Make movement fun again!

I recently had what my 8-year-old self would consider the ideal Friday night.

I was babysitting three kids in my old neighborhood. We kicked off the evening by zipping around the block on Razor scooters and bikes, dragging the poor old dog along by a leash tied the bike handlebars. Next was a game of Spider at the pool, followed by some races to the bottom of the deep end, and a few flips off the diving board. We sat still long enough to eat a burger from the snack bar, then swam some more, despite the unseasonably chilly night. We ended the evening with a water balloon fight, sprinting around the backyard and pelting each other with balloons. We didn’t take baths — that’s what the pool was for! And we all fell asleep quickly, exhausted by the evening’s activities.

Friday night left me feeling refreshed. It was full of the type of movement kids are best at — curious, energetic and joyful.

That type of movement defined my own childhood. I was always ready for a neighbor to knock on the door, seeking competition for a game of H-O-R-S-E or company for a Ripstik ride around the block.

As a millennial born in the era of Goop and meditation apps, I now don’t just move — I “mindfully” and “intentionally” exercise to keep a sharp mind and fit body.

I used to ride bikes around the neighborhood; now I go to spin class. I used to make up games at the pool; now I swim laps to stay lean. I used to find friends around the neighborhood to play Kick the Can; now I just send my friends memes on Instagram.

This is growing up, and I get that. But all movement doesn’t have to be for getting toned or training hard. I’m on a quest to make movement fun again.

My first action item is trying out new gym classes. They’re a fun ego check.

This morning, I took a boxing class. I couldn’t for the life of me remember if I was supposed to jab-cross-hook or hook-jab-cross, and I may have accidentally punched the instructor’s forearm instead of her mitt, but I had a darn good time. I was smiling the whole class (minus when we did burpees), because punching things is incredibly satisfying and imagining bar fight scenarios where I could show off my new skills is a great daydream.

I also took a hip hop dance class. Anyone who has witnessed my lack of rhythm on a dance floor knows how painful this likely was for the poor class instructor, but boy did I enjoy shaking it.

Next on my list are rock climbing and aerial yoga.

I also aim to walk, bike, skip, hop and swim, whenever I get the chance. To play more tug-of-war with my parents’ dog. To go to the park with a soccer ball and frisbee and throw a football at a tailgate. To just move for the fun of it.

How are you making movement fun again? Leave a comment!