Cardio, Playground Style.

Part of this last weekend saw me re-living my playground days as I took to the back garden with the bloke and his children.

First off, we played Masked Stranger, which is a game that my own father used to play with my older sister and I (and our friends). The underlying purpose of this game is that it has a lesson (namely, Stranger Danger!). Someone takes the role of the stranger, and hides in the garden. While the stranger is hiding, the ‘children’ hide at ‘home’ (in this case, in a natural den made from the drooping boughs of a large tree in the garden). After an amount of time, the children loudly* come out to play. After this point, the stranger will then attempt to capture the children. Sneakiness is encouraged here. The children can escape by running back home.

As you can imagine, this all involves lots of running and screaming.

We all took it in turns being the stranger. The kidlets both got a bit too excited at the prospect of being the stranger, and had a tendency to jump out when the ‘children’ were ‘playing’ half way across the garden. I suspect that the gleeful trepidation of imminent jumping out on people is hard to bear when you’re younger! I also found out the hard way that the bloke has a real turn of speed on him when he decides to sprint. I think I took the sneakiness crown by sneaking behind them into ‘home’ after they had run out to play, and surprising them all from behind.

After we got bored of this, we ended up playing the game that I’m calling ‘Virus’ in my head, mainly because I can’t remember what I used to call it when I was little. It’s like ‘tag’ on steroids. One person starts off as ‘it’. That person then needs to infect the other players by tagging them. When a player is tagged, that person is also also infected, and must help to tag the other players until everyone has been tagged. I guess I call it Virus in my head due to how you spread the epidemic of ‘itness’ to all players. The last person standing becomes the new ‘it’ on the next game.

Playing Virus gave me first hand knowledge of how exhausting it can be attempting to evade a fully grown man and two rather speedy girls. The former was into it enough that I had a genuine concern about being rugby tackled. This morning, my legs hurt. Lots. But yesterday was hands down the most fun cardio workout I’ve had in a while – and I kept it up for a few hours, to! I’d recommend it.

* Traditionally, my sister and I used to come skipping out singing the following (to the tune of Boys and Girls Come Out To Play):

Boys and girls come out to play! The stranger’s not around today!

Of course, you can make whatever noise you want. But I have passed this tradition on to the Blokes kidlets. I’m sure my Dad will approve! He was an awesome Stranger. 😀

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