Kids Can Too
Everyone has specific talents and skills that make whatever career they fall into ‘theirs’. We each sharpen and develop these skills to be able to do our jobs better, more efficiently, and more effectively. For me, I always felt as if I had certain talents that weren’t useful in the niche I was trying to grow into. I felt useless and, honestly, like I was losing my purpose.
When Strength Camp became a reality for us, I was out of this world excited. Not just because I believed in the programming and the morale behind what Strength Camp is, but because we were going to be able to touch so many lives in many different ways. The beauty of what we do here is more than just a physical transformation; I get to be that coach, that nutritionist, that accountability partner, and that advisor on what to do next for our clients. These past couple months have been an unbelievable journey for us. The texts, the calls, the conversations after a class with clients about how we’ve already made an impact on their lives is such an honor and truly inspiring. Darin and I have both always imagined helping people, but man this gym has allowed us to completely change people’s quality of life, views on health, and so much more. To be told that our gym has created a whole new existence for someone gives you a feeling of humility that you can never understand until it’s said to you.
With that being said, my true dream has always been to open a gym that serves the children in our community and helps give them a space they can see growth in many different areas of their lives. Over the weekend, God sat an opportunity, to test this dream, into our laps. We are officially introducing Kids Camp here at Strength Camp Jacksonville. We will be giving these kids one hour of physical activity and mental stimulation (modified for age purposes) for children between the ages of 8-16. Not only will we be able to teach the children about health, wellness, and fitness, but we will be able to improve sports skills, hand-eye coordination, balance, and so much more.
The Kids’ class will be Monday through Friday at 6 PM and Saturday at 9 AM.
This has been my dream for several years; to be able to give a place of sanctuary to children who, just like adults, need physical activity to reduce stress, develop healthy habits, sleep better, find better focus, deal with emotional situations more positively, manage disorders such as ADHD, and/or recover from trauma. Research shows that “children respond faster and with greater accuracy to a variety of cognitive tasks after participating in a session of physical activity” ((Tomporowski, 2003; Budde et al., 2008; Hillman et al., 2009; Pesce et al., 2009; Ellemberg and St-Louis-Deschênes, 2010). During my time in college, I was privileged to be able to work with different children’s programs and see the positive effects physical activity can have on a child’s body and brain. It has been found that physical activity can improve attention span, working memory, and reduce off-task behaviors (Insitute of Medicine, 2013).
Budde H, Voelcker-Rehage C, S-Pietrabyk Kendziorra, Ribeiro P, Tidow G. Acute coordinative exercise improves attentional performance in adolescents. Neuroscience Letters. 2008;441(2):219–223.
Ellemberg D, St-Louis-Deschênes M. The effect of acute physical exercise on cognitive function during development. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 2010;11(2):122–126.
Hillman CH, Pontifex MB, Raine LB, Castelli DM, Hall EE, Kramer AF. The effect of acute treadmill walking on cognitive control and academic achievement in preadolescent children. Neuroscience. 2009;159(3):1044.
Institute of Medicine. 2013. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/18314.
Pesce C, Crova C, Cereatti L, Casella R, Bellucci M. Physical activity and mental performance in preadolescents: Effects of acute exercise on free-recall memory. Mental Health and Physical Activity. 2009;2(1):16–22.
Tomporowski PD. Effects of acute bouts of exercise on cognition. Acta Psychologica. 2003;112(3):297–324.