Wanting to keep their two boys active during the cold months that mark an Iowa winter, Matt and Heidi Pries will convert their two-car garage into a basketball court and two-lane track with some sidewalk chalk and portable basketball hoops.
“We just want them to stay active,” sayd Pries, assistant girls track coach and cross country coach at Waukee High School. “We cleared out the garage and drew a two-lane track and basketball court, complete with three-point line and free-throw line.”
The Pries boys, Owen and Alex, now 8 and 6, were 3 and 1 when they first began creating the personal indoor gym.
“We didn’t know what would happen when we first did it, but they loved it,” says Pries. “They would run around the track and I would time them with a stopwatch.”
They did play endless games of basketball as well, though both boys have taken a longer-term interest in running, competing in the annual Grimes Governor Days one-mile run, a community road race in June.
“Owen has run a 6:57 and Alex an 8:06,” says Pries. “Pretty good for as young as they are.”
Owen’s time would be fast enough to place him on some Class 1A schools varsity cross country squads.
“Both boys have really taken to running,” says Pries. “We don’t push it on them, but I believe it comes from those cold winter evenings in the garage with the stopwatch.”
Matt Pries, who is a teacher and RAK advisor at Waukee High School, recently took his cross country team to the Iowa High School State Cross Country meet in Fort Dodge, where the Warriors finished in 10th.
As far as the track workouts in the garage, they come less frequently than they once did when the kids were younger, but the values learned while running endless laps around a chalk-lined track will stay with those boys for the rest of their lives.Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”