Of course, the title above is kind of tongue in cheek but...
Last week, I had the opportunity to hang out with some of our students all day during our summer camp. I had some interesting conversations with them. Our summer camp is a tremendous opportunity for us to positively influence their thinking.
One thing that I found interesting is that many of the kids did not want anything to do with the outdoors. Although the weather was terrific - only making it to the low 80's, many of them rather stay inside with the air conditioning.
I personally get stir crazy if I spend to much time inside.
When I talked to them further, I found many of them said that they feel sick after going outside with headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue. One student even said that she usually experiences nausea after an outdoor excursion.
Wow! Are our children allergic to the outdoors or that fragile? It only took me only a little while to figure out what was going on.
The same issue happened to one of our teenagers on the Ultimate Black Belt Test Eco-adventure. One day some of us elected to hiking an extra 5 miles in the morning. After we took a break, we were going to hike the 5 miles to catch up to the group at the next campsite. About 100 yards into the second 5 miles hike, our teenager basically fainted. We had to divide his gear between us and he still had trouble walk the 5 miles.
So what's the problem?
Our UBBT teammate drink less than 12 ounces of water during the 5 mile trip. Just for reference, almost everyone else drank about 128 ounces in the same five miles.
Back to my students...
I told them they are experiencing dehydration and asked my students what they drink to hydrate themselves. Most of them said soda and one claimed that Gatorade is the best method. I asked how they know that Gatorade is the best. They answered because the commercial says so. Hmm! Of course, they would say that to sell more Gatorade and I guess it works.
I realized at this point that we as martial arts educators and masters that we need to constantly re-education our student on the importance of drinking water. I talk about it in classes all of the time but I guess it's one of those things that I need to repeat over and over like a mantra.
Maybe then the outdoors would cease to be so dangerous for kids!