My personal requirement for my kids has been that they do an outside physical activity. Both boys did rec soccer for many years, though they dropped when they got to middle school. BalletBoy dances every day. Mushroom did diving for a couple of years, but he recently dropped it to try out parkour and karate, both of which he's been enjoying and which have been cheap for us.
If they we were limited somehow and couldn't do that... I think I'd have her work up her own active routine. Maybe after having a period of trying out a number of the different things you listed. I'm a bit like your dd and at that age I actively resisted physical activities that were for the sake of being physical (like, I may have been in decent shape to take a hike... but for the sake of the views and the peace of nature, not the movement involved - I may have enjoyed a swim, but because it was social and fun to play in the water with friends). In retrospect, I wish someone had helped me find a way to be more active that would have taken my personality and needs into account. So... I'd say see if you can do that.
Thanks for this, Farrar.
I've thought about this over the years. My daughter and I have even discussed it, how when I was growing up, the focus of "gym" class was sports, sports, and more sports. Now... there's nothing exactly wrong with sports, but...
... I don't know. What was it about standing in a hot field, sweating, glasses sliding down my nose, swatting gnats, wearing a too small baseball glove, waiting for someone to finally hit a softball to right field? What could it have been about that lovely physical activity that might have turned me off to it? Hmm...
Or maybe it was the hemp rope climbing? "Get up, _________!" (insert last name here). What could it have been about the gym teacher calling us, boys and girls alike, by our last names only, shouting at us to haul ourselves ever higher up the lovely hemp rope, wearing white shorts, a maxipad (remember how thick they were?), with a period, at age twelve, in a co-ed gym class? What could it have been about that physical activity that might have turned me off to it?
But I really think it was the lay-ups. You know, those basketball shots in which your knee goes up (like so), while your other leg goes up (like so), and your hands do this (like so) -- it's easy! Except, I could never do a lay-up, so of course, my grade -- perfect attendance, participation, everything else in place, notwithstanding -- went from an A to a B. Because of that one lay-up.
After years of this, of exercise being tied to group games and sports, of sitting or standing around waiting for a turn to do something, of learning how to do things that as a young adult I wouldn't have the means (or the group) to do, is it surprising that I have no interest in sports? And what was the point of "gym class?" I never could figure that one out.
As an adult, though, there have been better, more suitable options. Adulthood gave me time and permission to find out what works for me. For one thing, I realized that I don't like exercising with other people. So I don't do it! Some people might like that, but for me, the appeal is being alone. This gives me time to sort my head out. There is a lot up in there, and it needs organizing. My daily morning time on the treadmill may seem boring, but it is valuable time alone for me. Another activity I enjoy is hiking in the woods with my girls. That is, of course, a bit more social. Very pleasant. Also, yard work and swimming are favorite things to do, with or without other people involved.
I think my daughter is somewhat wired like I am (and was). I'd like the next several years to be a time of discovery, where she realizes what makes her tick, including physically. She is very much up in her head. She needs a consistent requirement to come down out of her head and be aware of her body, even if that means getting on a treadmill daily (and probably going back up into her head!). I get it. She will be walking along for 30 minutes, but thinking of her next craft project, LOL.