Weekly Stroller Hikes Events – Social Norms and Motivation (1)

Hello mommies and daddies!

My father, Dan, is visiting this weekend from Oregon, and I’ve learned a lot, catching up with him. He’s been a non-competitive athlete for much of his life, but surprisingly spent most of his childhood shying away from sports. As an extremely skinny child, he looked like a stick compared to his peers, who he always perceived as being stronger, bolder, and more coordinated. At recess, when his peers would dart outside to play ball, climb the monkey bars, and play tag, Dan would stay inside, alone, to draw, write, or do puzzles. A visit to the school library his freshman year of high school changed all of that. Bill Bowerman, a revolutionary track coach, was making national headlines at University of Oregon, down the road from Dan’s high school, and running a sub-four minute mile was making international headlines, as numerous attempts were being made by famous runners such as Roger Bannister. Dan looked at the black and white photos of the runners making headlines and realized their slender physiques matched his, and from that day on, he began a virtually daily habit of running. He found in the sport great opportunities to meet people, explore nature, test his limits (he managed a 2:22 half-mile and a 5:40 mile on the track team in high school), and de-stress. While he found his coordination still wasn’t strong enough to play basketball, and he was too light to play football, he was proud that he could out-run many of his peers at distance. His confidence soared in high school, where he made a name for himself for his art, writing, and running. It was enlightening for me to learn about my father’s limited self-perception as a child – I always thought of him as one of the strongest, most coordinated people in my life, but I suppose this is no surprise coming from his most petite daughter. He, as do I, believes that it is very important for adults to guide children to have positive perceptions of their physical abilities, encouraging them to exercise to improve body awareness, realize they fit within social norms, and can try any activity. We hope that you are able to use Stroller Hikes as a resource to help your children improve their physical activity, nature exposure, and connection with family.

Here are this week’s events:

Monday, June 15th at 10 am we’ll meet at John W Christian Greenbelt. Amy L. and little Adelina will lead a speed walk / jog along the lovely wide, paved greenbelt in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Dogs allowed but be sure they can manage on a faster-paced walk/run. We’ll take a break around the halfway point for the trip, to play at the large playground for toddlers, along the greenbelt. Meet at the pedestrian bridge on Ahwanee Avenue and San Junipero Drive (the bridge is just NW of San Junipero Dr.). Here is a Mapquest Map of the Starting Location (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/Ahwanee+Ave+and+San+Junipero+Dr+Sunnyvale+CA/). For more information about the trail, see the John W Christian Greenbelt Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/GreenbeltSunnyvale/GreenbeltSunnyvale.html).

Tuesday, June 16th at 8:30 am Loren and little Angelo will lead a mellow stroller jog around Almaden Lake and down Los Alamitos Trail. Meet at the water dragon by the big playground near the bathrooms and swimming beach in the main parking lot near the intersection of Coleman Avenue and Almaden Expressway. No dogs allowed! Jogging strollers are best, but this is an entirely paved trail, so smaller-wheeled strollers are also OK. Walkers always welcome! For more information about the area or directions, see The Los Alamitos Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosAlamitos/LosAlamitos.html). If you’re running late, call Loren at 831-227-6737.

Tuesday, June 16th at 2 pm Amy B. and her wee ones will lead a hike at Byxbee Park. Meet at the Byxbee parking area. We’ll hike up and down the lovely crushed oyster shell paths around the artistic installments to Byxbee Park, then hike over to the Palo Alto Baylands Park, stopping to check out the birds around the duck pond as well as windsurfers and artists taking advantage of the good weather and interesting landscape. The trail works fine for all types of strollers. Dogs allowed! For more information about the parks and directions to Byxbee’s main parking lot, see Byxbee Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Byxbee/Byxbee.html)and Palo Alto Baylands Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Byxbee/Byxbee.html). If you’re running late, call Amy at 408-368-7161.

Wednesday, June 17th at 9:45 am we’ll hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path going to the farm, and possibly go past it. The road is perfect for trikes or bikes, if toddlers or young children want to ride. Any baby transport will work. Meet at the main lower parking lot at the water fountain in front of the bathrooms (just past the entrance, turn right, then follow the road until it ends). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. Lisa and little Samuel will lead this hike. If you’re running late, call Lisa at 650-892-8678.

Saturday, June 20th from 11 am to 4 pm, come for the free, family-friendly Festival in the Park. This is a Health and Wellness Fair facilitated by Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation. Stroller Hikes will have a booth with crafts for the kids! Bring a water bottle and fill up on free water, grab a free frozen juice bar, pet some 4-H animals, climb a rock wall, and watch some roller hockey and BMX Demos. The festival is located at Hellyer Park in San Jose. For more information, see Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Website at www.parkhere.org or http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/parksarticle?path=%252Fv7%252FParks%2520and%2520Recreation%252C%2520Department%2520of%2520%2528DEP%2529&contentId=9f9fbf70f6171110VgnVCMP230004adc4a92____.

Hope to see you at the festival! If you would like to volunteer to facilitate activities at the Stroller Hikes booth, please let me know by replying to this e-mail.

-Debbie and little Max

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