If you look outside, weather permitting, you will see an increase in the number of people outside; the number of dogs you see walking; more children are playing outside.
But, why now?
That seems to be something that I’ve found that I’ve been asking myself or other people about since this COVID-19 pandemic really hit the United States.
Why did it take a global pandemic for families to strive to spend more time together outside? Why am I all of the sudden looking out my window and not only seeing neighbors that I didn’t even know lived in my neighborhood, but dogs that I have never once seen before. Of the people who are typically outside or spend their time at the parks, if you ask them, they will tell you that there are people in places that have never been crowded before.
Is this a result of trying not to go stir crazy while you’re stuck at home?
Are the crowds at the parks or people walking around outside a result of the decent weather we’ve been experiencing or perhaps is it because the gyms and fitness centers are all closed as a result of Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order?
Whatever the case may be, I still would like to know why all of the sudden these people are coming out of the woodwork and are all about fitness all of the sudden. I know that sounds bad, why should I be criticizing people for being healthy, but the truth is… I’m just baffled.
It should not take a global crisis to encourage your children to be more physically active rather than choosing to be on an iPad, cellphone or gaming system.
I remember when I was younger, I never wanted to come inside. I remember making “soup” from dirt, water and worms. I remember playing basketball in my driveway until after dark and playing flashlight tag in the summer. I remember always wanting to ride my bike or roller blade around the block.
In the winter, I loved playing in the snow and learning how to use a snowblower. In the fall, I loved raking leaves and then just laying in the pile on nice days and the smell of the air. When spring came around, I loved helping my mom plant flowers and helping mow the lawn. Of course, there were some unpleasant times when I fell off my bike and scraped my knee. My dad would tell me to “suck it up and keep going.” I remember taking risks climbing trees and jumping off swings.
Some of my fondest memories, in fact most of them, involved being outside.
I feel a sense of sadness for the children of today because a majority of them are not as encouraged to get dirty or take risks. There are so many rules and restrictions on children today that they won’t ever learn what it means to “make soup” or to learn to mow the lawn. They’re told to come inside when it rains and they’re given some sort of electronic to keep them busy so parents don’t have to parent. And now, all of the sudden, there are adults outside trying to stress the importance of being healthy and being active.
It shouldn’t take a global crisis to push physical activity and enjoying the outdoors. We should always want to take the time to appreciate the natural environment we are given, not just out of times of boredom.