I gave my nephew a t-ball set for Easter. He's definitely a natural-born athlete with almost boundless energy, and loves nothing more than to be outside in the sun (or rain or snow or any weather really). Sunday was a mild, almost warm, early-spring day, and we spent almost three hours outdoors on Sunday batting around, digging with tractors, and chasing a soccer ball (and sometimes just each other). Although I have no real way to measure, I feel like that afternoon was as much of a workout as an hour on the elliptical machine or treadmill. And it was way more fun!
In several conversations that I've had lately with different people, a similar theme has come up. It has to do with spending time outside, and frequently a specific book is mentioned, namely, Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. The main idea is that kids need to spend more time outside in unstructured playtime, but I'd like to expand that idea to include adults, or at least, myself. I've never really considered myself an "outdoor" girl; as a child I would have said my favorite activity was reading (inside). But looking back, most of my childhood memories involved playing outside. We didn't have a television or computer, so there wasn't much to do in the house. My siblings and I and our friends ran all over our sprawling apartment complex and then later all over our small hometown. We built forts in the neighbor's backyard, dug snow tunnels, and had mud fights in the alley.
Sometimes I think I am too obsessed with counting minutes or calories burned in my workouts. I feel like they're too structured and I that's why I don't enjoy them much and therefore have less motivation. As an adult there are so many more demands on my time, so I try to squeeze things in, and I feel like I have to "make every minute count." It's so much more efficient to burn 300 calories in 30 minutes on the elliptical machine rather than a hour walking outside. But is the most efficient way always the best way?
The seasons are changing, the weather is getting warmer, and daylight saving time has made the evenings lighter longer. After being cooped up all winter, I'm really looking forward to being able to spend time outside again. And this year, I want to really spend time outside--go for bike rides, play tennis at the park, go for long walks, play soccer/baseball/frisbee/whatever with my nephew. I want to workout, without feeling like I'm working out. Mostly I just want to have more fun.
Does any of this make any sense? It's late and I'm just rambling now. The picture is of N with his new t-ball set. Isn't he cute! He calls the tee a "skeeter." I have no idea where he got that; he just said it when he opened the box and it stuck. He's got a pretty good arm and can really send that ball flying. He just needs to work on the concept of aiming. I'm not very athletic or coordinated, but it's fun playing with a three-year-old because at least I'm a little more so than he is. Is that wrong to say?