“I Try a Push-up”

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Our first exercise comes quite naturally as we learn to move our bodies as infants. First we do push-ups. After a while we attempt the daredevil roll over. Then we try to learn how to roll back rather than get stranded like upside down turtles. Next we attempt the sit without the dreaded falling over. Eventually we will try to move forward on hands and knees, though we adopt many individual ways of doing this including scooting backwards while aiming to go forwards.

All of this activity comes without instructional videos or gym memberships. We are just designed to be active without any encouragement. In fact a lot of time in childhood seems to be spent being told to “sit still.” Of course contemporary sleeping directives designed to reduce infant deaths tell parents to put the baby “back to sleep.” This produces the unpleasant side effect of a flattened back of the head. So then parents are told to do “tummy time,” when they purposefully put the baby on her stomach to even her head out.

Not missing an opportunity to make money from activities that used to be free, corporations have invented Baby Gymnastics classes where you can pay to have your baby learn these things. Since there are no longer hordes of kids everywhere, these classes exist mainly, I think, to end the isolation of mothers with small children. That is a valid reason to exist as long as no one thinks a baby really needs instruction.

At any rate, I never needed to be encouraged to diet or to exercise in those lovely first months of life. And cod liver oil was the only “supplement” I was given.

12 thoughts on ““I Try a Push-up”

  1. I was born when post-war rationing of some products still existed in Britain. Once that ended, mums and grandmothers everywhere here started to almost force-feed us with sugar, bananas, and cakes. It was as if they wanted us to never experience the same deprivation of those ‘goodies’. As a result, I seemed to be always at the dentist, and often putting on weight during school time. At least I ran around enough in the holidays to burn some off, but there should have been education back then for new mums, warning of the connection between such a sugar-rich diet, and the problems we faced because of that.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. That is fascinating. I think you are right about the attempt to compensate for rationing. Here force feeding snacks and sweets is an attempt, often, to compensate for being left alone. I will write about that tendency later.

  2. I suck at push-ups. I also didn’t learn to walk until my first birthday, partially because I had a birth defect. Now I’m wondering if I just fell behind on the pushups and the whole timeline was messed up. 😆

    1. My daughter didn’t walk until after she was one either. She sure talked up a storm, however. I like the idea of the timeline being skewed. I will try to remember that.

      1. Really? Did she have a medical reason or just preference? Even though I had a valid medical reason, I’m sure it was mostly preference for me. My toddler self would be appalled at all this hiking I do now! 😂

        1. No. Purely preference. She was and is a perfectionist. In fact she taught herself to walk in her bedroom and one day walked out as if she had known how all along.

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