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SPRING BREAK: Westside obstacle course makes physical fitness fun

Verus Strength and Fitness is holding its popular obstacle course during Marble Falls Spring Break 2016 on March 16 at Westside Park. File photo

MARBLE FALLS — Though Verus Strength and Fitness owner and personal coach Calvin Richard might not know exactly how he’ll assemble the obstacle course for Spring Break 2016 attendees, he does know it will be two things: fun and age-appropriate.

Richard will continue a tradition of working with the youngsters during the city of Marble Falls’ Spring Break activities. This year’s obstacle course is 10-11:30 a.m. March 16 at Westside Park, located at the intersection of Second Street and Avenue Q.

“We have some interesting concepts,” he said.

Organizers will include drills such as “1-2-3 red light” and possibly jumping jacks or something unexpected toward the end of the course before kids cross the finish line. Children will improve their footwork and learn moves such as lunges and high-knee kicks that most athletes do for flexibility.

Other obstacle courses have included walking hopscotch movements and bear crawls. The course is geared toward elementary and middle school students, but if high school students come, Richard said he can create a course specifically for them.

“Physical fitness games are a fun way to stay in shape,” he said.

One thing the coach hopes children avoid during Spring Break is inactivity. That’s why he volunteers to help with Spring Break.

“If not, they’re going to sit in front of the television and play video games,” he said. “We want them to get out and have an active mindset.”

Richard has worked with numerous college athletes and New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Cyril Lemon, a former Marble Falls High School football player. His passion is helping his athletes enjoy their lives to the fullest. But Richard also designs plans specifically to help them meet their fitness goals without physically hurting them.

He spends time getting to know his athletes and what they want to accomplish. But most important, Richard wants to know why these athletes want to be active. For some, it’s to compete for a roster spot on a college or pro team. For others, it’s to participate in extreme sports such as Spartan races or Tough Mudder obstacle courses. And a select few simply want to be able to pick up their grandchildren and play with them or sit and stand without experiencing pain.

The coach then alters the activity to properly challenge his athletes with enough resistance to give them a workout that is empowering, energetic and helps them feel good mentally and physically.

So Richard will design a course that will accomplish the same tasks for the children, but one that’s age-appropriate.

“Fitness can be fun,” he said. “A healthy lifestyle can be fun.”

One question he asks children is who is their favorite athlete. Then, Richard asks them if they know how hard that pro has to work when few are watching him or her train.

“We’re training for real life,” he said. “Our focus is on passion and doing it in excellence. How you do one thing is how you do everything.”

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There are 2 comments.

Les Fenter —
Sounds like a great activity. I'm looking for something to do with 2 boys ages 14 & 15. Does this activity include "age-appropriate" obstacles for them?
Wendi Wilkerson —
Calvin Richard tells us the course is geared toward elementary and middle school students, but if high school students come, he can create a course specifically for them.

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