The First Rule of Lego Club

J at Lego Club bins.JPG

If you’re looking to shake up your fitness regimen, I can’t recommend Lego Club highly enough.

All you need is to consult your local public library’s activity schedule, locate the correct room when you arrive at the appointed time, and bring along a 1-year-old. This last part is key. If you don’t have a 1-year-old handy, just let me know. I’d be happy to lend you mine.

Yes, in case you were wondering, we have really gotten into public library programming this fall. And by really gotten into, I mean that we’ve now been to three library events in a month. Remember story time? We did that again last week. I won’t rehash it, but yes, it was still amazing. 

Twist ending this time, though. I made the mistake of mentioning to 5-year-old when we picked him up from school that we went to story time. I often do things like this because I am relentlessly stupid. The screeching started almost immediately.

To assuage his feelings of betrayal, I grasped at straws. Or Legos as it were. Something called Lego Club was on the library schedule at 4 p.m. This was happening.

We arrived at the library and promptly loitered around in the kid section hoping to overhear something about Lego Club. After only ten minutes of waiting, boom. A boy asked the children’s librarian if Lego Club was meeting today. She said, “Yes. It’s downstairs.”

We headed downstairs. And then back up the stairs so we could use the elevator. And then back up the stairs again because the 1-year-old got loose and made a break for it. This is what you call foreshadowing.

Lego Club meets in a large room with three rows of tables in the middle and chairs lining the walls. The middle table had bins brimming with tiny Lego pieces organized by color. The surrounding tables had thin, flat Lego squares to serve as bases for the Lego creations. The challenge was to build something spooky. There were no further instructions or guidance. The person in charge just told us to have at it.

As we approached the Lego table, the 1-year-old caught sight of the rows of nearly overflowing bins and nearly levitated out of sheer delight. This was her moment. I could tell she was picturing herself grabbing the bins one-by-one and slowly pouring them on her head until she was buried beneath a rainbow Lego pile. And hence, my hour-long workout began.

Lego Club with a 1-year-old is pretty much the same as CrossFit (Full disclosure: I don’t know what CrossFit is.) There is even music. Not loud, pulsing music though, because, you know, library. The soundtrack is a bit more understated and lends a certain ambiance to the chasing, lifting, and panicked hand grabbing.

The first rule of Lego Club is that you never take your eyes off the 1-year-old. Even if you have to help out with Lego collection or spooky project design, one eye must stay trained on the wrecking ball. The sudden sprints you will have to do to intercept her from destroying a stranger child’s terrible Lego creation or stop her from creating a Lego mountain on the floor will build your acceleration and work your quads.

The second rule of Lego Club is that you never take your eyes off the 1-year-old. When she wanders out the door into the lobby one thousand times, you have to follow her. EVERY TIME. Of course, if you let her make it to the stairs a couple times, in addition to getting your cardio in, you can do some calf raises as you follow behind her.

The third rule of Lego Club is that you never take your eyes off the 1-year-old. Most of your workout will be less exciting. You will spend it zig zagging around the room, dodging children and adults who don’t acknowledge your existence (Thankfully! This isn’t a complaint at all!), subtly deflecting inquisitive hands and re-directing them toward less destructive tasks. This will build up your endurance, agility, and ability to tolerate extreme boredom.

The last rule of Lego Club is that you never take your eyes off the 1-year-old. Lest your upper body get jealous of all the exercise your legs and cardiovascular system have been getting, there is also a lot of lifting. Think of it as walking dead lifts where the item being lifted is very wriggly and easily angered. Your biceps and back will be screaming for mercy by the time you’re done.

I am happy to report that I did not break any of the Lego Club rules. Also, I signed up for an Ironman Triathlon on the way home. Lego Club meets once a month, so I should be ready to do whatever it is that Ironman triathletes do by spring time.

For more from Explorations of Ambiguity by Andrew Knott, like us on Facebook and sign up here to get the latest updates right in your inbox! The book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available at Amazon.