Just Play

I was tired. My 10-year-old son was not. He stood on our driveway with his Little Pro baseball glove on one hand and a ball decorated with green magic marker monsters in the other. "Dad, can we play catch?" Sometimes fitness can be as simple as going outside to play.

Green Magic Marker Monsters

I was tired. My 10-year-old son was not. He stood on our driveway with his Little Pro baseball glove on one hand and a ball decorated with green magic marker monsters in the other. "Dad, can we play catch?" he asked with hopeful anticipation. I was tired.

It took a moment before I could answer, my mind measuring the degree of my tiredness against my desire to play outside with my son. After a deep breath I said, "OK." He smiled.

We tossed the ball back-and-forth while discussing his latest adventures in Minecraft and Scooby Doo Monster Mayhem. As he described his successes in getting Scooby across an obstacle course with scary creatures lurking about, my teenage son joined our game of catch.

Someone suggested we throw a frisbee instead. While competing to see who could throw the frisbee low, fast, and straight enough to slice off the heads of dandelions, my wife and daughter joined in.

Frisbee turned into kicking a soccer ball around followed by racing each other from one side of the yard to the other. I even gave my 16-year-old-6-foot-tall-muscular-football-player son a piggyback ride just to prove I still could.

I was still tired. But it was no longer the kind of tired that results from stress, deadlines, and heavy traffic. Instead, it was the tired that comes from playing hard, laughing, and having fun. In fact, I felt great! Not only did we get exercise and have fun together, we made a lasting, happy memory.

Fitness doesn't have to be a burden. It doesn't always require programs and memberships. Fitness can be as simple as going outside to play.

Brian DeLay

Brian DeLay is an airline pilot living in the Midwest with his wife and three children. As an avid runner and cyclist he has completed numerous half-marathons, marathons, and cycling "century" rides, and serves as the race director for the Run for the Ridge 5K. His favorite activities are those he shares with his family. Visit Brian on Google+

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