Kindred’s Special: Exercise is both mental and physical

EXERCISE IS BOTH MENTAL AND PHYSICAL with the logic of natural selection in the process where the question of priorities is ever most in the minds of parents when confronted with the wave of enormous opportunities and selections given even the most abundance of time. For most of us, such time is very limited. You might say that in this regards, an unknown energy source within us tends to parcel out any number of variants possible and therein lies the choice of freedom to choose. The harm in all this rests with pitting a narrowing of options where concentrated effort snuffs out the realization of being human and enjoying life to the full.

Now, if I haven’t bored you to sleep or mystified your train of thought too far, let me explain. Going back into my youth of decades past, I share with a host of many youngsters a pattern that goes something like this: Summertime. What a treat. No school. But the guys are all ready to congregate, not in a classroom, but rather on the empty lot or rarely traveled street for some sport action like softball,foot races, kickball, touch football, playing catch, or made-up games otherwise that featured physical activity. Likewise winter months saw congregations for building snowmen, building snow forts, having snowball fights, sleighing down wide open hills, looking to make some cash by offering and providing snowshoveling services for those with ambitions to build up their secret treasury. In all this, the studious among us often engaged in library projects, playing a variety of interesting and challenging board games like checkers, chess, backgammon, chinese checkers, scrabble, dominoes, various card games, etc. often with family.

Speed forward now to current times. Most activities engaged by youth are totally organized events. There have emerged a huge number of organizational structures that vie for the interest and time of young people. Whereas, we used to play in our T-shirts, shorts or overalls, today we see organized teams with uniforms from head- to- toe; coaches who often charge up to three figures to teach the little brats who look at them like gods. I have always said: FOLLOW THE MONEY and you begin to understand the emphasis on today’s value system. Cut the dough, and you lose the coach. Period. Of course there are volunteer groupies who give time freely but there are always expenses that must be met. And kids no longer seem capable of achieving on their own nor do they want to. In only one area I see this is not true–music and other educational interests of self-determination for learning with a goal to succeed in the classroom and in life. And most regrettable is the loss of family pleasures enjoyed as a unit that strengthens the bond of love, protection and respect for one another.

Many activities and groups exist for any number of reasons mostly devoted to their specific interest. One such group in Rochester is the Rochester Chess Center whose program fundamental has always been combining physical sport with chess. They recognized early on the importance of physical health as well as developing the individual toward critical thinking and wise use of time. Their teaching programs at their chess camp is to integrate the two where the class as a whole benefits.  Of course a big attraction of chess is TO HAVE FUN AND ENJOY GOOD PLAY WITH FRIENDS. But chess has an added advantage that once learned, you never forget how to play nor lose some sense of association with it. It is a world-wide activity where one can usually come across others who play the game. And it has a HISTORICAL value in that the chess buff can return to the earliest beginnings of recorded news, events and games–many played before you were born.

There are many colorful personages who have, in some manner, weaved their names into the realm of the circle–some famous. And that term depicts both the scoundrels as well as those who have a halo over their heads for the beneficial contributions made. The body as a whole is what makes the game so colorful and it’s exponents worth a good read.

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