Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Dreaded "E" Word

If you carry your childhood with you,
you never become older. ~ Tom Stoppard

I'm curious about something...

When did "PLAY" turn into the dreaded "E" word?

You know the one I'm talking about -- the word we all cringe when we say we have to do it... the word that makes many of us sigh and say, "Yes, I know I should, but..."

Yeah, that word.


Think back to when you were a kid. Remember how much fun it was just to be moving all the time? It didn't really matter what you were doing: playing hide-n-seek with friends, rolling down a hill, bike-riding with your buddies. We were all about action when we were little!

What happened?

I used to love playing dodge-ball and Red Rover, turning somersaults on the grass, roller-skating with the kids in the neighborhood. You would have thought I was a child jock! Now, don't get me wrong: I always hated gym class -- that embarrassing time for all us overweight kids who hated being picked last and were mortified because we couldn't keep up. But that was exercise: the other was play.

Ah ha!

My friends and I discussed this today as we did our brisk walk around the park. When we were done, Rosemary turned to us and said, "So let's do something fun - let's go swing!" We each found an empty seat (unsure if our bottoms would fit - but they did!), pushed ourselves to get going, and flew into the sky!

It was an amazing, free feeling -- something I haven't felt in a long, long time. For the last few decades, I have much preferred having my feet firmly planted on the ground, thank you very much. So soaring as high as the swing would allow today was like being a kid again. I was moving -- and it was fun!

I've asked my hubby to fix up my old bike, as his birthday gift to me. It's been sitting for over ten years now, so I'm sure it will need new tires and plenty of oil. But I'm ready to stop exercising and to start playing again.

Can I suggest that we all think back to the ways we moved as children, and perhaps find a way to experience that enjoyment again? Movement doesn't have to mean the dreaded "E" word. Let's make activity fun again!

Until next time...


the girl said...

i L-O-V-E the way you've set up your blog!

this is such an awesome post, i'm going to work hard to remember that!


Hanlie said...

Way to go for swinging! I love that!

Great post!

Scale Junkie said...

I love that you got out there on the swing! I loved to ride my bike as a child and I swear I must have put on enough miles in the summer to go across the country and back. I recently found a bike at a yard sale and bought it in anticipation of losing enough weight to ride it. I'm not sure what the weight limit is but I don't want to burst the tires...but soon...very soon...I'll be out there bike riding with you!

Anonymous said...

I love my weight lifting and daily walks. I don't like jogging yet, but I only started this week. I'm sure by next week that I'll be loving that too. I'm always running up and down the stairs in my house. I fidget all time. I still can't sit still. I'm dancing in my chair to the music on the radio or pacing my room.

I loved playing with my children when they were little. I miss it now that they're teens and only want to play Playstation, computer games or on the WII. They are addicted to video games and no longer go out to play. Mommy is such a bore.

Ready Maid said...

GREAT suggestions, especially on the first day of Spring. That sort of commentary would be a good submission to a publication like Reader's Digest.

I've got my heart set on a beach-style bike - "up" handlebars and a comfortable seat.


briy said...

Man I miss swinging! :)

Thanks for a wonderful post. I just made a post about how my favorite method of exercise (the dreaded 'e' word, as you so accurately put it) is playing basketball with my students at recess, and it took me ages to figure out that it counted as exercise, even if it was fun. You're right... I know I've developed such a love-hate relationship with exercise (love the results, hate doing it) that I no longer even still see the connection to my favorite childhood pastime.

Well put!

briy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...

I whole heartedly agree. I love playing soccer with my kids, but never counted that as exercise. I also never counted the gallon of water I drank during park time. Hmmm great post for spring!


Lora said...

You're so right about childhood and playing! We could never get enough in - and sweating only meant you were having a REAL lot of fun! I try to take time to swing on the swings when ever I can. Maybe next time I'm at the park I'll try the monky bars (wouldn't THAT be a sight!)

Cat said...

Great post

It's been ages since i got on the swings, i will have to try it again next time i'm in the park.