My Favorite Four Letter Word

Two Boys Playing
Two Boys Playing

I had a wonderful Christmas last week. It was a memorable holiday that allowed me to spend time with my loving family. Besides my wife, son and daughter, I had a rare opportunity to share a Christmas morning with my mother and stepfather.

Although I had to work during the middle part of the day, having any free time with my family is the best gift I could ask for during the holiday season.

My wife Samantha hinted for the past three weeks that she had the “perfect” Christmas gift for me. I guessed over and over again, ranging from the simple to the unmentionable, but I failed to solve the big mystery.

As soon as I opened the big box I realized that she truly did buy the perfect present……not because of the gift itself but for what the gift represented.

She bought me a Monster Kick-board to make sure I PLAYED more. During a long football season where I’ve only had one (1) day off since mid-July, Samantha realize that more PLAY was exactly what I needed.  I couldn’t have agreed more!

Making Time to Play

At what age do we get away from wanting to play? Sure, WORK is a four letter word but what fun is that?!  I think we can all agree that we easily spend more time focusing on WORK than we do PLAY.

My wife Samantha bought my son and I kick-boards for Christmas so we could play together. Getting outside, exercising and sharing time together is good for both of us on so many levels.

As I sailed down the sidewalk on my new keyboard Christmas morning I couldn’t help but smile and laugh. It’s times like these when I realize all over again that exercising doesn’t have to be work.   We all need to PLAY more.  Fitness and PLAY go naturally together.

There’s no Workout Bible that mandates “tho shall hast no fun nor pleasure when thee improves ones health and fitness”.   Fitness can and should be fun and thinking it as PLAY is the best mindset to start the process of enhancing your fitness level in 2013.

The Point

Let’s all make a point to PLAY more.   It can be working on the jump shot in the driveway or playing catch with a frisbee at the park or sledding with the kids on the hill down the road.  Why not?  The only limiting factor with PLAY is your imagination.

Simple Tips to Dust Off Your PLAY-List

  1. Find a favorite childhood sport that you enjoyed in your youth and ask yourself: “Why not?”
  2. Look for common themes  in your daydreams and/or fond childhood memories involving sports and being active.
  3. Find activities or sports that you can do with family members.
  4. Keep it safe.  Minimize your chance of injury and setbacks to make this a long-term lifestyle change.
  5. Check your ego at the door… To avoid any sense of embarrassment hindering your ability to PLAY and feel good about yourself while playing.
  6. Incorporate your PLAYtime with your work time. PLAYing at lunchtime or in a work place setting is a great way to de-stress yourself during a long day at work.
  7. Start slow.  Getting back into an old sport or taking up a new one requires new skills and enhanced fitness.  Give yourself time to grown with the “new active and PLAY-ful” you.

Ok, I hope this article peaked your interest and helped you reflect upon a couple of sports and activities that will make you smile.  NOW is the time to get out and just do something.  Create momentum towards a new lifestyle of wellness and improved health.

Remember, you don’t need “the perfect workout“.  You just need to get out and move to burn calories.  Let the details work themselves out down the road with a smile on your face and that PLAYful feeling in your heart.