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Blog Ambassadors Make Their Own Path

Throughout the year we'll hear from eight bloggers as they share about their family's time in the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience and how it inspires them to explore these sports back at home. 

This post was written by Children's Museum Blog Ambassador Kate Amos. Follow her posts on the blog or follow her at @indywithkids on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter.  

If there’s one thing you can count on with kids it’s that, given some unfamiliar object or device they will undoubtedly find the wrong way to use it. Even the familiar items in our home tend to act as chameleons in the hands of our children. Flashlights turn into rocket ships with laser beams, plates turn to frisbees, and winter scarves outfit our ninjas, and tie up their foe. 

It’s no surprise then, that on our exploration of the Dr. Cory SerVaas Fitness Path we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘they’) used everything the wrong way. Ab skiers became leaping platforms, and Tai Chi trainers were steering wheels. While I examined the information boards and wondered if I could actually get in a workout while my kids played (answer: technically, yes, I think someone could. Personally, no, as my children are feral little beasts who would vanish and then reappear only to attack me from behind during exercise. They’re cute though.) my offspring developed a keen interest in the Long Jump activity. 

Big Brother Lu and his buddy took turns running and flying over the long jump markings before landing onto the rubberized ground. When I suggested that they stand and jump (as is intended in the Standing Long Jump activity) they attempted it, but found this much less exciting. Flying leaps commenced and more tricks came about, many ending with a rump-landing situation which further skewed the scoring. 

Back at home Lu, Jack-Attack, and Sis came up with multiple great ideas for the long jump as well as alternative scoring methods and very little possibility for disqualification. They developed and tested the following Standing Long Jump Modifications:  

  • Standing Long Jump 
  • Running Long Jump
  • Backwards Long Jump 
  • One-Legged Standing Long Jump
  • Twisting Long Jump (Fam Favorite)

While we were never able to settle on an exact method of scoring, we had a lot of fun testing out these new methods and ended up back on the fitness path to use the real measuring system. The winner of each round was constantly the tallest competitor OR the one who flung themselves towards the ground with the most abandon. It’s a testament to the creativity of children that they rarely recognize the limitations put on nearly everything. It turns out that using things the “wrong” way can be a blast! 

Track and Field athlete and 9-time gold medalist Carl Lewis said, “It’s all about the journey, not the outcome.” With how much fun they had doing the long jump the “not right” way, my kids sure do live that mantra!  What now? Well, head over to the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience and find your favorite “wrong” way to do something! No matter what, don’t be afraid to start the journey.

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Categories: Blog Ambassadors, Exhibits
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