Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Birthing of this Blog and the Reason for "Live to Play"

In light of what my life has become, I find myself in a pretty grateful situation where I can finally squeeze some time in to write. I am thankful to have some awesome people in my life for making this (among other things, like the capability of vacationing, _finally_) possible. Thank you to everyone at Live to Play (especially Sam), for allowing me to do something I love to do for a living, be surrounded by purely awesome people all the time, and still be able to have time to roam the globe without worrying :) I love you all, and appreciate every one of you.

During the past 20 months of Live to Play being officially open, I've come across many things I've wanted to write about. Thus, the birth of this blog. Let's start with the reason why Live to Play exists. 

*Disclaimer; I like to veer off tangents from time to time (read: often), so....yea :) This is a blog, not a scientific article, so I can write however I want. Take that, college English Composition class!!

Sam and Spencer doing the cutest one-handed handstanding!

Whenever anyone asks me what my definition of "success" is, or what my plan for the next X years is, my answer is always the same: to be happy. Happiness comes in many forms; wealth, possessions, health, instant gratifications, company, activity, experiences, etc. But these are all superficial things that can be taken away or just simply made unavailable. For one to be happy without these things is a great achievement that most never see. But for the rest of us imperfect humans, those superficial things are also the result of choices. Choices we make every day, choices that become habit, choices that make us who we are. If we are smart with our decisions, we can create our own happiness. When we do that, nobody can take it away from us anymore, because we know how to keep ourselves happy.

One big component in being happy is physical Play. Think back to when you were a kid. Yes, a kid with the only responsibilities of getting to the dinner table on time, brushing your teeth, and getting dressed. Back when all you did was play outside with your friends, climb trees, play "Capture the Flag," or roll down grassy hills. How happy were you back then? I'm guessing superbly happy. 

Now think to how you were in high school. Did you get your physical play in? Perhaps it was through sports, or a club of some sort. Maybe it was weekend Frisbee Golf. Maybe it was through a class like Drama or Phys Ed. But you had more responsibilities, so you had less time to Play, right? So maybe not as blissful as your single digit-aged days. The hours of Play diminish as you grow older and have more "big girl/boy things" to do. 

And an adult, a contributing member to society. With all of the responsibilities you have now, because you have to take care of yourself. Work, housework, schoolwork, What do you do with your spare time? Television? Movies? Video/computer games? What about physical Play? Maybe meeting once a week for a game of flag football? Or does your physical activity consist now of this thing called "exercise"? 

By the way, I despise exercising. It's so boring. And there's no point to it. Moving around just for the sake of moving around is, in my opinion, stupid. Have a purpose for what you do. If you have to distract yourself with a screen during a physical activity, you should pick a different physical activity. I promise you, you will have a lot more fun, you will look forward to that activity, and you will be a lot healthier. 

Why does our term for physical activity change from "Play" to "exercise" as we get older? Are adults not allowed to Play? I say screw that. I believe everyone should have a Playtime. Play is a physical activity in which the person/people participating can express emotions of joy, excitement, achievement, and a peace of mind. It is an activity where an individual can have FUN. The emotions (and boost of adrenaline, testosterone, and dopamine) that come with Play are extremely beneficial in lifting your overall mood, increasing your health, and upping your general happiness factor. The emotions associated with "exercise" are typically negative (know anyone who hates going to the gym?). Of course, any idiot would be able to see that FUN is preferred, and boring is not. Required boring exercise every day? Uuuggggghhhhh.... Required Fun Time every day? Yes, please! 

The problem is, the day you are forced to be seated for more than 2 total hours of the day is the day you start losing mobility. So that's......kindergarden? First grade? I'll get into specifics of this on another day, but for now, just do the math. How many years have you been working on your immobility? That's a lot of bad habits, by the way. So when adults try to start up Play after decades of immobility practice, they end up getting easily injured, easily tired, or just incapable of Play. 

This guy is clearly excited to be sitting at his desk.

And so the birth of Live to Play (whew! A little long-winded, but we finally got there)! Live to Play is a place where people can rebuild what they tore down in the last few decades of their lives. It's where you can re-learn how to Play, in a safe way. It's where everyone is encouraged to laugh, try new things, be upside-down every once in a while, and have random dance parties. It's a place that can be your Play if you don't already have Play, and if you do, it'll help you Play even better! There's no dress code (as long as the X-rated parts are covered, we don't really care what you wear), no shoes, and nobody making you do more than you're safely capable of doing (sorry, high-rep super tiresome workouts, you're not allowed!) We do this by strength and mobility training, by the way, in a very specific manner. It's fun to be strong and mobile. You can do things you weren't able to do before....easily. Some of the movements we do at Live to Play that look the easiest are often the toughest things to do. Our goal is to make everyone a better and happier version of themselves, one day at a time. 

So I encourage you all to Play regularly. Find something physical you enjoy doing, something that tires you out without you noticing. Something that makes your abs hurt from laughing. Something that makes you get "mystery bruises." And if we can help you at Live to Play, you're more than welcome to come Play with us! Just be forewarned of the weirdness you might WILL encounter!

Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. 
As I typed that, I just got a text from Sam saying "I just burned my butt. 
Don't ask me how. I'm not exactly sure." 
Normal. Super normal.

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