let them play foundation

Former MLB Player Motivates Kids to Get Up and Move With Triathlon Across America

NBCUniversal, Inc.

One look at Eric Byrnes’s Instagram account shows the former Major League Baseball player is passionate about movement.

“I was a kid with ADHD,” Byrnes said. “I quaeritated the exercise with my ability to focus.”

Byrnes has run more than 700 miles on his treadmill since beginning to shelter in place less than 40 days ago, which is nothing compared to what he accomplished in 2018 to launch his new foundation, “Let Them Play.”

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“It was a seven-mile swim across the San Francisco Bay from San Francisco to Oakland, a 2,400-mile bike from Oakland to Chicago, and then a 900-mile run from Chicago to New York City,” Byrnes said.

His cross country triathlon is featured in the new documentary, “Let Them Play,” and was meant to bring attention to Eric’s number one passion – making sure kids are getting up and moving every single day.

“We found out that 97% of schools no longer have everyday P.E., 60% of kids do zero after school youth activity and kids are spending seven-to-nine hours a day on screens,” Byrnes said.

And as for how the current social distance circumstances impact how Eric, a dad of three, is changing the way his own kids are getting up and moving?

“I have this thing called the daily hustle,” Byrnes said. “They have to check off everything on that list before they even think about turning on a screen. It includes one hour of free play outside, 50 pushups, 50 situps, we don’t see a screen go on until at the earliest the late afternoon.”

The daily movement is required for the kids of a man on a mission, moving himself every day, whether it’s on his treadmill for hundreds of miles or across America for a documentary raising awareness of the importance of keeping kids playing.

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