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Posted on September 3, 2021 at 10:12 AM by Kyle Jost
Notice that the first three letters of the word “recess” are R-E-C, as in short for “recreation”, “recreate”, or “recover”? I’m not sure of the phonetic or linguistic connection, but I know there is one; it’s not a coincidence. At the core of recreation is the basic human need to stop working and managing stressful responsibilities and instead turn our time to leisure activities that help us restore and recover our physical, mental, emotional, relational, spiritual, and energetic selves.
It's medically proven that we need rest to be our best. Ever hear of the Japanese practice of forest bathing? How about doctors prescribing patients to get into parks and take a walk? Yes, I’m not making this stuff up, and in our industry we take the wellbeing of the total person serious.
With COVID closing up schools and businesses last year, forcing families into isolation we saw many examples of people taking to the outdoors. That’s great! But this year since the vaccines started becoming available in March and the state relaxed COVID restrictions in June I have witnessed one concerning trend: Adults are not recreating like they used to before COVID, specifically in team sports. Participation in adult softball, adult soccer, basketball and bocce this summer, all TDRPD programs, is way down.
Now, I suspect there’s many explanations. The one I can stomach the most is that these adults have turned more to individual or family forms of recreation and are still getting out to play with friends in smaller groups. There are two other explanations, though, that do concern me:
First, it’s true that wages vs the cost of living in Truckee are difficult. I know of many people that take on a 2nd job just to make ends meet. For these people, being able to establish and control their work schedule so they can plan to recreation and rest is tough in itself. I hope they are making time to at least walk, jog, hike, bike or swim for their own wellbeing.
Second, I see most parents dedicating every ounce of their time and financial resources to their kids’ activities. Often these kids are overscheduled and fried as parents rush them between baseball and lacrosse or soccer practice. Last spring when I coached Little League at least 5 of the 12 boys on my team were in another sport causing conflicts between the leagues. We had to forfeit a couple of games because they weren’t committed to our team. Instead of putting some of the time and money into their own leisure, these parents are putting it into fast food, gas and busy schedules. What about their own recreation?
As we all #MountainForward here in Truckee, all of us deserve and need to get out there and play. To me it’s like grade-school recess. Give me 3 breaks a day to get out and get some air. What do you like to do that you’ve given up? Volleyball? Drop-in starts in September in the Community Recreation Center. Yoga? It’s available for free on Tuesdays in Regional Park right now. Swimming? The lakes aren’t that cold anymore and the Truckee Community Pool is open 5 days a week right now – and expanding to 7 days a week after Labor Day.
TDRPD doesn’t exist just for the kids. Our facilities and programs are available for people of all ages. Be sure you’re taking care of yourself, not just your kids, and get away from work and chores for a while. Get out and recreate!
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