50,000-59,999 SparkPoints 52,790

Jungle Gym - Friend or Foe?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The jungle gym kicked my derriere! Perhaps that’s no surprise. I’ve been thinking about my physical health, strength, and flexibility for a while (for my friends who are more “seasoned” you know how that comes up) and I decided a long time ago that I fully planned on keeping active. I remember thinking, as a kid, that I would run a little every day so I wouldn’t wake up one day and realize “I can’t run anymore”. I’ve led my life with this thought in the background and have kept “sort of” active.

Well, forget about that running every day thing…my doctor said “Cease and desist” and I gave it up without much struggle. Instead I’ve been walking like crazy, and trying to add strength work (ugh) to my work outs but I just haven’t ever embraced strength (which was NEVER my thing anyway). I wanted to be able to move, to be flexible and to carry a bag of groceries. But I realize the older I get how important strength is. So on Saturday as I was taking my walk when I passed the jungle gym area down at the lake I thought “hmmmmmm”.

Now I didn’t expect great things. As I said, upper body strength and I are not known companions. But I do recall clambering around on jungle gyms as a kid, scampering, swinging, just having FUN. So I tentatively walked to the structure (boy, are these things cooler than what we had when I was a kid? The bark covered ground looked much more comfortable to manage the occasional spill than the gravel/dirt on the playgrounds I recall) and sized it up. I thought “why should everything be a workout, why not just try to play a bit more?” Ok…that chain link ladder looks fun. I approached it, evaluated whether it would hold my weight and then started climbing. I got to the top where you swing your leg over to stand on a platform. My leg just didn’t swing. I really had no intention of landing on the bark covered ground so I reversed and climbed back down. I have to work on that.

Then I saw a curved ladder designed obviously as monkey bars. Again, I didn’t really think I’d go hand over hand across the bars. But I thought I’d check to see if I could pull myself up at all. I wasn’t thinking a pull up but just an assessment of what I could do right now. I grabbed hold of the appropriate bar and hung like wet laundry on a line. With all my strength I couldn’t BUDGE this body a half inch. Well, now...... In desperation (nobody wants to impersonate wet laundry), I pulled my legs up towards my chest a couple of times. OK, I can do that a bit. I dropped off.

Humbling, completely humbling. But I do believe I’ll try to incorporate the jungle gym more often in my walks. Especially that hanging bar thing – I’d like to get a little better there and the total body stretch I got as wet laundry didn’t feel bad for someone who is always scrunched up at her desk. The next time I’m walking by and no one’s there, I’m going to try it again. The key? When no one is there
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great blog post emoticon Way to go in challenging yourself! There's a lot to be said for re-conceptualizing exercise as having fun, opposed to dreaded workouts.
    1796 days ago
  • TANYA602
    I'm chuckling as I envision this, only because the same thing happened to me! I was horrified because I'd been bragging to DH that I was the kid who always got into trouble for hanging upside down on the monkey bars in my dress (the dress code did not allow for pants or even pantsuits back in my elementary school days!) and so when I grabbed the bars and tried to swing from one to the next.....ugh! Just like you said, wet laundry! I am eager to know how it goes for you the next time you give it a shot!
    1797 days ago
    i haven't been on a jungle gym since i was in grade school. i don't remember it as much fun,but i did like to climb up to the top and just stand there on the second to the top bar. scared my teachers lots when i did that. bt any time i tried the monkey bars, i fell off.
    1797 days ago
    Sounds like fun. I'll give it a try.
    1798 days ago
    I love playing on the jungle gym. Especially since i have to walk a mile just to get there.
    1798 days ago
    Oh my goodness...I was giggling a bit while reading this and remembering the many times as a child that I played on jungle gyms. I was always somewhat athletic. I am sure now I could hardly hold my own weight. It would be so interesting to try.
    good for you to challenge yourself!
    Have a great rest of the day!
    1798 days ago
    Awesome. Your gym is everywhere. :-)
    1798 days ago
    I take my nephews and nieces to the park frequently, and have a tough time keeping up with them, but I've never been brave enough to try hanging from the monkey bars. I have a feeling my shoulders would not appreciate it.
    emoticon on being able to hang without falling and then even pull your leg up. emoticon
    1798 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    I never could do a thing on a jungle gym even as a kid, I hung like wet laundry and fell. Not a strong suit. Bravo to you for going the distance and incorporating it in your routine! emoticon emoticon
    1798 days ago
    I think it is an excellent opportunity to mix it up and reminds us to raise the bar emoticon
    1798 days ago
    Have fun "playing" on the jungle gym! I also have tried to copy my 6 year old granddaughter's movements on the swing set and trapeze without a whole lot of success. But we'll keep trying, right?? It's fun, right?? -Marsha
    1798 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by KLONG8