Serious Play

As a kid I was on the playground all the time.  Both of my parents worked out of the house, so after school I went from my classroom to the playground.  That was the best part of my day … handball, softball, tether ball, kickball, caroms, four-square,  hopscotch, two-square … anything and everything that involved play. I remember the feel of the rubber ball hitting my hands … pretty dirty hands by the end of the day, if I recall correctly … the impact of the ball against my foot as it soared for a double or triple in kickball … the oomph that escaped my lips as I caught a fly ball against my chest in hit-the-bat. Ah, the wonderful days of the playground.

Charnock Road Elementary School playground

Those days were a huge part of my becoming a physical educator, a college athlete, a high school and college athletic coach, a triathlete, long distance cyclist, and an avid sports fan.  In addition, my playground days have impacted the way I teach and work with life coach teammates … playing hard.  My time on the playground was not all frolicking in and out of the jungle gym or carefree hanging on the monkey bars.  We’re talkin’ serious competition – in fact, I was the Charnock Road Elementary School Yo-Yo Champion … and that took many hours of practice … resulting in many bruises from flying yo-yo tricks gone wrong.

The playground was a serious play place.  That’s right, serious play.  If you’re like me, you’ve got a pretty wide competitive streak – mine runs amuck sometimes and leaks into just about every aspect of my life.  The key is channeling that competitiveness and using that abundant energy to achieve my goals.

How are you using your competitive drive and spirit to get you where you want to be?

How have play and competition influenced your life?