Let’s be honest here: sometimes adult life’s routines and responsibilities can get a little boring, sometimes to the point of driving us a little crazy. I’m not just saying this because I just became a dad - I’ve always felt invigorated, alive, and present when I’m deeply engaged in play. The definition of playing is “to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose”. It’s the freedom to connect mind, body, and spirit together in either an organized or unorganized fashion - with physical activity usually involved. Adults may have a hard time balancing work, parenting, networking, etc., and thus have a hard time achieving a state of balance. Thus, we may actually need structure when we partake in physical activity, such as a personal training session. This allows us to be as efficient as possible with our use of time, on top of getting professional coaching recommendations. I firmly believe that attending a class or session is necessary as a part of our weekly physical activity/exercise routines, or else I wouldn’t be in this business. Exercise is done to improve health and fitness, and should be structured in a way such that it works toward a goal. Now, that’s something you should do two to five times per week, depending on your availability and goals. But - how about just being physically active via play just one to two times per week? I don’t want to hear that you don’t have time to play! In fact, I believe it’s a vital aspect of life. If you can’t engage in play during the week other than your time at Perform For Life (or any other fitness facility you attend), then your coaches/instructors should damn well incorporate it into the programming.
“What are some examples of play? Isn’t that what we did as children?”
Examples include joining a rec league, learning how to throw a football for the first time, or just getting your friends or family together to play kickball (or sloshball - easy on the beer, of course). These are some examples, but it can really be anything to you. My passion for play started early in childhood - I remember my parents telling me to go to outside and play and return in time for dinner. I’m not embarrassed to say that I have vivid memories of going to my backyard and playing an imaginary game of baseball, emulating my favorite players batting styles for sometimes hours at a time. In adulthood, when I begin to feel in a rut, I usually turn to play and find that part of the reason that I’m feeling the way I am is because I’m not making the time to do something in which I truly enjoy myself. If I really reflect on why it’s such a powerful resource, I believe it was always an outlet for me during stressful times from childhood and into my adult life. In some ways, there can be a powerful meditation component to it in the sense that we can be fully present and forget all of our worries. I can let loose, have fun, and truly enjoy myself. My recommendation to you is to figure out a way to do something weekly that you will not think twice about cancelling on - something you’ll stick to. As a starter, try something that involves improving a skill, whatever that may be. Just go out there and play!