Go Outside

So I bought a skateboard.

I’m not going to turn into a “skater” (I am about as athletic as a rock). I just want something to ride around the neighborhood on and entertain myself while my kids are on the playground.

I started riding this thing because the kids and their friends were all picking out vehicles to ride to the park and even though there was a shortage, no one wanted the pretty pink princess skateboard. I can’t really blame them, but to prove that it is actually rideable, I rode it.

After a couple days of riding around on this thing (which is not a good skateboard and I don’t know why we own it,) I realized that 1. skateboarding is fun and 2. I need a skateboard that doesn’t come to a halt when I put both feet on it.

The new board is (unsurprisingly) way better than the pretty pink princess board. (If you’re getting a skateboard, it seems that you should shell out for a real board.) So I have been outside a bunch this week, rolling around the neighborhood and occasionally wiping out.

And I feel absolutely amazingly good. Not because I’ve avoided the internet (though I admit that I can’t use Twitter and skate at the same time) but because that’s just how fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are. They’re good for you.

My outside adventures actually started a few months ago when I decided to hold a garage sale. This simultaneously forced me outside all day and resulted in a cleaner, less cluttered house (and money in my pocket). Since then I’ve been trying to get out more–to get us to the park or playground if not every day, at least several times a week.

Going outside more has certain additive effects–the kids’ friends who live in the neighborhood know we are likely to be out and so are, in turn, more likely to come out. And if their friends are out, my kids are more likely to get out. Having a plethora of outside toys like bikes and scooters so that everyone has something to ride helps a lot, by the way. (I find most kids in our neighborhood are oddly lacking in this area–you know, if you can afford two cars, you can afford a scooter from Goodwill.)

Sometimes getting out is hard. Sometimes you have to force yourself. Sometimes you have to force the kids, too. And sometimes the outside is a disaster. Sometimes you get stung by a bee, or hit by a stray frisbee, or someone falls in the lake. But keep trying. Start small. “Outside” doesn’t need to be kayaking down the fjords or hiking in the Grand Canyon. It can just be your backyard. Just turn off your phone and get out there.

You don’t even need to have kids to go outside. (They are a convenient excuse for why I’m doing chin ups on the monkeybars, though.) Ride a bike. Plant a garden. Walk.

If a clumsy oaf like me can skateboard to the park, you can get some exercise, too.

Go get some sun. It’s fall and the leaves are beautiful, skittering across the road. Exercise warms you up and the wind cools you back down. And when you step back inside, you’ll feel like you’ve brought the sun with you.

Have a great weekend.

12 thoughts on “Go Outside

  1. Really great post!
    And yes I‘ll go out this weekend as the weather forecast is perfect.
    And then two weeks leave!
    Rome and Prague are not that far and/or the Alps are on the list .,,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am surprised, I thought a skateboard requires a quite good sense of balance and not for the clumsy. For example I used to be an avid skier, and I have noticed that people learning snowboarding which is very similar to skating tend to fall a LOT more than people learning to ski. It was in the good old times with straight skis and using poles, before these wavy skis and not using poles wrecked it for beginners.

    I like riding a bicycle but I was thinking of getting some kind of scooter, I mean, the kind that is practically a skateboard with a handle, making falls less likely. But I need a really sturdy one as I would try doing tricks with it in the skate park and a not sturdy one would not last long.

    Like

    • Nah.
      I mean, if you’re doing tricks, like jumping on the board and doing flips and whatnot, then I’m sure it takes a good sense of balance. But just riding it around the neighborhood seems like something almost anyone can do. It does take a couple of days to get used to the board, though.

      Snowboarding looks really hard because you can’t just jump off the board.

      Scooters are nice. Have fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Outside is great depending on where you are. Around these parts, it’s 90 degrees with 90% humidity until mid November (not to mention mosquitoes that drain a pint of blood). But from then until about mid April, it is fantastic.

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  4. Totally true about the “network effect” of if you get out, others more likely to come. In my neighborhood, the playgrounds are deserted during the day, and I only go to the big one you have to drive there because at least kids go there after five. If course, my kids are also very small < 3) so there's no friends and biking…. My struggle is a weekly routine and leaving the house fast enough to catch mom's out early before the daytime heat and to be in the same place reliably week to week.

    Re: owning a bicycle. The insistence on bulky and uncomfortable helmets for even basic child vehicles really kills the child's desire to use the vehicles or the parents' desire to fight over it, at least in a two-year-old.

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    • I firmly believe that putting helmets on kids who are using tricycles or training wheels is not only unnecessary, but long-term actually bad for them because it discourages healthy exercise just to maintain the illusion of safety (there is no way a kid on a tricycle actually needs a helmet).

      I’ve found that my routines have gotten a lot better as my kids have gotten older and more competent at putting their own socks and shoes on, so don’t worry it gets easier.

      Liked by 1 person

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