"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
Ever look at your kids and say, "Man, I remember doing that!' Or, "Wow! I can't believe I used to be able to do stuff like that!"
Why do we stop playing as we get older?
I encourage you to make time for play as often as you can. If you have kids, don't just sit and watch them - join them!
We recently took a trip with our 15 year old son to Myrtle Beach, SC. All year, he and I argued about grades, study habits, forgetting assignments, poor test grades, blah, blah, blah.
When summer finally came, I got to become "Summer Mom," Summer Mom is much more fun and relaxed than "School Mom." No one likes her very much. It's true.
So, when we went to Myrtle Beach, I told my husband that I wanted to do something FUN with Gavin and we set out to conquer the local ropes course...you know....where you hook yourself onto a cable and step on tiny, thin wires, and go over wobbly obstacles while everyone looks up at you thinking you must have lost your freakin mind.
"It'll be fun," I said.
"I will bond with my son," I said.
I made it through the "training" course. Yeah, because it was one foot off the ground. Then, onward and upward to Level 1. Gavin was nice enough to let his old Mom go first, and off I went climbing the stairs to come head to head with Obstacle #1.
Ummm, this is higher up than I thought it would be wait what did she say about how to hook this thing to the cable this is so freakin high is that a breeze why is it so windy up here oh my god what the heck am I doing this was such a stupid idea where is paul maybe he will trade places with me and do this with Gavin instead of oh dear lord this is high.
Play. I had forgotten the importance of play.
Playing as adults gets us out of our comfort zone. Remember when we were gungho to try new things? Remember when we couldn't wait to be tall enough to get on the big roller coaster because we didn't know to fear it? Remember when we climbed trees and never once considered that we might fall?
We grew up. And got old.
For those of you that have ever looked at us in class like we have lost our minds....
This is why we do handstands in class. This is why we sign up for races like The Spartan and train on the rings and monkey bars. This is why we get out the tumble mat and remind you how fun (and scary) it is to do a front roll aka a somersault. This is why we play games with cards and dice and sometimes color. We want you to play!!!
At every opportunity, find reasons to make your body perform in ways that are in stark contrast to how you spend your regular day....driving...sitting at a desk starting at a computer...we know these things aren't good for us. And, yet....
We continue to do them.
Why should we play as adults? Because, one day, you might blink and find yourself on a ropes course in Myrtle Beach with your 15 year old son yelling at you to "Just go, MOM!!!"
Duly noted. Play on, my friends!