NONE to ONE Week 7: PLAY!

This week the theme is PLAY.

One thing that I love about aerialists is the tribe of people that I belong to. Whenever I get together with a group, we always come to the conclusion that we are doing nothing more than having a playdate like we did when we were 5 years old. Almost all aerial fun is simply adult recess.

Places like Athletic Playground know it and even advertise their spaces as such! The spirit of play abounds as they workout. Look how much fun they have with their warm-up:

Can you imagine what our world would be like if everyone had this much fun everyday? Sometimes, you actually have to force yourself to go have fun. But once you’re there, you’ll wonder why you ever had to drag yourself there.

Being playful is not just about happiness, although that’s a great benefit. I believe playtime is when you start to explore and open new pathways in your physical body. You can start to thrive and find vitality because you don’t just perform some rote linear pathway. Being playful will likely encourage you off the linear plane into the realm of finding new things that will find new range of motion in your joints, and it just keeps getting better! If you turn your workout into play, you suddenly might add some variety like a subtle twist to the side while your whole body smiles. That added bit turns up your workout a degree that makes all the difference. It takes you from hot to boiling.

Being silly helps everyone – young and old – relieve tension. And so much of our flexibility issues are because we walk around holding so much tension in our muscles. If we could only take our lessons from the little ones and relax, we’d retain more of our youthful bendyness. So, let your inhibitions go. Don’t care what you look like. Oh you look silly!! Great!!

Here are some hints to bringing more movement play into your life:

  1. Hang out with kids. They are great models for how to fully invest in playtime!
  2. Take your next workout to the playground. This is what I did this week (see video below).
  3. Turn on the music and just dance. If you find people to join you, even better.
  4. Do number 3 in a public place.

In this article about why adults need recess time, they make a good point that with play, “the act itself is more important than the outcome.”

Adults spend so much time rushing about trying to be productive. It’s always about getting things done and it can something be hard to be fully present. This can have an effect on your physical health. If you want to be an amazing aerialist, and especially if you want to be an amazing performer, one of your first lessons is that you must learn to be present. A distracted performer is one that will quickly lose an audience. If you are distracted in your workouts (running on a treadmill while watching a TV), you won’t achieve the kind of superior athleticism you desire. You have to be present, creative, curious, searching, and more.

So, let’s get serious about play, shall we?

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