worth it, the sitting around saying you'll start exercising tomorrow isn't going to make you healthier today...so get up, get active and eat right! I give myself this pep talk each morning as I wake up and brush my teeth...and it works! NO EXCUSES! Make it happen!