I stumbled across an interview I did with Men’s Fitness magazine fitness editor Sean Hyson a couple years back and got to (re)thinking about my earliest experiences with exercise/fitness.
I rode my bike everywhere and was a generally active kid, I s’pose. Of course, my video game options were limited to a Pong “system” and a few cartridges I had for the Atari 2600, so I didn’t see ‘gaming’ as much of an option.
At school, I don’t think a recess went by in which I wasn’t playing a heated game of kickball or “smear the queer” (political correctness as it is, I can only imagine this game has since been renamed.)
Other than occasional wiffle-balls-on-the-parachute games or rolling over my fingers while racing my classmates across the gym floor on a wheeled platform, I really can’t remember any structured elementary/middle school gym class activities (well… there was the 8th grade Mousercise incident that still gets me riled up, but I’ll save that story for another time.)
I clearly recall training in the garage with concrete-filled plastic weights on a Weider bench as a pre-teen in the mid-80s which led me into football, powerlifting and strongman training. But even years before that – I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 – I remember rolling out from under my Star Wars sheets to do sit-ups and pushups on my bedroom floor after being disappointed with myself for my performance in the “pinch an inch challenge“.
And the rest (as the saying goes) was mystery…
What was the initial spark that got YOU interested in (or at least aware of) all-things-fitness?