Those Who Play Together, Stay Together … And Linger Longer.

“An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.” General George S. Patton

We can desire expansion of thought, learning, ideas, understanding, joy and expression of self for our children (for ourselves), but none of this can fully take place without caring for the temple in which we reside, our bodies.

And so as we embark on how best to create engaging programming for our students and ourselves, physical activity need be top of the list.

Strolls in the park, hitting the playground, mindful walking to fully take in the wonder of nature are all stupendous, but what I’m speaking of here is full-tilt, give ‘er ’til yer spent, thrill-of-the-rush kind of activity and sport.

What I’m not necessarily talking about is, competitive sport. Healthy competition holds vital lessons, but depending on your philosophy and the age of the children, opinions and timing on introducing this differ.

The BIG IDEA is to get moving and be a shining example of stellar whole health habits in action with the benefits apparent.
Tall order? Maybe.
Worth it? Ohhh he## Yes!;)

Through engaging children in activity we want them to get to know their body and what it is capable of, experience the thrill of pushing themselves to their amazing limits and beyond and, possess a tool for celebration, stress relief, personal achievement and camaraderie with others of like energized-mind, that will serve them for LIFE.

(And one that can certainly influence where energy is channeled during those challenging times or times of great questioning and wonder.)

If you can do all of this as a family, then EUREKA… You’re on to something!

I’ve always been a downhill gal myself, having lived in Austria in a village with 92 miles of ski trails, you can imagine how this was one of my great loves. But when Todd and I considered how to get out littlest guy out and enjoying with us in the winter chill, the serendipitous floodgates opened once again;)

For those of you who read of my other love, The Story of the World (in ‘History to Unleash’ post) you know the infamous “Stephanie” who made the connection. She had another subject that lit her up, cross-country skiing and the thrills she and her husband and two children share on the trails, and in the clubhouse.

Well, I had to know more.

We hit the open house for the Lappe Nordic Ski Centre. We met the vivacious athletes, volunteers and families that made us one of their own right outta the gate and saw our boys melt into a sea of giggling kids. That familiar warm-fuzzy buzz of right-place n’ space washed over. We were hooked.

We bought the farm, or at least all the cross-country ski gear we could fit in locker number 55. We signed the kids up for Jack Rabbits and Todd and I shifted date nite from wine sipping and cheese savoring to trail racing down the moon-bathed paths of sparkling snow.

Such a thrill.

And the clincher? Two weekends later the volunteers hosted a Halloween Orienteering and Games day. Stephanie helped us navigate trails to find the ghouls, the boys punched their treasure maps with each find and every kid got a prize. Then outdoor obstacle course and indoor spooky house and homemade cookies.

Ahhh home.

Each family, each team of mentors and teachers, must find such a home. One focused on physical empowerment and enhancement, community connection and above all a time set aside from the rest of the world to get out and engage in the realm of nature and possibility and just plain FUN.

Ideas for Setting Your Sights on Play…
– Make a date for a team meeting. Discuss what you love or you might dare try
– Make a decision. Regardless of what answer comes – BOOK it, and fast. This world of obligations can sweep us away from all that we would desire if we don’t set our priorities straight
– Check it out and ask yourself … Is this a place We All feel at home in? Is there room for everyone to explore various talents, skills, elements of fun? Is everyone open (or could they be if we all jumped in and a little time passed)?
– If yes, then sign that dotted line and take it all out for a full spin.

And don’t forget… Let me know how it goes!

What do you and your family do to connect, to engage in relationship and sport? I know we would all love some new ideas. Never know what inspiration will spark;)

Happy Trails
Jenni
p.s. Below, 1 – Our little Nathaniel just back from the trails and proud as can be. 2 – Lappe Ski kids running the wee obstacle course, Liam jumping a picnic table in the distance. 3 – Finally, Liam exiting the spooky house. Such fun! Can’t wait to hear of your excursions;)

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