A Letter To My Sons and Daughters

My Sons and Daughters

John Greaves III teaching exercise to his son James

I’ve shared exercise with all of my children as much as I could. From my first son

First of all, regardless of your reasons, I’m glad that you all decided to make regular exercise a part of your lives. Many young people your age don’t do this and most adults don’t encourage it.  There are a lot of reasons for this:

It’s not part of our culture

Most adults of my generation grew up being fairly active outdoors. Besides which, we still had gym class. I realize that you all have Health class but from what I can tell, that’s not very physically demanding class.

Today, unless they are in season for a sport, many of your peers skip exercise for Netflix browsing, Snapchat and looking at Vines on YouTube. Also not a physically demanding activity.


Adults are uneducated about training.

During elementary school, aka the prime ages when you’re learning how a person should be, you’re discouraged from any sort of weight training because of some outdated notions about it stunting growth.

Since you have all been training since you were in single digit ages and most of you are taller than I am, I hope you realize that these fears are bogus.

man doing yoga exercise with toddler on his back

to my youngest daughter

Train for your health

Not just sports. Though that’s cool too. Nor even to walk around with muscles hanging out of your sleeves and single digit body fat. I mean, it is nice to look like you lift, but I care more about the benefits to your bones, your heart and longevity.  People who follow a physical culture lifestyle, bodybuilding the way they did it in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, tend to live longer and enjoy their longer lives more.  I want that for you all.  I want that for my grandchildren.

I didn’t grow up in a family that respected the value of physical exercise past school age.  That started to change with my two youngest uncles, but most of the generation that came before me live sedentary lifestyles.

I still get questions periodically about when I’m going to stop all of this and accept that I’m growing older.

For the Sake of My Grandchildren

Ladies and gentlemen, for the sake of my grandchildren, I hope that you all continue with your own children the pattern that I started with you. Introduce them to weight training, mobility work and cardio as early as possible. Keep it fun, keep it safe and within their limits; but introduce them to it all.  They will thank you for it and I’m thanking you in advance.

About the author

John Greaves III is a writer based in North Georgia with nearly two decades of experience in training at home. A former amateur kickboxing champion, John now competes recreationally in powerlifting. He takes a physical culture approach to training; believing that strength and health need not be mutually exclusive. In addition to his nonfiction work, John has written two fiction books, A Different Kind of Giant and A Little Lesson in Manners that are available on Amazon.com.