Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wanna play?

Today I played a fun game of tag- with complete (adult) strangers.

I also shared a secret handshake and a liberating booty-bump (heeeeeyyyyy!) with- you guessed it- strangers. I had a blast, and when the games ceased, my heart was working overtime!

Playing games and being silly with strangers are some of the joys of working in the (battle)field of nutrition education. Now, although it would be ideal (30 minutes a day of tag? hell ya!) , I don't get to play these games everyday. These games were part of a physical activity forum held at the beautiful Mills College campus. Unfortunately, we didn't play all day long. However, I did get to exercise my mind with new ways of blending nutrition education and physical activity. Obviously, the two go hand-in-hand, but in these times of poor eating habits, the most physical activity some people get is walking to the fridge. I can be guilty of that sometimes!

I used to exercise (more), especially when I worked at a gym. After that, my work-outs consisted of walking the dog. Then I moved by the marina, with gorgeous trails and views, and an intention to wake up at the crack of dawn to jog. That hasn't happened (yet!). For mother's day, I bought myself an exercise hula hoop, and right now, it's more decor than its true function.

It's way more motivating to have someone to exercise with, and when exercise parters get together, counting off jumping jacks and sit-ups doesn't quite stimulate any fun. Play is the best way to work out mainly because you have so much fun you forget you're exercising!

Sometimes, at a BBQ or a party or whatever, I just want to round up some folks for a quick circle game, or a fun ice-breaker....but it seems that sometimes, adults are "too cool to act a fool." I remember going to a state-wide nutrition conference where we played the booty-bumpin' game. One of my partners (in a room of 500!) happened to be a stiff, white-haired, thin-lipped woman who probably made all of the decisions in her organization. As I swayed my hip to the side, getting ready to do my bump, she uncomfortably looked to the side and didn't even acknowledge my exaggerated "heeeeeyyyyyy!". I didn't get any booty bumpin! And when I had to reunite with my booty bump partner, no booty could be found.

Maybe booty bumpin' was too close for comfort for her, or she woke up and didn't get her coffee, but either way, I expect those working for nutrition education to practice what they preach. Healthy lifestyles include good nutrition and physical activity, and for children (and even adults), physical activity should be FUN! Sure, booty bumpin' doesn't have much to do with exercise, but it was part of the larger physical activity game, which had my heart pumping and wanting to play more!

So to sum it up, I'm missing a booty bump and I want to play (and cook/eat) all day. Who wants to play with me?

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