Saturday, September 17, 2011

Turning On The Jets

This is not about football.  Or hot tubs. 

Walking home from work at Strong Gym Savannah this week (ask me how much I love love LOVE walking to work!!), I was happily inspired by a couple of seemingly mundane occurences.

Picture, if you will, Trainer Jane strolling southbound on one of the prettiest streets in the United States: Bull Street, Savannah, GA.  (Get the street view on google maps, going south from 1321 Bull Street, the location of Strong Gym. Hint hint.)  It's a sunny day, close to 90 degrees, but not humid for a very refreshing change. 

Walking northbound on the opposite side of the street I see a young family.  Man, woman, teenage girl, all in casual clothes, and three boys in football uniforms, complete with pads and carrying their helmets.  (Oops, I lied, this is a little about football afterall.)  The boys range from roughly 8 to 14 years old.  They are laughing and talking on their way to Forsyth Park for football practice.  I smile broadly and watch them for about a block.  It's always terrific to me to see people walking from point A to point B.  Especially when it's more than 20 steps. 

Plenty of people walk around here because they can, there are sidewalks everywhere and the weather is pleasant 95 percent of the time.  They have the option to drive but choose to live on their feet instead of inside a box with wheels.  (I assume it is a choice.  If they walk because they have to it remains a very beneficial thing to do.)  It makes me smile that they have access to great recreation programs in walking distance.  It makes me smile to see families enjoying their activities together, sharing time and experiences.  It becomes apparent that I smile at the slightest thing, right?

Just as the northbound family across the street proceeds out of my peripheral vision, I see a young man approaching on my side of the street.  A boy, really, a block away from me.  He's about 11 or 12 years old, I guess.  He's walking briskly.  Then suddenly, he turns on the jets and starts sprinting toward and rapidly past me.  It didn't look as though he was being chased or he was late or he was chasing anyone himself, he just looked focused on sprinting as fast as he could.  And the first thing that popped into my head was, "What's he got to prove?" 

Is he showing off his sprint for one of the football-kids across the street?  Is he proving it to himself that he can launch that turbo charger on a dime and run faster than he felt like he did before?  Is he wondering how winded he gets from sprinting the length of a city block?  Is there a crowd cheering in his head for his performance as he crosses his imaginary finish line?

I must have looked like a grinning idiot to other folks on the street, but I just got so tickled for sprinter-boy.  It's so fun to have the ability to turn on the jets whenever you feel like it and go flashing around under your own power!  As you get older you have to work harder to maintain some percentage of that ability, but when you do the work the results feel almost as good as they did when you were a kid. 

I hope football-family and sprinter-boy continue to have the good fortune that allows them the joy of movement, as well as reaping the benefits of movement itself.  I also hope they inspire other parents and children by their examples.

Be Well!