Apart from yesterday afternoon, when we were able to sun ourselves here in Mid Wales whilst tidying up the yard and garden, the weather has been consistently dreadful – fog, drizzle, wind and then torrential rain, which is what it is doing now.
Neil called this morning to see if it was OK for his mates to come up and train in our barn – “work off their hangovers, if it’s OK while you’re there” – well, I would never stand between a guy and his weights programme, so they’re in the barn now and the boys have joined them. Colin and I had a workout together earlier, and Natasha and Jaymee will be next when they can actually get near the weights.
Usually when we are over here in Wales in summer, whichever boys are with us bunk in the barn but, with it being so cold and dank, we’ve pushed them all into one of the bedrooms – four boys and two beds between them, but they’re happy. I was amused by overhearing their late-night conversation last evening, which tells me a lot about how they are all growing up and how they support each other.
‘Mine came down ages ago.’
‘I’ve only got a little lump – look…’
‘Do you think I should ask my Dad if its OK?’
‘Your voice has gone lower ever so quick…’
‘And his legs are going all hairy – look…’
Puberty! Four boys, two different nationalities, four different dads in four different families, all worrying about whether they are developing correctly into the strong fit and athletic men they deserve to be. The descent of testicles – no issues with Leo there, but since they so often work out together naked and both I and Chris’s dad see them that way all the time, I know that Chris is a little ‘behind’ in that department, his equipment being stubbornly slow to drop lower and enlarge…
‘Is it right that one’s larger than the other – see…’
Yes, Alex, that’s quite normal! It makes it easier when you squeeze your legs together!
‘Does yours go stiff sometimes?’
OK, let’s draw a veil over the rest of their investigations! Four lads with a common goal of being the fittest and best in their chosen sports of gymnastics and acrobatics, teaching each other about life, growing up, and the descent of those all-important male ‘bits’!
As a qualified coach, you need to be aware that boys will sometimes share personal worries with you which they are reluctant to share with their parents. This can be a very tricky area, and professional training in how to respond – and responding in a professional way – is very important. All in a good cause, though!
An acrobatic group stretching out before training. Good stuff…
Some folks shudder at the thought of younger kids using weights – until their bodies get better fuelled up with testosterone and things which assists their muscle growth. We do have training in this stuff, and we have been exceedingly careful with all our kids – and those we coach – when it comes to using weights. With our lot and their friends, they know precisely what they should do and what they must not – seriously heavy weights are an absolute ‘no-no’ at least until the lowered voice and hairy legs stage kicks in. And absolutely nothing like supplements. No way. Or maybe I could say ‘No whey’ – but that would be a bit corny.
So: if fit boys are the name of the game, as usual, let’s enjoy a few more:
And, to finish as we began with the focus on fit kids, I think that this last image says it all: