Building Strength in Kids: Body + Mind.

If there’s one thing that we feel more passionately about than health and fitness in our own lives, its health and fitness in kids’ lives.  There’s something so raw and rewarding about empowering a kid to be active and believe in themselves, and giving them the tools to develop the habits for healthy active lifestyles.

Meet Lex, he’s 7, and views Dar as is best friend, sister, and sometimes even his brother (it’s complicated).

Dar + Lex
Lex’s before picture

Last October Lex came to the bodybuilding show that Dar promoted through Main Stage Muscle, and saw first hand some of the most fanatical lifters and bodybuilders in the state of North Carolina, and beyond.  What may have borderline been a terrifying experience for a 40 lb kid, Lex took in and now makes it a priority to work out with Dar whenever she comes to visit.  Even more importantly, he fills the gaps working out with his mom for some extra special bonding time.

check out those guns! Got (almond) milk? Lex’s after picture.

Can’t beat that outfit.  Ever.  Lex might regret that kodak moment 15 years from now when we show all of his girlfriends, but for now, it’s the best thing we’ve ever seen.

Seeing the Biggest Loser take a more active role in working with kids this season was awesome, focusing on the child obesity epidemic, but healthy eating and exercise habits are still important for string beans like Lex.

Almost 2 years ago I was fortunate enough to, so very randomly, start talking to a stranger checking out running shorts in the lululemon in SouthPark Mall.  The woman I met was Lori Klingman, who happened to be integral in developing Let Me Run, and acts as the Vice President of the organization.  It was only about 45 seconds into our conversation when I realized I wanted to needed to know more about this organization, so I met Lori for coffee a week or so later to do just that.

let me run logo

Here’s what I learned: Let Me Run is a nonprofit organization, providing 7 week fitness and personal development  programs, for boys from 4th grade through middle school.  The program is centered around running practices with mentors and small teams to prepare the boys for a 5k fun race.  Their mission is ‘to inspire young boys through the power of running to be courageous enough to be themselves, to build healthy relationships, and live an active lifestyle.’

Let Me Run has grown out of (and seemingly outgrown) Charlotte and is spreading quickly throughout other states so be sure to check out their site on upcoming coaches trainings, or sign up to create your own team on their website. It’s a little bit of an ‘if you build it, they will come’ model, so no matter where you live, don’t hesitate to contact them about starting a team simply because of a little thing called ‘geography.’ There’s a solution for that.

Let Me Run has amazing programming developed by renowned psychologists and fitness + physical therapy experts, all powered and brought to life by their super active board members, parents and volunteers.  I have friends who have coached their son’s team, and with complete transparency have enjoyed the experience just as much as the kids did, so it’s a win-win.  Check them out + get involved! Charlottesville, this may be my community appreciation gift to you and all you crazy runners.

what's amazing about this picture? everything.
what’s amazing about this picture? everything.

In other news from the fuel.sweat.grow. team, we want to highlight some of these amazing organizations on the blog that are changing the landscape for health and fitness for kids, going beyond mandatory gym class, providing kids with the positive and supportive experiences they need to develop healthy habits and a strong sense of self.  That being said, please let us know any other great organizations you love and support and we’ll share it in our kids fitness posts.  Dar has some pretty awesome fitness tip footage (yes, we’ve taken to video) coming at you from her buddy Blue later this week.  You don’t want to miss it, and that’s a promise.

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