Do you still play?

I have a four year old son who is a constant ball of energy and adventure.  It's been awesome to see him grow up and develop in his motor skills and physical abilities as he gets older.

Currently his favourite activity is jumping.  Mainly jumping between pieces of furniture or off anything that is high enough to be exciting.  Sometimes as a parent this terrifies me - what if he breaks something? But at the same time I understand he is testing his own limitations and capabilities.  Something we all used to do as children.

To him this is both play and learning, but he only understands it as having fun.  How high can I jump? how fast can I ride my bike? Can I do a cartwheel? These are all things we have done, and for the most part as adults we stop doing.

Some of us still get out on bikes and ride trails for fun, or rock climb, or kayak, or do gymnastics classes, but the number of adults who partake in these activities are few and far between.

I follow a self-defence and martial arts YouTube channel called Fight Tips, and a while ago they produced a video about movement which included the presenter Shane showing how to perform different activities including cartwheels (both two and one handed) among other things.  

It got me thinking, when was the last time I tried to move in this way?  Definitely not since rupturing my Achilles tendon in February, but even before that I'd be willing to guess it has been at least a decade since I tried to so a cartwheel!  

Why did I stop moving like this?  Why has my training become so structured?  When did it turn into sets and reps instead of just exploring what my body could do in space?  I used to love moving like this as a kid, I ran, jumped, skipped, hopped, climbed and hung.

After thinking abut this for a few months I have decided that it is something I want to include more of in my training, especially as my rehabilitation progresses and my Achilles gets stronger.  I want to give myself more time to explore my capabilities, take time to "play" more in my training.  Just enjoy being able to move, express myself a little more.  Not to feel bound by structure in how I move and train - just let myself play.

I'd love to hear whether you still play?  Do you have kids which has forced you to get up on the playground and hit the slides again?  I know it has helped me!  Let me know if you still play despite growing a little older! 


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