March 24, 2010

Run, Jump, Skip, Hop

askipper.jpgIn my line of work, I have to look at the Internet for many hours a day. As a steady diet this is not good.

As you all know, the Internet makes it drop-dead easy to find at least 30 things that really piss you off before your first cup of coffee cools. I don't care where you're coming from, this axiom (15 Minutes Internet = 30 Things That Frost Your Cookies ) is universal. [See: Godwin's Law / Van der Leun's Corollary for an earlier iteration. ]

So it is always , I have to remind myself, always in my best interest to get up and get out of the house on a regular basis. Normally I try to do this every day and four times on weekends, but "knowing how way leads on to way," hours can pass and my resolve is still waiting to be acted on.

During the weekdays, however, I have a great break clock just across the street from my house. It is probably the best break clock a man can have. Its alarm is made of children's laughter.

Three times a day, the elementary school across the street throws the doors to its playground open and several hundred children blast out onto the blacktop. They're out there right now. Whoops, and shouts, and laughter. Just a second, I've gotta go check....

... tick... tick... tick ....

.... Back now. Great break. I took a walk to the end of the block. Then I walked back again. Then I walked to the corner market where they've had an unusual run on donuts. Only three sad sprinkle-cake donuts left. Pass.

While walking I noticed something that we all notice and that we all forget. When it comes to children and recess, there is no "walk." There's run, jump, skip, hop, dash, sprint, bounce and lope. But there is no walk. I mentioned this to my neighbor who also works in the market.

"I know what you mean," she said. "I love to skip. But, let me see, the last time I skipped was.... ten years ago with my niece... it was a skipping race out on Lopez Island in the summer. I was pretty much laid up for a day after, but I loved it."

She handed me a bag and gave me a look. What could I do? I skipped out of the store and all the way home. It's tougher than I remember it being. But I commend it to you. It's a way of walking that changes your view of the world. Things, well, things don't piss you off so easily if you throw a skip or two into your day.

It's still recess at the school across the street and the kids are not slowing down. How wise they are for people so young.

Posted by Vanderleun at March 24, 2010 2:31 PM
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Almost thirty and still skip from time to time. I think it's partially a weight thing— past a certain point you can really hurt your feet. I'm not light but my feet are strong.

On the other hand, I found out yesterday that if you wear high heels, and squish your toes up, and try to skip the next day... that's a bad call. Owie.

Posted by: B. Durbin at March 7, 2007 12:13 PM

Skipping. Tried it.....rather poorly. Heck, I'm 75, what did I expect.....tripping lightly through the tulips?

By George, I think you're onto something here, Gerard. It kinda releases the inner child. I'm going to keep doing it till they take me to the home. Whee!!

Posted by: Jimmy J. at April 11, 2008 9:21 PM

Amazing that you should bring this up. Why, it was only last Sunday that I drove down to the beach here in Jersey to see the waves churning under a driving wind--I wasn't disappointed. The sea was stormy! So, since no one was out, and the wind was pushing me along anyway, I started skipping down the boardwalk...and the laughter came fast and furious! I could not control myself! It does feel different than what I remember from childhood, but I think that's because my legs are easily twelve to fourteen inches longer, probably more. Isn't it great?

Posted by: Kerry at April 12, 2008 3:51 AM

Gerard, I'll pay $200 to watch you skip!

Posted by: Fausta at April 12, 2008 6:27 AM

We need a National Skip Day.

Posted by: James at April 12, 2008 9:47 AM

Interesting. Even as a child I've always intuited the link between thought and physical exercise. That is thinking becomes stale and unhealthy when there has been too much sittin' and too much talkin'.

Posted by: nealfred at April 12, 2008 9:55 AM

Van,

I'vee been hanging out here a lot this week. Maybe too much (did I say that?). Lately it's been an "outrage of the day" type of experience, and your commentary/links have helped to articulate my frustrations with it. Thanks.

As an alternative to banging my head against the bricks, I now head off to the range and go shooting. It feels good, it sounds good (with hearing protection, of course) and it really smells good, too. Plus, it pisses the liberals off.

Posted by: sasquatch at March 24, 2010 5:12 PM

This was just lovely. Perfect.

We're all in such a funk.

I'll give the skipping a run tomorrow.

Good thing I've still got private insurance.

Posted by: Cathy at March 24, 2010 8:17 PM

Great imagery. I went for a walk this afternoon as well....skipped the little turnovers and got a cappucino instead. The cherry blossoms were surreal. Skip, Hop, SMELL, it's all good. :)

Posted by: Sushisistah at March 25, 2010 4:25 PM

Good for you. The best part of having young kids was being able to run around and play with them. One of my kids' fondest memories from grade school are of "Mama Velociraptor". I would take them to the playground, count to ten, then swoop around like that demonic critter in Jurassic park, trying to catch them. They were the small mammals, shrieking in mock terror as they ran for their lives. I live in a very precious and PC community where most of the moms highly disapprove of violent or scarey games (and, indeed, forced the town to remove a cool stegasaurus climbing jungle gym because it "might frighten" kids). But the other kids in the playground would always want to join in.

Posted by: retriever at March 25, 2010 5:56 PM