On September 12, 1962, John F Kennedy delivered one of the most inspirational speeches of all time in front of 40,000 people in Houston, Texas.
Kennedy said: "We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."
June 4th 2019. The Accident Compensation Corporation of New Zealand delivered an astronomically less inspiring advisory. The ACC asked parents to restrict how much organised sport their kids play each week to one hour for every year in age.
So a 10-year-old should play no more than 10 hours of competitive sport, training and PE a week.
It was essentially saying 'Choose not to do things that are too hard'.
I only compare these two unequal public announcements because the 50th anniversary of the moon landing is coming up on the 20th of July. Inspired by the excellent 13 Minutes to the Moon podcast I'd been using JFK's speech to motivate my kids that very afternoon.
Then along comes the bloody ACC on the TV telling them to do less - not more. My youngest son yelled excitedly 'see Dad you can't get hurt playing video games 9 hours a week'.
The ACC message was in response to a dramatic increase in sport-related injuries in 10 to 14-year-olds between 2008 and 2017.
Their logic being kids that do less get hurt less. But surely the odd injury is a small price to pay for greater life lessons. Like - the more you put in the more you get out or always give it a hundy.
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Don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of the ACC. Their intentions are good. There are lots of Kiwis to mend and they'd rather not spend our money fixing kids they don't have to.
Having ACC is a blessing. It saves us from the complex legal hell that accidents generate in places like the USA. My only gripe is with this one particular message.
Firstly in a time of screen addiction and rampant child obesity do we really want to rein in our kids' outdoor physical activities?
Secondly, what's considered an injury nowadays anyway? Maybe overprotective parents and wimpy kids are pumping the numbers. There doesn't seem to be a lot of "get up and walk it off you baby" advice going on. You didn't go to A&E for a rolled ankle in the 80s and 90s.
I only have anecdotal evidence to back up my view. So feel free to take it with a grain of salt. But a friend of mine is a mother of three grown up, successful sons.
They were all obsessively sporty kids. Breaking two arms, two collar bones a foot and two legs between them. Nowadays they're well-balanced, high achieving young adults.
She said: "They all did much much more than their age in hours training a week. It stopped them doing moronic things with all that energy and when they competed in tough games with their teams it gave them so much friendship and self-esteem."
Grant "The Hairy Javelin" Elliott agreed with this on The Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells Breakfast Show on Radio Hauraki last week.
He told us that when he was 14 he "was playing or training every day in summer. More than 30 hours a week."
He also told us about the brutal canings he received from an extremely hairy Afrikaans teacher named Piet Van Tonder. Apparently, the Jav had been filling rubbish bins with water and throwing them off the school roof for a joke. Sounds like he got what he deserved. But that's another story.
One thing's for sure. If you want to grow up and smash Dale Steyn over long-on for 6 to put New Zealand into the final of the Cricket World Cup, you're not going to get there on 14 hours a week.
Of course, we can't all run a Hairy Jav operation. Most parents don't expect that. But surely kids should be encouraged to put 100 per cent into everything they do. If that leads to the odd sprained ankle and broken clavicle so be it. No pain, no gain. Childhood is training for adulthood. The grown-ups who succeed are the ones who do the hard yards.
Do you really want to spend your time stopping kids from going the extra mile? Personally, I prefer the message that got humanity to the Moon 50 years ago: "Choose to do things not because they are easy but because they are hard."