Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Show improvement

Tenderfoot requirement No. 6c states: Show improvement (of any degree) in each activity listed in Tenderfoot requirement 6a after practicing for 30 days. These activities are
  • push-ups, 
  • sit-ups, 
  • sit-and-reach (they eliminated pull-ups in 2016, YAAAYYY!), and 
  • 1-mile walk run (up from 1/4 mile).  
So, what constitutes "improvement?"  The handbook says to record the number of repetitions done correctly, or the overall run time.  However, taking the "of any degree" clause at face value, improvement can mean more than more reps.

For example, you have a new Scout who struggles with push-ups, and on his initial try he performs 24 "shoulder-shrug" push-ups.  You've seen these before - he sticks his posterior into the air and just kind of drops his upper body an inch or two while shrugging his shoulder blades together and dramatically bobs his head up and down.  So, you give instruction (this is the second time - you gave instruction before starting the stopwatch, too) on how to do a proper push-up - back straight, arms underneath, use chest muscles (really, it's an inverted bench press, isn't it?) and lower yourself to just above the ground.  Improvement could mean that after 30 days he only does 12 push-ups, but his form is impeccable.

Same with sit-ups.  Improvement could mean more repetitions, improved form, or even the same number of repetitions, but he's not as winded this time.

Running isn't just about speed, it's about endurance.  If your hypothetical Scout took 11:32 minutes and walked most of the way, crawling across the line, improvement might mean that 30 days later, he still takes 11:32, but he didn't walk, didn't complain, and didn't hold his aching side - his fitness and ability has improved.

Lateral thinking can help you come up with many ways to measure improvement and success.

Prepared. | For Life.™

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