As an 80s baby this was my weekend morning routine:
Mind you my week had me at school and the skating rink Mon-Friday, and if I got a weekend off where I had no tournaments, then this was my weekend:
Wake up really early and watch cartoons till 10am as that's when the humane society show came on and I begged my mom to sponsor a dog while Sarah McClaughlin solidfied your eventual cry fest, then after that was church shows and fishing. You think I wanted to watch that? Nope, so I either played some video games, and after I smashed my remote control down cause Bowzer was a dick, I then maybe watched one of the movies Ive watch 26 times before.. So if I lasted this long then I am full of energy, thats when my child hood day started:
Saturday and Sunday Ritual:
-Grab my bike
-Knock on every childhood friends house I knew
-Organize game of man hunt
-Climb every tree in neighbourhood
-Find buildings with those ladders on side of building that had the "climber stopper" gate on it (they thought this would stop me) and proceed to climb to top with my candy score from chore money and just hang out.
-Go home and eat, maybe try and beat bowzer again (this was chill time)
-Back out for another round of tag or man hunt (whats man hunt? Basically fort knight but in real life) this game was great in both day and evening time.
As you can see I did not have youtube, netflix, road blocks, fort knight, or other systems that are designed to keep you engaged for long periods of time. I had a window that I hd to utilize to the best of my ability, my parents did not force me out, have to limit my technology, they just let me go out, granted I struggled in certain areas, but what I could do is rally my friends and motivate them to play a game. Right now my son has zero interests in going outside and playing, despite me asking him to go out, its like pulling teeth and so what ends up happening is I go out anyways and he just sits and stairs at the wall for a few hrs till we eventually cave (yes we do cave, and yes there has been days where the kid played video games all freaking day).
My boy is a smart, strong and fast kid but he lacks drive, he lacks initiative and forward thinking, and he is not ALONE. I see thousands of kids a year and majority of them suffer from the same issues. When we have our camps and we have free time, its the kids time to be creative, ask friends to play a game, do a challenge, just something where an adult didn't have to tell them to do something.. You know, be a kid. But we hear constantly "What should I do?" or "Im bored".. You are at a 6,000sqf warehouse of awesome and you don't know what to do? That's a problem, but a problem we hope will fix a bigger problem.
Our kids have received a failing grade in being kids, and we aim to stop that, what we have decided in our split house hold (at least in our side) is that when its a gorgeous day out we will have a black out time of electronics between 11-6pm, when its rainy and forced in, we will ply a few games together and try and spend as much time as possible with one another but also allow some free time. I feel this is something that we have to force, we have to force the kids outside, our grandparents did it, kicked us out and refused to play with us as they were busy doing house chores (not refuse, when I sked to help make grandmas favourite cookies), and those weekends away at grandmas were always the best as I was allowed to be a kid. Am I saying those weekends built OCRA? No, but it provided me the insight to speak to you today about something I feel is very important. We have made some serious advancements when it comes to technology and I am forever grateful for that, but everything in moderation. I see families coming to OCRA every weekend, we are part of their routine, and with my long term goal to be like COsmic Adventure, or Laser Quest (activities I did when I was kid) I feel this is why I am here today. This is my purpose.
OCRA- Kids, they are good for business, but also great for being an awesome human being.
Since OCRA has shifted its focus towards kids (that was not intentional, it actually happened very organically without any promotion).
Let me tell you, that when OCRA become a kid facility it was the best thing that could have ever happened.
Professionally it was a step in the right direction, personally? It was the growth I needed as a human being/step dad. I have learned that compassion and humility is something that we should all posses but for some has to be taught via life lessons. Case in point, I will admit that I used to use sarcasm as a tool to express myself to my friends, not the healthiest approach but its what made me, well me. But I have learned that this is not the way to communicate with a child, especially children on the spectrum. As there frontal lobe is not fully developed so they take things very literal. Think of Drax from the Guardians of the Galaxy, you cannot be sarcastic with him. Same with kids. They will take what you say literal and then do the exact opposite of what you were trying to teach them. I am still very much on the learning side of this and I am slowly trying to change my habits so that my son and my Obstacle Fit kids can all learn from my positive example. Sometimes I will be passive aggressive AF, and Sarcastic as can be, but habits cannot be changed, and as I sit here writing this, it actually helps me put things into focus. I am learning to communicate how I am feeling as appose to acting out, but I will admit I do live my life on the 80/20 principle.. OK maybe 70/30 but I am working on it.
My course, my rules.
Its hard being a parent, it is probably thee most difficult job on the planet and you really don’t get the credit you truly deserve till those little monkeys are full grown and have kids of their own. But it’s a job that can be shared, because we know that it takes a village to raise a child. You are the Co-Capitan’s of your child’s ship. So when you bring your child into my facility and communicate with me what you have found that works best with your child, that is ideal information that can be a compliment to what we do on the course. BUT, it is my course. We pride ourselves as a program that does not favour any 1 particular person, we try to leave the competitiveness to when we have a tournament. But during class we want the kids to have fun, and be active, while also learning a skill. We strive to put the fun back in functional fitness. By singling out someone for either good or bad can sometimes work but usually has a backwards affect, as it applies pressure, and yes in life we do have to face pressure, and pressure makes diamonds, but when we are doing something we love, pressure is not something that comes to mind. So when a child is not performing his or her best, it is up to us as instructors to determine why. As we start to see a rising attendance of kids with very specific needs we have to adjust our coaching methods accordingly. But generally speaking we will never embarrass a child in front of his or her peers, we would kindly ask them to step aside and if they need to, be asked to sit out. That’s when parents can intervene and do what they do, and Captain the ship. So Parents, let us do our job so you can do yours 😊 we are all in it together.
A lot of times we will not be communicated with by a parent about their child’s very unique needs, and I have learned that we cant simply ask a parent “What’s your child’s deal, or what is your child’s diagnosis” as this is very off setting and for some parents can take offense. I have learned to ask a parent “What’s your child’s story? What makes your child so unique and awesome?” This way a parent knows that I care, and I want to know more about them. Because I do, I honestly do. Every child that comes into my facility I want to try and get to know, I want to make a positive impact on that child’s life, I want to make a difference. As that’s why OCRA was built, not for capitalism, not to make boat loads of money, but to service a child and his or her family, I want to take all that is positive about a child (Being present, engaged, full of life, lives for the moment, is happy, excited, and just an absolute joy), add to it, and give it right back. Reciprocity, its why we do what we do. I want to build something very special, and I want to build it out of maple Syrup and not Vinegar.
Thanks for reading and stopping by. I hope to continue this journey with you and make 2019 awesome AF.
Yours in fitness,
What do you require more, Motivation to get out of bed, or discipline?
What does it take to get you up that mountain? Motivation, or discipline?
What will it take too get you into the gym, motivation or Discipline?
We all think we need motivation to do what we do, but in fact its Discipline. Discipline is what keeps us from doing the easy thing, Discipline is what brought me to the keyboard today to write this today. Sure motivation is fine, and doesn't hurt, but really the personal trainer is not gonna do the squats for you, your boss isn't gonna do your work for you, the kids aren't gonna take care of themselves. Its discipline and we all have it, we just don't always use it, and thats fine. If you want to mediocre.. (by the way, not saying its ok to be that, and I am not saying you are that, just saying that discipline is a vital tool that we use in certain aspects, just not in every aspect).
I heard a quote from ex marine, and total bad ass Jocko Willinik that Discipline brings freedom. This is too true, so many of us feel the burden of everyday life, being pulled in every direction, being an under paid un appreciated taxi driver for our kids, the boss that doesn't praise us (1st of all why do you need praise to do your job? Its what you get paid to do), working our ass off in the gym and not seeing results, eating the right thing and not seeing results.. We all think its motivation that we need to get up every day, and thats actually not the case, you choose to get out of bed because you have the discipline to do that, you do your job cause you have the discipline to do what needs to get done for the team to excel, you train cause you have the discipline to allocate 1 hr out of your day to get some much needed exercise, you ate those veggies and fish cause you know that they are good for you and that discipline kept you away form the potato chip aisle.
Discipline, its what will get you to where you are destined to be.
Remember, when you have a dream, set a date to it, that dream now becomes a goal, break that goal into steps, your dream now is a plan, back that plan up with action and discipline... Soon your dream will become a reality.
Thanks for stopping by.
Less is more, so I will keep this short, I am starting to post more to the website and less to social media as I believe we can get better content on here, and its great cause you are here cause you searched for something to do with your kids and you landed here; Thank you.
We have been coaching kids in both structured classes, and through our kids camp, in my 3 years of experience, I have taught over 3,000 kids, and the one thing they all have in common is that they are in fact kids. Every kid is different, every child has their own unique individual needs, but the one thing they all share is.. That they are kids. Kids deserve to be kids again, so when I set out to build OCR Academy, I wanted to change how people get into shape. I wanted to make it fun for people to get in shape, I wanted to bring recess back.
Parents say "man I wish I had this when I was a kid" The funny thing is, we did, it was called outside, we saw a rope attached to something we swing on it, we were dared to climb a wall, we did it, walk on top of the monkey bars like a bad a$$, we did it, we knocked on each others doors and got a game of man hunt started and played till we were hungry and went back outside and id it again, on rainy days or when we were tired, we went inside and watched a movie and played video games, our parents said we were lazy and when they were our age they did this... Sound familiar? Every generation has something, today its Netflix, you tube, and dare I say it.. Fort night. So todays generation has an obstacle to overcome, and OCRA is the solution.
As a father, I saw a need, I took my son out to play, and no one else was outside, I Rana. few OCR races, and well, the rest is history. We developed the program OFK (obstacle fit kids) as we saw an epidemic, Canadian kids are getting a failing grade in playing.. Our kids are on a high carb/sugar diet, and video games are now built with psychiatrist dictating what is contagious or not, training the programmers how to stimulate our Childs brain.. Excuse me but WTF?? Studies show that exercise and high fat/protein Diets are essential for every Childs over all health, yet they are addicted to technology.. Something has to change, and thats where OFK, PD days, Kids Camps, Open gym comes into play. Kids need to be kids again, and this is why I created OCR Academy, because I wanted to get kids active, I wanted to make a difference in the life of a child, this what each one of my staff want to do, I am very fortunate where each of my staff wants to be here, they share our passion for our youth.
If you are a parent and reading this, and worried your child is not performing to their full potential, don't worry chances are your parents thought that about you at one point while you were nose deep in Mario brothers, and Tetris, so don't worry they will be fine, as OCRA is here to stay.
Watch Coach James show you the different techniques to help you climb the rope. Video also includes fitness tips that will help you at home.
When you are fueling for your long, long day on a mountain, it all begins a week earlier.
This week you should be consuming as much water based foods as possible like celery, cucumbers, grapefruit, broccoli, carrots, and if you like a treat, water melons. On top of that drinking at least 2L of water each day. This is preparing your body to hold onto as much water as possible as you will need it on the course.
In my experience at the Ultra Beast 2 years ago, I slept on the mountain in a tent on a deflated mattress, had a steal cut oat breakfast with berries and a side of avocado. I prepared the following for my 12+hr trek on the mountain:
Avocado chocolate pudding
This is a great and fun source of healthy fats that will keep you fueled for some time.
1.flesh of 2 ripe avocados (240g)
2.1/2 cup chocolate chips (80g) OR cocoa powder (40g)
3.1/4 cup to 1/2 cup milk of choice (60-120g)
4.1 tsp pure vanilla extract.
5.1/8 tsp salt.
6.pinch stevia OR 2-6 tbsp sweetener of choice
I also had sweet potato mash that I also added cinnamon and organic honey.
2 sweet potatoes
cinnamon (essential oil is better than the powder)
I put each one of these into zip lock baggies and into my hydration pack. My hydration pack was filled with water and beat matcha mix. Kept my hydrated for entire race.
The one thing that most people don’t talk about is salt tablets. When you are out on course running, sweating and getting rid of much needed minerals such as sodium. We often forget to replenish that. I would bring a couple of sodium tablets to help counter me fainting on course, cause who has time for that.
Finally, when I was passing klm 35 on the course, I remember I started signing in the middle of the woods and the guys I was running with were a bit worried. What saved me was in fact some delicious beef jerkey. That sweet delicious beef awesomness legit gave me a 5th wind and I was able to finish the race with just the right amount of energy where I didn’t collapse when I crossed the finish line.
Remember knowledge is power, if you are running the beast with other people, make sure you have a good strategy going into the race. My running partners and I had a few safe words, some meant I am good to run, and others meant I wanted to walk. We respected the pack and kept to the code. That meant that each of us crossed the finish line when the sun was gone and spirits were high.
Hope this helped and hope you stay away from chemicals and try to fuel your run with whole foods, foods you can pronounce.
We have all heard of the Flash Mob. If not, basically its an organized dance routine where hundreds of people show up in a random spot and perform a routine they have practiced at home. No one really knows when and where it will be till that day! They have a general idea leading up to it - but basically they show up, do the dance and leave.
Flash MOB Sydney to Uptown funk
The fitness industry has noticed and have tried it themselves with the Flash WOD (workout of the day). Reebok Cross-fit did one in Downtown Toronto back in February 22nd 2012.
We at OCRA, believe we can do something very similar. Currently we are constructing an obstacle course that is easy to set up, with the right crew, we could set up a 600m course in under 30 mins. The obstacle course will consist of walls that range from 4 feet to 7 feet. If you are an obstacle junkie and are looking for big, bad ass obstacles, this will not be the race for you. This course should take you no more than 6 mins to complete and will be fast and fierce. Our inspiration for this comes from the military pentathlon that is making waves in Europe!
Obstacle course for Military pentathlon.
As you can see from the video above, this is very similar to what we are trying to accomplish. The end result will hopefully have our schools introduce this sort of training to our kids. We are fighting an epidemic, where our youth are losing the ability to play outside and we are fighting a war against technology.
The goal of this Flash WOD is to provide a fun experience for our members, to get them outside and test their sprinting ability on a track. But also, we want the school board to take notice and the curriculum needs to evolve. Kids unfortunately need to be constantly stimulated. When they are on technology for as long as some of them are, things can be affected. Things like sleep, socializing, and muscle development. Hopefully, this type of activity can change that.
We are asking that you pay attention to our social media posts: OCRACADEMY ON IG and FACEBOOK, and also Josh Stylz on Twitter for more details on when our first Flash WOD will take place. We can tell you that it will be in the West End, and will be on a weekday. If you are interested in being apart of this for the build, and race, please contact Joshua@painistemporary.net for more details.
Lets change how we get in shape!
Above, kids organizing a game of man hunt. As you can see 1 child takes on a leadership role, appoints each participant a task and the kids not only learn a valuable life lesson, but also get exercise all while playing.
I have been wanting to write something about this for some time now. Thank you for your time in reading this and thank you for your support in our youth program.
As a recent step parent to an awesome 9-year-old, I have noticed that kids are slowly lacking the ability to play. Also, the need for a structured organized sport for my 9-year-old seems redundant and not necessary. They spend more time learning the game, and not as much time playing. Plus, we as parents feel that we need to put them in as many sports and activities possible or else we feel we have failed them, but in actuality I believe we are causing them more harm. As after the camps, school, soccer, hockey, football classes, Spanish class, violin practice etc etc etc, when I ask my son to go out and play and only come back when either you are hungry or the street lights turn on, he looks at me dumb founded, like huh? You want me to do what? With the constant stimulation from the technology (can you believe that if your child does not have an ipad, according to some schools they could fall behind) that when they are asked to go out and play, they get bored. Wait a second, playing outside is boring? When we were kids you could not keep us inside, now kids fight to stay in and play on technology. Now granted I did play my fair share of Mario bros. as a kid but I also knew how to organize a game of manhunt with the neighbourhood kids who I went door to door asking if they wanted to come out and play. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of pro’s when it comes to organized sports, developing friendships, learning a sport, developing leadership traits, etc. this article is about having them in at the right time, as all those traits you can learn while playing a giant game of manhunt with the neighbourhood kids.
What is considered structured and un structured?
OCRA flirts with both categories, OFK and kids camp happens at a specific time, are organized by adults, but we focus on the aspect of playing. Teaching them how to use their body to navigate through obstacles by following the ABC’s of sports.
We focus on the aspect of being self motivated, when we have free time we encourage the youth to organize one another by setting the rules, they get to climb structures, crawl under things, jump through things, essentially, it’s a concrete jungle for the kids to get in shape by playing.
One of the many challenge with structured sports such as soccer, lacrosse, and football for kids under the age of 16 is that seventy percent of children leave organized sports by the age 13, according to research by the National Alliance for Sports. Let's put it this way: If your daughter or son plays on a soccer team, seven out of 10 of the members of that team won't be playing soccer or any organized sport whatsoever by the time they enter their teenage years.
Syracuse University made headlines recently with word that an eighth-grade girl had verbally committed to play on its women's lacrosse team, a move that appears to be the youngest ever commitment to a men's or women's college lacrosse team. What kid at the age of 13 knows what they want, let alone what team they want to play for. The underlining issue with this is, that parents strive for their kids to get a scholarship, coaches encourage scouts to come to their team. These kids are losing out on so many things because now its not a game, it’s a business and that if they want that scholarship they now HAVE to go to these events and not only do they have the pressure of the game on their shoulders but their entire future.
Why are kids quitting?
"Kids are telling us this is not for me. It might be for you, but it's really not meeting our needs," said Mark Hyman, author of three highly-regarded books on kids and sports, including "Until It Hurts: America's Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids."
One of the main reasons kids are walking away is because of injuries due to overuse. Every year, more than 3.5 million children under the age 14 need treatment for sports injuries, with nearly half of all sports injuries for middle and high school students caused by overuse, according to research.
Parents are showing up to practice, recording the action on their iphones, only to use it later to review with the kids. When I went to practice hardly any of the parents stuck around, and on the way home after a game if I wanted to talk about something I would, my mother would not talk to me about something unless I was in the mood to talk about it. This is an issue we see all to much is over parenting. By no means am I saying you should be involved, but you don’t want to be too involved. If you create an environment where the child feels safe to talk to you about something, trust me, they will.
Report card is in and it ain’t good Canada.
According to the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth are compared to grades from 37 other countries across six continents. The global comparisons were led by Dr. Mark Tremblay, Director of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (HALO-CHEO) and Chief Scientific Officer of the ParticipACTION Report Card. The consolidated findings show Canada has above-global-average grades in physical activity infrastructure and programs, yet is trailing at the back of the pack in grades that measure physical activity and sedentary behaviour. The comparisons also reveal kids move the most in countries where being active is a priority or is an integral part of their everyday lifestyle.
Physical activity is not a priority in Canadian children’s lifestyles; inactive modes of transportation to and from school, too much screen time and being too busy for free play are all contributing to Canada’s lagging grades in the comparisons. It will take many facets of Canadian society, working together, to shift behaviours to get our children and youth more physically active.
I believe that kids should learn to play, and when it comes to high school and playing isen’t cool anymore, get them to try out for a structured sport. Hopefully by this time they are in great shape from all that climbing, crawling, sprinting and navigating over obstacles have got them into decent shape where now they can take that athleticism and apply it a structured sport where they can now excel and they hopefully have the maturity to do what is necessary to be successful at their selected sport. Support them by encouraging them when they are down and reminding them when they are up that there will be a down but this is why they train.
Remember we get really good at what ever we practice, this includes excuses.
OCRA we think outside the box when it comes to fitness, so when Reebok Canada asked us to try their Nano 7's we thought, why not. They say the Nano 7s are a Deadlifting, box jumping, rope climbing shoe. So the owners and their staff decided to put them up to the test. Check out their reviews below.
Thank you to the crew at the Reebok Tanger Outlet mall for hooking this up and of course Reebok Canada head office for all the support.
We at OCRA have been noticing that more and more of you are looking for something new and fun to do with either your teammates or co-workers. Well, look no further, OCRA closes its doors to the public on the weekends between 1-8pm only to open them up to you and your crew.
Over the last 2 years we have been noticing more and more of you guys wanting to come in and get the OCR experience, but with out the mud, you also want to become the next ninja warrior.
Well our Funness Coaches want to help you be that awesome. You might be asking yourself, what can I expect at a group party?
Well for starters be prepared for the best time of your life
2nd: You get to eat pizza
3rd: You get a customer obstacle course race designed with you and your team in mind
4th: Ninja warrior will be playing on the big screen so in case you need motivation, it will be up there.
5th: You get the entire facility to your self
6th: If you are an adult, you can apply for a temporary liquor license and have a few cold ones with your best buds
7th: You can scale the 14 foot wall you see on Ninja warrior (well you can try at least)
8th: Work as a team to over come all of our obstacles
9th: Kids will get a chance to play our version of Pokemon Go in the dark while a later light show is happening.
10th: You cant beat the price, and our staff wants to see you succeed. As soon as you come in you can almost immediately sense the community vibe in this place.
So what are you waiting for? We are accepting reservations on a daily and our weekends are filling up so don't hesitate as you may miss your spot.
Got more questions? Check out our FAQ section Also if you want to know how much or when we book? Check out the pricing here but if reading is a chore and you want us to answer the same questions that we always answer (hence why we created the FAQ) then by all means shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Blogging thoughts from OCRA Team