SUTTON - Braden McClure is one of those natural-born athletes, it seems.

It doesn't hurt that in the genetic material on both sides of his family, both mom and dad love to work out and take care of themselves. His mom, Amy, even shares that gift with others through her Boot Camp fitness programs, which are very popular at both the Sutton Village School and Lyndon Town School. Braden's dad, Kevin, works out in the family gym, said Braden. Both his folks have been a good influence on him, says Braden, who is spending these first few weeks of spring "getting in shape for baseball."

His gym teacher, Nick Hale, pitched Braden to be featured as a "Get Fit" student in today's newspaper and said he chose Braden without a second thought, since he's so quick to jump in regardless of the sport, and enthusiastic, with a love for recreation that's infectious in class.

"Braden's one of those kids who's always active, every day," said Hale, taking a few moments away from the ball game outside Sutton Village School on a recent spring morning. "As long as I've known him, he does any type of sport we do in physical education. He's always the first one to volunteer," he said with a smile.

"He's always moving, he's very active and he enjoys it. He's self-motivated," explained Hale. "It's not like he does it because he has to -- he wants to."

Braden explains the instinctive mind-body connection of exercise. "It just makes me feel good to exercise and to be active," he said. He plays baseball and football and plans to go out for football next year, where he will be a freshman at Lyndon Institute. The coach at LI is happy to hear that, since it's Hale, Braden's gym teacher!

"Baseball is my favorite," says Braden. He has been playing baseball since he was very young, and his dad has been and still is active in helping out with coaching the youth baseball teams. "I've loved it my whole life," said Braden. His dad was a baseball player when he was younger, so the affinity for that all-American springtime game is in his genes.

In the past, Braden has also enjoyed some hockey, and also gymastics when he was younger.

Unlike many young Americans who are gaining weight and spending too much time on electronics and on the couch and not enough time outside moving, Braden is defying that trend, staying in tip-top shape, always on the go, and much more interested in keeping moving and fit than sitting still.

"It just doesn't feel good for me to sit on the couch all day and do nothing or play video games," shares Braden.

In addition to keeping in great shape and being happier in general by constantly moving, Braden adds that there's another nice perk, too, "I sleep a lot better!" he says with a grin.

Braden's gym teacher adds that not only are Braden and his mom and dad all fitness models, but also the youngest two McClures. "All three of the boys are active," says Hale, who is the gym teacher for all three of the McClure boys, which also includes Connor, 11, and Max, 9. The brothers ride their bikes to school every day in nice weather.

Of bicycling, even though the ride home is all uphill -- so the way to school in the morning is easier, all downhill -- Braden says, "I like feeling my legs work."

Of where all this love for staying in shape and working out may one day take him, even though Braden is only just about to head off to high school in a few months, he already has a plan. "I kind of want to be a personal trainer like my mom," he said.


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