This past fall, I was with my trainer at the park. As part of our workout, she asked me to climb one of the fitness trail ladders just off the path. I took a step up on the first rung and I felt dizzy. I stepped back down, reeling but determined to try again. What shocked me was that this is something I would have delighted in as a child. I may not have been what anyone would have considered an athlete. My unabashed preference for Baby-Sitters Club books over playing organized sports was clearly evident every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But I also was a child who was fortunate enough to be born in the years before rampant screen fixation.
And that meant endless afternoons of freeze and cartoon tag, hide and go seek, four-square, sidewalk chalk art, foot races and bike rides. I knew what it meant to experience immediate joy upon the sight of a playground, ready to climb, flip, swing, slide and seesaw from the word go. It did not matter if I was in a summer dress, buttoned up in a winter coat or in my corduroys. But all the changes and responsibilities that come with time and age can fade those memories or the desire to renew them away.
I know there are many who never forgot. But I did. I had forgotten how to play. I thought the exhilaration of a simple climb only belonged to those who were already fit, always poised for an obstacle course. I am glad I discovered I was wrong.
How about you? Have you forgotten how to play? Please share in the comments below.