Life’s Too Short to Be Serious All the Time
It’s playtime! Drop what you're doing and play. Find a puzzle, get some Lego, buy some crayons and a coloring book, go climb on some monkey bars. Sit on a swing, zip down the slide, or bake some cookies and decorate with silly stuff like gummy worms.
What’s that you say? You have a big game coming up? You missed a practice already this week? You don’t dare take an hour away from your training?
Hmm. Well, I’m not telling you to be irresponsible about it but for Pete’s sake, I’ll bet you can carve out a little time for yourself while still honoring your commitments.
Shoot some hoops with the nerdy kid down the block. Search for the coolest rocks. Lie on your back and find shapes in clouds.
Make a telephone out of two tins and some string. Squoosh some playdough into ornaments or dopey stuff. Ride a bike, preferably near trees and water.
Play hopscotch or tag. How about pick-up-sticks or jacks? Dive into Netflix and find an animated "kid film.” Check out YouTube and chuckle with Winnie the Pooh or terrific old cartoons like Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, or Quick Draw McGraw (there’s nothing like them!).
Look up the dumbest kid jokes you can find. Guaranteed to make you laugh (especially the really bad ones).
When you’re an athlete – or the parent or coach of one – so much of what you do is about being responsible, disciplined, and regimented. So much of your life is about structure, schedules, and commitment.
You might feel guilty when you “slack off,” have a little fun or down time. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's good for you to play or to goof off now and then.
No, that doesn’t make you a slacker (unless you never do anything at all but play!). But taking it easy, finding some play time amidst your busy life - all good.
In fact, some regular fun time away from training can enhance your performance. It gives you a much-needed mental health break, an opportunity to let your imagination run wild, to relax completely and check in with yourself.
A little play time here and there will make all the responsible bits more palatable. Life should be about balance, and if you spend most of your time training and immersed in the world an athlete, you're missing the point of being here.
Whether you're having an occasional naughty snack, or you go bowling, riding bikes, or doing other great “kid stuff,” as long as you're feeding your inner child now and then you'll be in great shape.
That little child will demand to be heard, especially when things get bumpy as it's so easily ignored at that time.
Cut yourself - and that little child - some slack. A little playfulness and fun are life-giving - even life-altering. Go on. Play like a kid. Have a great time and most of all, enjoy yourself!