Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Reflecting on “Play”

On Saturday, after spending a couple of hours in and out of the ocean water, I found myself exhausted. It was the kind of exhaustion I felt as a child after playing for hours outside, trying my hardest to squeeze in as much play time as possible before it got dark. I was so busy having fun, I didn’t realize I was getting exercise. I hadn’t played hard like that for way too long!

What happened? Why do we stop having recess after the 5th grade? Do we become too mature to play? Are we so starved for play time that we pay gobs of money for gym memberships just to put ourselves on treadmills to run like hamsters on a wheel for 30 minutes just to make ourselves sweat?

Somehow, I feel like I’ve taken a wrong turn.

I wake up and sit in my car on my way to work where I sit in a chair staring at my computer screen for the next eight hours. Then I sit in my car to drive home. I sit at a table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And I sit on my couch to relax after work. Lots and lots of sitting.

Okay, I often walk for about a half hour in the evening, which is good exercise. But it’s just not the same as running through a playground or a backyard, climbing on monkey bars or up trees, chasing our friends in winded games of ‘tag’.

Mommy, I want recess.


Don Boscoe said...

I'm always up for a game of tag or chase, but the only other people that want to play are the kids, and when a 27 yr old guy is chasing kids around the street, people start to think things, so I pla raquetball and Soccer instead

But I agree, we have lost play, Recess was my favorite time. So was nap time! Why is it that when you don't want to take a nap they force you to, then when all you want is a nap...no one will allow it?

Ally Bean said...

"I want recess."

Me too.

And when was the last time you skipped? We never skip again after a certain age.

Jilly said...

Two more days and we'll be having a weekend full of recess!!!!! Yippee! Can't wait to see y'all. Love you sissy.

Cherry said...

Ahh yes. I'm very good at sitting too. Sometimes I try to park a little further from the office door, or I use the restroom downstairs, just so I can make myself think that I move around a little more during the day. But not nearly as fun as recess.

And now I will go to the deli across the street, instead of going to the shopping center up the hill, because I can't be away from my comfy office chair for too long. My muscles might get too much oxygen and explode.

Autumn's Mom said...

Recess, summer vacation, easter vacation and two weeks at christmas. sometimes I think I'm never gonna get over the fact that my vacations have been taken away from me!

Maya's Granny said...

Sadly, not only do we lose recess when we grow up, but these days there are many schools where they don't have it for the children, either. A crime. And then, they send notices home with the kids telling their parents that they are overweight! No sense, these folks just got no sense.

I once worked helping people change careers and as part of their skill assessment, I would ask what their favorite part of school was. About 85% of them said recess.

J said...

I wish I had the urge to play. Playing in the ocean sounds like fun, and I love to swim, but honestly, playing on the playground doesn't sound so appealing to me anymore. Even the swing, which I used to adore, now gives me a queasy stomach. Sad.

Forky said...

I'd agree with you, but I'm too tired from sitting here at the office all day long.

Buttercup said...

I hear you. I feel a sense of supreme accomplishment - far too rarely - when I take the stairs up to my office.

Boys/men appear to do a much better job than women at keeping playtime alive. They "ball," play soccer, play racketball etc. Adult girls so rarely play team sports, including moi.

Emery Jo said...

hi tracy! thanks for reading about my adventures in mommyhood! la la la!

I miss recess too. Although, even when I was younger I pretty much spent my recesses digging holes in the ground, pretending they were living rooms. (seriously.) I even had to have a remote-control shaped rock so I could pretend to control my dirt TV.

I haven't changed much.

Jenn said...

Ohh Ohh I want recess! I swear that my work production would skyrocket if I was allowed to have recess!!! SWEAR!