“You’re really good at the balance exercises. Did you take dance lessons as a kid?” someone asked me at the end of Pilates class one day.
“Well, thank you.” (I am great at balancing in difficult positions!) But wait a second!
No, I didn’t dance as a kid. (I was terribly uncoordinated.) I do dance as a grownup, though.
Many lucky little girls take dance, gymnastics, or music lessons. And many lucky little girls also play soccer, swim in lakes and oceans, ride bikes, and swing tennis rackets or softball bats. Many lucky little girls build forts in the woods and mix mud pies in the backyard. Many play tag on the playground with the boys, and many pretend they’re superheroes and make “vvvrrrooooom vvvrrrooooom” sounds while squealing their Barbie cars around their bedrooms. Many lucky little girls wear dresses on the monkey bars and scuff up their patent leather shoes on the basketball court.
And then many of these lucky little girls ditch their dance sessions for extra study periods, use their musical abilities in the marching band and then put their instruments away for life, give away their dolls’ sporty cars, grow out of their bikes, and leave their tennis rackets at home when they leave for college. Many of these lucky little girls eventually learn to keep their clothes in pristine condition and only dip their toes into the water—so as not to mess up their hair with seawater. These girls remember with fondness their time in the neighborhood woods, on their bikes, and steering snazzy toy Jeeps or convertibles. But not many seek out new woods, buy a new bike, or follow the curves of new roads in a fast car.
There’s no telling why some of us do continue riding bikes, tromping through forests, using our bodies for exercise and expression, and exploring the sports we tried as kids but couldn’t fully appreciate then. No matter why, those of us who do are lucky—very lucky—women.
So I want to congratulate every one of you who is keeping your youthful spirit young—strong, healthy, alive—and to encourage you to question those who think that maintaining an active and creative lifestyle is just for lucky little girls.
I also want to offer you a magazine that supports the case for play as adults. May it motivate you to invite more women in your life to join you in the woods, on your bike, and in your travels. May it be a mirror in which you can see what a lucky person you are to have recognized what your soul needs, what your body wants, and what you can do to give them those things. May it be the nudge you needed to respond to your girlish desire to take yourself less seriously—to play.
Table Of Contents
Women’s Adventure magazine, Spring 2015 Issue
Stories to come.