By May 1, 2016 Read More →

FitView – Playground Fitness

By Efren Martinez
Playground Fitness

I got this great idea from a friend who’s a Ninja poet. He’s an English teacher by day and an awesome father and husband by night. In fact some of you may know him as Mr. Slam on Rye. Last year Sam Pierstorff had the opportunity to compete on a National TV series, American Ninja Warrior. Even though his spot didn’t air on TV, he was there giving it his all. From what I understand Sam’s idea to train for such a Ninja challenge didn’t take place in a gym but more so at a playground with his kids. As I traveled around Modesto one day, I noticed that our city has a great deal of fun parks with what could be challenging playground obstacle courses. This fitness idea isn’t really a new idea for me, it’s more of a deja vu memory.

Back in high school, I and a few friends would head to Davis park at night and engage in a competitive game of tag. The rules were simple, if you got tagged you were it, and you couldn’t leave the sandbox area. I remember how challenging it was to try and chase one another as we used the two upright forts as safe heavens. Whoever was “it”, would climb up the fort to try and catch the other before everyone would scatter down below. Throughout the sand box area we used everything, the swings, slides and other playground equipment all as a buffer. Our games use to go on for hours and by the time we were done playing tag, we were all pretty much exhausted with some great fitness done and under our belts. Thankfully, none of us got hurt as we would chase, run, climb and jump from heights as high as 8-10 feet.

Honesty back in high school playing tag for fitness wasn’t the real reason why we did it. Back then there wasn’t all that much to do in Modesto if you were a teenager outside of school activities. Now that I’m an adult, the thought of playing tag in my teenage years may seem kind of silly, but that’s right up my alley since those of you who know me know that I am still a kid at heart. Friends, any one of our city playgrounds or especially middle and high school playgrounds can make a great outdoor gym regardless if you’re a Ninja poet or not.

Here’s the challenge. I invite you to gather a group of your friends and engage with them to try different challenges at anyone of our parks or outdoor school playgrounds. If you take the kids to the park, just don’t watch them play on those swings and slides, give those monkey rings and climbing poles a try. I’m sure you’ll find that just trying to keep up with your kids in play will have gained you some great memorable family time and accomplish some awesome fitness at the same time.
“Tag,.. you’re it!”

Caption: Ninja Poet Sam Pierstorff works out at the playground while his daughter counts the reps



About the Author:

I answered the call back in 1983; mixing Music and Entertainment with an eccentric European style has always come easy for me. In the early 80's I was the Disc Jockey for most of the high school dances in Modesto. In the late 80's I found myself in Hollywood working as a dancer and sound engineer for various professional recording industries. In 1990 my wife of 25 years and I started (The Quake Mobile DJ ®) which was seeded from San Francisco's 1985, The Quake, radio station that only lasted a short while on the air. 26 years later The Quake Mobile DJ is bigger & better than ever in the Entertainment industry. Real-Estate, photojournalism, event promoter, saving animals, travel and fitness are a few other of my interests. I also enjoy motivational speaking to children and to those who are struggling with addiction. In my life, I have always been a very direct person and once I see a goal I won't quit till I've achieved it. But out of all of the above I feel in my heart that the best inspiration in my life is my wife and my love for the faith that I practice. Phil 4:20