Summer vacation is almost here for area students, and you know what that means: sleeping late, no school lunches to fix and a lot of lazy days sitting around not doing much of anything aside from playing video games.
At least, that’s how it tends to go in our house.
My sons are old enough that they’ve aged out of summer day camps and activities like that, but they’re not old enough for summer jobs. Two summers ago, they devised their own plan that would keep them active, give them something to do each day, and give them a goal to work toward. They called it the “100-Mile Challenge.”
The point was to travel 100 miles by the end of summer vacation, either by walking, running, jogging or riding their bikes. We clocked off a 2.1-mile loop in our neighborhood, one I felt safe enough letting them do without me. It didn’t involve any main roads and stuck to the neighborhood. While it still made me a little nervous, (because let’s face it, in this day and age you can’t be too careful) the benefits seemed to outweigh the risks.
Most days, I’d say at least five a week, they’d embark on their 2.1-mile jaunt. If they were riding their bikes, they’d generally do the “loop” twice for 4.2 miles. Keeping this pace, they were each able to hit 100 miles the week before school started again.
They loved the competition (truth be told, my younger son finished his 100 miles before his older brother). They also stayed in shape and had some fun. They quickly learned that in the heat of the summer, they’d better pry themselves out of bed at a reasonable hour before it got too hot to run. My older son realized that he needed to stay in shape all year, not just the summer, to keep up with his brother who plays soccer 11 months out of the year. They both learned that cross-training, combining the bike with running, was the smart way to use different muscles and combat fatigue.
Plus, they just had fun.