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Remember When Exercise was FUN?

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Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Recently there has been a lot of nostalgia about our childhood foods particularly how companies have been using those memories to sell us those same “comfort foods” during the pandemic.

What I love most about Spark connections is realizing how different our childhoods were depending on where we lived while growing up. Yet here we are all together on the same journey, paying attention to our diet and exercise.

Regardless of our daily diet, there was no need to “track our steps” in childhood.
It wasn’t exercise. We were just having fun.


This photo wasn’t MY childhood. These are 3 of our 6 grandchildren some years ago.
They are now 23, 20 and 19.

So many Sparkers described their childhood family gardens and fruit trees, even orchards.
I saw that life only on TV. None of that was possible in our 3 room apartment in Brooklyn.
I did have a brief glimpse of it during the summer at Grandma’s house in a rural town in PA

The picture below is MY childhood. I remember a different kind of exercise “fun”
An older teenager would open the fire hydrants for us to cool off in the street.




We must have burned a lot of calories jumping around in the spray and getting out of the way of cars. Eventually the police would come and turn off the water.

Our children and grandchildren are all great swimmers because their childhoods allowed for lessons even swim teams. Not so in my childhood.

The few city pools were off limits because of the polio epidemic. By the time vaccines provided protection, I preferred to take the subway to the beach. Jumping through the waves was fun and unintended exercise, but it wasn’t possible to learn to swim in that environment.

Still, once upon a time movement was FUN. When did it change to something that is so often described as drudgery or something we hate to do? Can we recapture the spirit we once had as children?

How did you have FUN in childhood while getting your exercise?
Can you recapture any of that today?
Can we find some kind of movement that gives us joy?

As always, we learn most from each other’s comments.
There is a lot of wisdom is our shared Spark World.

Obviously, we expect age and life changes to set limits.
Unlikely former gymnasts are still taking a turn on the balance beam as senior citizens, but maybe still dancing?

Edit: In answer to OKM's question - I learned to swim at age 28 after I had 3 children.
I figured if I was MAKING them take swim lessons, I should model that behavior.
I joined a non-swimmers adult class. There were 16 of us and I was the only one who had never even tried to float or put my face in the water. Probably for the best I had no bad habits to unlearn so I did exactly as I was instructed and learned 3 strokes. (free, back and breast). Now I can swim nearly a continuous mile. At least I could pre-pandemic.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • EISSA7
    Back in the day (LOL), we rode our bikes across town to the pool daily in the summer. If we wanted to see a friend outside the neighborhood, we walked across town to their house. In the winter, we’d walk, with our ice skates over our shoulders, to the rink. Always actively doing something fun! Decades later, I continue to be as active as my body allows....thanks for another blog down memory lane!
    91 days ago
  • GOLFGMA
    We lived in the country and near cousins so we played outside in summer, had ball games, lots of biking back and forth to those living close. emoticon
    91 days ago
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