Exercise Your Heart

Sundays must be designated as kid day at Family Wellness. They’re everywhere. Little boys and girls run around inside the facility – finding anything to make it their playground. They bounce on Bosu balls, mimic parents and other adults in their exercises, and get creative with stretchy bands.

I’ve only come to notice this in the last two weeks. Given my slight fear of young children, I took a few minutes to admire from afar during my workout tonight.

As I was stretching, I watched a pro-like child take on his chubby friend in a game of one-on-one basketball.  Neither of them could have been a day over seven years old, but their “ballin” skills were much more in tune than mine. That’s not saying much, but wow. One of the boys was clearly more skilled in the sport, but completely unwilling to go easy on his friend. Seriously – no mercy there. The kid looked like he was destined to be a pro athlete.  I laughed out loud several times watching their mismatched game. It was seriously great.

Another gal trotted around in some of the trendiest little boots I’ve ever seen. She was everywhere – bouncing on the balls, playing with her brother and literally sledding on the sliding pads. When she saw me, she got her hopes up. “Are you going to use this!?” she asked, hoping for a sledding partner. Maybe I should have taken her up on it. Instead I smiled and said, “nope, that’s all yours for now.”  Then she intently watched me do box jumps and pulled up a box of her size to join in the workout. So cute.

Next I noticed a young boy on the track, sprinting a half a loop ahead of his dad and then finding a spot to sit and wait for his dad to catch up. Then he’d repeat it. His “All Star” jersey said it all. His skinny little legs pretty much blurred when he ran.

By this point, I probably sound enough like a creeper. I don’t generally go to the gym to stare at kids. But it might be true that I took a little extra time to observe the kids this time around. I couldn’t help but watch them in their youth learning, playing, growing and laughing. I found myself thinking of my adorable niece and handsome nephew as I watched these kids enjoy an average Sunday with their family. They really are amazing.

Unfortunately, my thoughts wandered to the fear that has overcome parents, teachers and families all over the country since last Friday’s occurrence at Sandy Hook or, sadly, the void settling in for some of the more unfortunate families. How can such a blessing be gone so quickly without reason? And how does a person, a parent, a sibling ever begin to overcome such a shocking tragedy?

I can’t imagine the heartache this group of parents is dealing with as they face their first Christmas without a crucial member of their family. It’s absolutely unfair, heart wrenching and completely asinine.

But I suppose it serves as a reminder that our next moment, next day, next week is never guaranteed. What better reason to give a few extra hugs, say “I love you” one time too many (if that’s possible), say a few extra prayers, and, in the words of Ghandi, be the change you wish to see in the world.

Shootin’ the Wit is a sporadic blog about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously. 

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