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Stick It...

(Photos: left - Bonnie's girls. R - Other girls doing lacrosse. Lower R - Britney played lacrosse in high school but hasn't stayed as active since graduating.

Bonnie Clamping

This season I was selected to be the assistant coach for the Lakeville North and South High schools Lacrosse team and I have to say it is an amazing sport. Essentially, Lacrosse involves several players using a stick with a hooked top end and net attached for the purpose of catching a ball then cradling it while the player runs the equivalence of the length of a football field towards the opposing team's goal, protecting the ball through within the net, doing maneuvering footwork, tossing the ball back and forth to other teammates and eventually slamming it into a goal net smaller than the size of a soccer net at full speed while eluding the defending team's players and goalie. Other than that it's totally easy.

As I watch the girls I often envy their seemingly endless supply of youthful energy and enthusiasm. During the course of most games, each player will literally run miles of sprint work. During practices we add in some upper body and mid section strengthening and conditioning for core and shooting power, focusing on a complete balance of fitness in addition to practicing set-ups, maneuvering and ball handling.

Once the girls graduate from high school several of them hope to play at the college level and some prefer to move in a different direction. This causes me to wonder what they will do to maintain their athleticism and health. Most Americans let their fitness fall by the wayside, allowing jobs, kids and other focuses to abrade away their health and end up in such a deconditioned state that in some instances can even be life threatening.

In the triathlon world I am inspired to see so many people of all ages continuing to live a healthy lifestyle. My age group (which will go unspecified) is a very competitive group and has an impressive amount of participants. I recently asked my track and soccer stars at home what they planned to do post college for fitness and received this assuring answer: "I don't know, Mom." I hope to lead by example and encourage them to continue to live a balanced life that includes exercise and eating healthy. This summer we plan on doing a 5k race as a family and hopefully I can convince at least one of them to eventually do a sprint triathlon or two.

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