When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A good sport

I have never been very good at sports. Put me in a pair of tap or jazz shoes and I've got grace, coordination, and strength, but whenever I encounter physical activity that involves balls flying at me, I either close my eyes, duck, or run away. It's pathetic, really, but I've come to accept my athletic limitations and have spent much of my life simply avoiding activities that involve balls flying at me.

This tactic stopped working so well once I became a mom to two boys who enjoy sports, and who are really happy when their parents play baseball, soccer and the like with them. It wasn't hard for me when the boys were little (I didn't think spongey softballs or soccer kicks by two year olds were very intimidating), but now that Noah and Will are older and already more skilled than I am in these things, I find myself once again running for cover whenever a ball is headed my way. The boys are too nice to say anything to me, but I'm sure it's become quite obvious to them that their mom is a bit of a dud in this department.

I'm happy to say, though, that I have found a set of sports equipment that we all enjoy playing with, made by ogosport. The equipment consists of two large, foam-edged disks with springy fabric centres and a soft Koosh ball (one that I don't feel I have to duck from!). It's a simple concept that provides us with many play possibilities and hours of active fun. We use the disks to bounce the ball back and forth to each other across the yard, or play solo by trying to see how high or how many times we can repeatedly bounce the ball in the air off the disk without it falling to the ground.

We also use the disks as frisbees, trying to see how many different ways we can toss and catch them. (Catching one actually looks and feels a lot like catching a pizza if you let the soft centre land on your hand or your head!)

The equipment can be used in as many ways as our imaginations can think of, and playing with it gets all of us running, jumping, throwing, catching, improving coordination, climbing (fences to retrieve the ball) and laughing.

I'm so glad to have discovered this ogosport game; it's allowed me to really have fun being active outside with Noah and Will, minus the worry of personal injury (to me, not the boys!) that traditional sports seem to carry with them. You can imagine how relieved I am now that I can leave baseball for Matt to play with our sons....

If ogosport looks like your kind of thing, I've seen this particular set, or a version of it with smaller disks, at places like Mastermind Toys, Chapters and Amazon. Believe me, if I can have fun with it, everybody can!

Hooray for spring and summer, and for the opportunities they provide for physical activity in the grass and the sunshine! What are your favourite ways to get active outdoors?

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