fitness · fun · soccer

A “chill” league of their own: Part 2

This past summer Cindy created a new FB group for a “chill” women’s rec soccer league (Part 1) that would disallow aggressive play. Many women eagerly joined, and I did too.

What does it mean to play aggressively? It might be described as specific behaviours, such as offensive charging and defensive tackling. Or, aggressive play might also be described more broadly to include any violent, reckless, or dangerous actions that increase—or are perceived to increase—the chances of injury.

What aspects of the game contributes to making soccer aggressive? It may be scores and league-tabling, but it’s also the division or level of play. Those who have been trained for competitive divisions may play more aggressively, especially if it is encouraged. According to the Barcelona Premiere Soccer Club,

“Aggressive Soccer is important for competitive players. It helps them play the game with more accountability and responsibility. Playing soccer requires a lot of hard work and determination.”

Some may play aggressively due to their prior competitive training. Conversely, players without prior training may also appear aggressive if they lack the skills to avoid collisions or strikes.

Then there are “old feuds” between players on opposing teams, which can easily spark tensions and aggressive play. Some folks may seem to be playing aggressively based on their reputations alone.

How to manage aggression in soccer that is part game structure, part skill level, and part perception? League organizers provide divisions to create play at different levels of competition levels. Rec divisions—the least competitive—would also presume to have the least aggressive play. Leagues also enact safety policies, rules, penalties, and paid referees in order to keep gameplay in all divisions fair and safe for everyone.

But judging by the number of women who joined Cindy’s FB soccer group, it seemed that typical measures were not enough. By attempting to self-organize, the group could perhaps find new ways to minimize competitive and aggressive play.

So, it was interesting to me that when Cindy asked what folks wanted, the vast majority of FB members voted in favour of keeping “typical league” with scores, statistics, and teams.

I want to play in a non-aggressive league without scores, stats, etc. 13%

I want to play in a typical league, just not with anyone aggressive 87%
Screenshot of results from vote.

Judging by the result, the group seemed to think that the source of aggressive play was the players, not teams or scores. They still wanted competition, just not the aggression competition can bring. Rather than change the game, perhaps the league could enact measures to prevent aggressive players from playing or playing the way they tend to do.

But when approached with requests to prevent players or teams with a reputation for aggression, the league manager explained that the group could not form a private “chill” league so long as actual scored games were being played (which the women voted they wanted). The provincial association overseeing all rec leagues (Ontario Soccer) puts no restrictions on barring skilled players from joining non-competitive divisions. Anyone could join this new “chill” division, even if they weren’t part of Cindy’s FB group.

As well, the league wouldn’t implement stricter penalties in just one division. As I understand it, the league manager was supportive of the idea of a non-aggressive league but wasn’t prepared (or perhaps resourced) to enforce unique rules that could lead to multiple complaints or challenges to rulings.

So, neither the players, the league manager, nor the governing professional association were willing to make systemic changes to the division or the game to avoid or minimize aggression. The “problem” of managing aggressive play still seemed to reside at the level of individual players.

Meanwhile, by the time all the information started to surface, it was late in the summer and the FB group had over 100 people in it—everyone still wanted to play in a non-aggressive league.

Could a group of women wanting “chill” soccer address aggressive play if everything about the division and the game stayed the same? Find out in Part 3!

fitness · fun · soccer

A “chill” league of their own: Part 1

There are a few typical ways to deal with an aggressive player in women’s recreational league soccer games: 1. confront the player (not very common), 2. avoid the player (somewhat common), or 3. complain about the player after the game (very common).

This summer, Cindy found a new way to address rough soccer play. She started an open Facebook (FB) group called “Womens’ 40+ Just Wanna Have Fun, BMO Soccer.” The call for the fall season made this group’s raison d’être clear:

“We need at least 60 women so we can create a CHILL soccer league. One where we are not out to kill each other. We will have very little person-to-person contact. If you are an aggressive player WE DO NOT WANT YOU.”

I was intrigued by this group because in the past I found it hard to distinguish normal from aggressive play. When I first started playing a few years ago, I mistakenly equated aggressiveness with skillfulness. But Cindy emphasized in the group that seasoned players can also be “chill”:

“Most of us have been playing for a number of years, but are tired of the players that seem to be out to kill. We want to just have a chance to get away from our daily routine, get some exercise, and socialize with others.”

If the regular rec divisional structure and rules weren’t sufficiently discouraging aggressive play, and the typical ways of players dealing with each other weren’t working to minimize it, then why not self-organize a new division to eliminate rough play altogether?

The initial proposed plan involved not only having a shared understanding that the entire division would be “chill” but also enforcing a zero tolerance for aggression policy and thus stricter rules of play:

“You will be benched if you are deemed playing aggressively. You will be warned once, and then kicked out of the league without any fees being refunded. We do know the difference between skilled and aggression.”

Another idea surfaced in the FB group to reduce aggression: eliminate scoring and statistics. Without wins and losses, there would be no league-tabling and therefore less competitiveness. A third suggestion was made for the division to do away with season-long teams altogether. No “us vs them” mentality, no fuel for aggressive play.

Cindy gave the choice to the then 60+ group members through a poll vote:

“Option 1. I want to play in a non-aggressive league without scores, stats, etc.

Option 2. I want to play in a typical league, just not with anyone aggressive.”

Which option would the rec women’s soccer FB group choose for a “chill” soccer league? Stay tuned for Part 2!

fall · fitness · fun · race report · running

Tracy’s first running event since 2019!

After more than three years of not doing anything “official,” I signed up for a 5K and ran it last weekend. And it was a blast. A few of my running group did it too. None of us went in with big dreams and all of us had a fun time.

Image description: Six runners, arms linked, some with race bibs, five wearing medals around their necks, smiling, start line and fall foliage in the background.

Considering that my last event was the Around the Bay 30K back in 2019 (see my overly optimistic report of that ill-fated day here — it was ill-fated because the next day I had a back injury and shortly after that I had achilles issues and basically I didn’t run much again for about nine months), the 5K felt like an odd choice. Not because there is anything wrong with 5K, but because it isn’t a distance that I needed to train for since I run more than that regularly (our Sunday minimum is usually around 7.5 and we often do more than that). I’ve never done an event that I haven’t had to train for.

I also had difficulty deciding what my goal should be. I really haven’t gotten back on track with any regular routine since the ATB in 2019, and when I go out I go out for fun, not for fast results. So I decided that my goal would be to come in under 40 minutes. That might seem like an unchallenging goal to some, but I wanted something that I could actually meet. Indeed, a friend who hasn’t run since she was in her thirties literally laughed at me when I stated that goal, as if it was ridiculously easy.

On race day I felt good. It was a gorgeous autumn day and we met just over 1K from the start line and ran there as a little warm-up. Unlike events in the past, I didn’t need to concern myself with whether I could make the distance. I decided I would stick to my usual 10-1 intervals that I do every Sunday.

In the end, most of my group broke away from me within the first 500m, with one falling into place a little bit behind. I didn’t end up wanting to walk for the one-minute walking intervals, and I was pacing reasonably well all things considered. My chip-time was 35:19 and I felt strong–only mildly regretting that I hadn’t pushed just a little bit harder to come in under 35 minutes. In any case, it gave me a new goal for my sixtieth birthday, which is to try to shave a few minutes off of my 5K time and perhaps even complete it in 30:00. It was also a fun time for the group, all of whom were smiling at the end, as you can see in our photo.

If there is a moral to this story, it’s that going back to something I used to do, and keeping my expectations very low, can actually feel really good. Have you returned to something that you’d set aside? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

fitness · fun

Walking on Stilts

If you celebrate Hallowe’en, your holiday-related exercise may involve organizing a costume then walking around the neighborhood or elsewhere in that costume.

This year there’s a slight twist on my Hallowe’en exercise: I’ll be walking on stilts.

I have never had a desire to wear stilts before. But last year when friends had the idea for the next local Hallowe’en parade of dressing up as “Landstriders” (tall quadaped animals from an 80s children’s puppet movie), I thought, Why not?

Fast forward months later—we have homemade peg stilts (thanks Lisa’s husband) that put us about one or two feet higher off the ground. It feels like 10. Though we are on stilts for the first time, our front legs will give us four points of contact and extra (much-needed) balance.

Uses and types of stilts

Stilts may be used for work (e.g., drywalling), as props for entertainment (in circuses, parades, and other performances), and for recreation or exercise. No matter how you are using stilts, they require balance, coordination, core and leg strength, and other skills for walking, running, or jumping off the ground.

By Rdikeman at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Here are some of the major types of stilts:

  • Handheld stilts are poles that people stand on and hold onto the polls. There are also buckets or cups that are held onto the feet by users. You may remember them as “romperstompers.”
  • Peg stilts are brace stilts whose base is more narrower than the user’s foot, which requires them to keep moving to stay upright and balanced.
  • Articulated stilts, usually made out of alumnimum, have a larger foot than a peg and allow for some toe movement when lifting the stilt.
  • Jumping or spring stilts have a fibreglass coil leaf spring design that allows users to run, jump high, and perform acrobatic tricks.

In addition to the need for strength and skill to use them, stilts comes with the extra risk of falling from a high height. The simplest advice I found for neophyte stilts walkers includes these points:

  • Keep an open (but not too wide) box stance to so legs are no more than shoulder-width apart
  • Don’t cross your legs while you walk
  • Don’t lean back

Stilts, fitness, and feminism

How is stiltswalking a fit and feminist issue? As stated, this exercise requires strength and other body abilities. It also not only allows for fun, creativity, and expression in daily use or performance; there is a connection between stilts and prosthetics. Stilts (and other adjacent technologies) can get you taller than your body’s height and aid with locomotion and/or balance.

Lisa Bufano performing on Queen Anne table legs. sfslim, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I was particularly moved learning a little bit about American artist Lisa Bufano, who used prosthetic stilts in incredible choreographed performances, some of which had toured worldwide. A gymnast and athlete, Bufano aimed to draw attention to her body’s abilities and differences in ability since becoming an amputee at the age of 21.

Although Bufano is no longer with us, you can see a tribute to and selection of her powerful artistic work, including videos, at the website http://www.lisabufano.com.

Below are a few videos of women from around the world on stilts. See if you can identify the stilt types they wear. I am inspired by their confidence!

Caroline Bernier-Dionne (QC, Canada)
Posted by Janna Travels. Performer unknown (but presumably from Russia?)
Demi Skinner (Australia)
fitness · fun · holiday fitness

Why not have more fun? Try a Halloween workout!

With Halloween just 7 days away, I thought it would be fun to post a few themed workouts in case you wanted to get in the ‘spirit’ of things. (ooooooh, so scary!)

A dog wearing a pumpkin hat
Khalee’s idea of a themed workout is to wear her pumpkin hat for approximately 90 seconds of her walk. Image description: Khalee, a light haired dog, is wearing a pumpkin hat and looking toward the camera with a doggie ‘smile.’ She is standing on the dark laminate flooring in my kitchen.

I haven’t watched or completed all of these, I just picked the ones that seemed fun and weren’t obviously problematic. Please take good care of yourself if you choose to do these – don’t do anything that doesn’t work for your body and turn the video right off if they seem to be buying into any diet-culture crap.

A Halloween Dance Party HIIT workout from Emkfit. I really like how she is goofing around here. Video still shows the title of the video in green and white text and there are two images of the host in dark green leggings and a sports bra exercising while making funny faces.
A 25 minute Halloween Dance Workout from Kyra Pro – the theme is pretty much just in the music but that’s still pretty cool. The still image shows the name of the video in ‘Halloween-style’ lettering and includes a photo of the host, in black workout clothes, with their hands in the air, shaped like monster claws.
A Halloween Walking Workout from Brand Fitness, I love how casual and friendly she is and she really seems like she is having a great time. . Still image shows the words ‘ 2500 Steps Halloween Walk’ in ‘Halloween-style’ text with cartoonish bats and spiderwebs in the background. The host is featured on the right hand side, wearing a witch costume with striped tights.
A 20 Minutes Halloween HIIT Workout from GrowingAnnanas – she does this whole workout in facepaint – I don’t know how it didn’t melt right off! Still images shows the video name in block letters with some white background and some red background. The red background has an added ‘blood drip’ in the bottom corner. The host is in black workout gear with face paint that looks like old fashioned mime or clown make-up – triangles pointed up from their eyebrows and down below their eyes, a black dot on their nose, and their lips are outlined in black.
A Halloween Zumba workout from Zumba Sulu. Another video done in full face make-up plus a costume and he has some spooky props in the background – very fun! Still image shows text reading ‘Halloween Special Dance Workout’ and shows the instructor in skull makeup and Halloween clothing making a ‘scary hands’ gesture toward the camera.
Yoga for ZOMBIES! by Yoga with Adriene. This one may not be as much of a Halloween theme as the previous videos but it’s close enough. And even Zombies need to be limber, right? Still image shows the video title in block letters, the word zombies is in red. Host is wearing a black shirt and red leggings and there is a background image of a black and white graveyard with leafless trees surrounded by mist.
A seated Halloween dance workout from Chair Yoga with Barbara. This video is pretty low-key but the host seems very friendly and the movements are straightforward. Still image shows the video title in Halloween-style text with a clip art ghost and spiderweb next to the text. The host is shown on the left side, wearing black shorts and an orange shirt with a Jack-o-Lantern face in black on the front.

I was only going to share 7 workouts but then I found this short chair yoga workout to ‘Monster Mash’ that is just so charming that I have add it to my list. I can’t figure out why it won’t embed like the others did but it is worth the click over to YouTube to view it.

I hope you found some fun workouts in this collection.

Do you have any other Halloween workout links you could share?

fall · fitness · fun · paddling · running

Wacky Wednesday: Pumpkin kayakers, T. Rex racers, and beer can marathoners

Fall is here- well, almost. According to the online Farmer’s Almanac, the astronomical start of fall is Thursday Sept 22, 9:04pm, EDT. But it’s never too early to start planning your fall novelty races. Costume races can be fun– I did a short for-fun cyclocross race in 2016, dressed as a banana.

But that’s child’s play compared to the level of commitment and willingness to exhibit publicly that these folks have. Consider the annual pumpkin regatta, held in Windsor N.S., moved to Shelbourne N.S. this year (because of low water levels in Windsor). Here are some details:

Kean said the race will take place [on Oct. 8] in Shelburne’s harbour, between the waterfront and Islands Provincial Park. “We’re pretty confident we can make it work. I mean, Shelburne has a world-class harbour so we want to make use of that,” she said.

Danny Dill, the owner of the Dill Family Farm in Windsor, will supply five oversized pumpkins for the race. His family has been providing the giant gourds since the regatta’s inception in 1999. Dill said he feels good about Shelburne taking on the regatta. “It’s like we’ve passed the torch, so to speak,” he said.

Maura Macumber, paddling her craft at the 2019 Windsor Pumpkin Regatta.

Racing in costume might seem much easier than racing in an enormous pumpkin. Well, consider this recent T. Rex event at a horse racing track.

T. Rex competitors cross the finish line by any means necessary.

If you’re feeling down about having missed your chance to channel your inner theropod in sneakers, there’s still time. If you’re in the Richmond, VA area, you can register for this T. Rex race.

Then there’s running a marathon in a human-sized beer can. Ultramarathoner Glen Sutton decided to make a beer can suit to wear while running a marathon. The rest is youtube history:


Two marathon runners flanking a human-sized beer can, also running. Don’t blame me, I just work here.

Speaking from experience, it’s so much fun to let go of everything but a commitment to fun and a modicum of large/small motor skills, and just get out there, laughing and moving in equal measure. Readers, do you have plans for any costume races or active events this fall? We’d love to hear all about them.

ADHD · fitness · fun · yoga

Choosing the fun part first

The weather here in Newfoundland and Labrador is tricky at any point and doubly tricky on the May 24th weekend.*

I have spent May 24th weekends wearing shorts, I have been rained out of planned adventures, I have shoveled snow from in front of a tent. And, on several occasions, I have worn shorts, a raincoat, and then mittens all on the same day.

So when Saturday rolled around and the weather was beautiful, I knew that my usual Saturday stuff inside could wait.

I had to get outside ASAP just in case things took a turn.

a selfie of Christine wearing sunglasses with her hair pulled back by a black bandana. She is outside, the sky is blue and the sun is directly behind her.
I couldn’t actually see my screen when I took this but since it made me laugh, I’m sharing it. This is a rare, non-smirking photo. Image description: I put my phone on my yoga mat and took a selfie looking upward. The majority of the image is blue sky but my head is looming at the bottom of the image and only the top 4/5 of my face is visible. I’m wearing sunglasses and my hair is pulled back unevenly in a black bandana. The bare branches of a tree can be seen to my left in the photo and the sun is behind me so parts of my hair are glowing. I look resigned but I am actually happy to be about to do yoga outside.

Normally, this would be cause for a scrambly brain of indecision – Should I do yard work? Bring inside work outside? Make plans for my garden? Take Khalee for an extra walk? What is the BEST use of this time?

This time, though, I bypassed all of those questions and just asked myself “What would be the most fun to do right now?”

And that’s how I found myself in the sunshine, doing yoga on my patio, laughing at the way my shadow makes me look like a fur ball or some sort of tendrilly sea creature.

a person's left hand (with a wedding and engagement ring and a watch on a woven band) rests on a blue patterned yoga mat outdoors.
Before doing my actual yoga practice, I did a few twists and I liked how my hand looked in contrast with my mat so I snapped a photo. Image description: A shot of my left hand, complete with wedding band, engagement ring, and Fitbit with a woven elastic strap, resting on a blue and teal yoga mat. My shadow, including the shadows of bits of my hair sticking out in a bizarre pattern, is covering most of the mat but there are some sunny bits at the top and the light wood of my patio is visible at the top of the image.

PS – For the record, Khalee and I took a long walk later in the day… and neither of us had to put on our mittens.

*Apparently, the May long weekend in Canada is not called ‘May 24th’ everywhere but that’s what we’ve always called it – no matter which date it falls on. If your brain hates that, imagine that I have said ‘Victoria Day’ instead.

fitness · fun

Geocaching

“Time for some bush-bashing! Don’t worry, it’s less than a two.”

This is what my friend said as we peered into a steep incline of densely grown trees and shrubs off the side of a highway near Halifax, Nova Scotia. She meant that the difficulty of finding the oldest geocache in Canada was considered to be “relatively easy” (within 30 minutes) and “along well-defined paths with no significant elevation change or overgrowth,” as per the standardized geocache rating system.

“Where is the well-defined path?” I asked.

My friend smiled. “It’s a joke among geocachers that you find the path to the cache on the way out.” Then, she disappeared into the bushes.

About Geocaching

An open cache cannister with a Travel Bug and a trinket on a rock.
An open cache cannister with a Travel Bug and a trinket on a rock.

My friend “Alispice” (her geocacher name) uses a GPS and/or mobile device to find hidden containers called geocaches at various outdoor locations. Since global positioning technology first became available to the public after May 2, 2000, (a.k.a. Big Blue Switch Day), there are over 3 million geocaches around the world. A free and family-friendly activity, geocaching offers a combination of treasure hunt, recreational activity, and exercise.

Caches are hidden everywhere. It’s likely there is one of over 20 different types of caches within 161 metres of you right now. A geocacher places a cache, shares location information and maybe a hint, then other geocachers search for and log the cache when they find it.

Alispice holds a micro cache found in Halifax, NA. She's good at finding very small things. Used with permission.
Alispice holds a micro cache. She’s good at finding very small things.

The more caches you find (especially the ones that are hard to get to), the higher you rise in the geocacher rankings. Geocaching apps are used to track global rankings, personal stats, and other information, such as progress on “challenges” that involve finding multiple caches according to specific criteria.

A Crash Course in Caching

I learned about geocaching during a short holiday with Alispice in Nova Scotia. It’s not all “bush-bashing.” We found caches on the downtown Halifax harbour front, in the nearby town of Dartmouth, and on the rocky shale and sandstone of Peggy’s Cove on the Chebucto Penninsula.

A picture of a large cache logbook, with entries from 2006.
A large cache logbook, with entries on the page from 2006.

It was a delight for me to pause on the discovery of a cache, read the names of those who signed the log before us, and ponder over the trinkets that are sometimes left in the containers. While I was musing, Alispice got promptly back on her device for the next cache. As of this post date, her highest number of caches in one day is 172.

For some, geocaching can be a hobby and a lifestyle. Because caches are everywhere, I suspect that seasoned geocachers like Alispice have to make a concerted mental effort to stop thinking about finding caches when they are going about their daily lives.

I also learned that caches can draw attention to special places. For instance, there were a few simple caches at the Africville museum and park. As we walked around and read the information plaques in the park, Alispice explained that the caches there may have been set up to attract geocachers visiting Halifax who would not otherwise know about the history of this mostly Black Canadian community.

What Geocachers Do (and Do Not Do)

When geocachers are not caching, they may be stocking up on supplies (purchasing log books, travel bugs, O rings, etc.). Or, they may be meeting together at local and international geocacher gatherings called “events,” and participating in Cache In Trash Out environmental initiatives; these activities help to preserve existing cache areas, beautify outdoor spaces, and minimize the stereotype that geocaching is “littering.”

Alispice opening a small cache at Peggy's Cove.
Alispice opening a cache at Peggy’s Cove.

Such events also build community for people participating in a recreational and largely self-organized activity. HQ and volunteers together encourage geocachers to follow etiquette and courtesy rules when placing and locating caches. In what is described as the geocacher’s creed, respect for place, property, and other people is of the highest importance.

More About Geocaching

The best way is to learn more about geocaching is to get out there and try it, but here are some general info sites for Muggles (what geocachers call non-geocachers like me):

I had a great time, and got plenty of exercise, trailing a geocacher for 3 days. I’m not quite ready for the cognitive load of a ever-present, never-ending, world-wide treasure hunt. But I will be sure to cheer on the next people I see searching the bushes in unexpected places, hoping they are close to their geocache discovery!

Alispice and Elan at the oldest geocache in Canada. Trees and a sign that says Geocache Lane behind them.
Alispice and Elan at Geocache Lane in Nova Scotia, the oldest geocache in Canada.
fitness · fun · kids and exercise · play

Ranking Outdoor Kid Games (for Adults)

Recently some adult folks and I celebrated a friend’s birthday outside at a park in the snow. We simple played kid outdoor games: a team tossing game, a ball relay, and a good ol’ fashioned snowball fight. We ran around, egging on members of the other team, getting soaked. It was hilarious and silly and fun.

A woman describes rules to a game while people stand in a line behind her. A park in the daytime with snow
Marnie gives instructions to the adults for the next kid game.

Playing outdoor kid games can bring a swell of nostalgia for games in the school yard, the backyard, the park, the lot, the court, or the field. Those games taught us important lessons (good and bad) that we remember throughout our adult lives.

I decided to describe and rank various types of kids outdoor games that can be and still are played by adults. Inter-rater reliability (i.e. with my partner) for the aspects of each game type (e.g., high, medium, or low) was about 92%.

What is your favourite outdoor kid game or game type, and why? Reply in comments below!

Accuracy Games 

CriteriaLevel
Energylow
Skillmed
Teamworklow
Inclusivenessmed
Sillinesslow

Examples: Ladder toss, horseshoes, washer toss, catch/HORSE, hopscotch

These games that pay attention to detail and precision. They have rules and specialized equipment, and may be played individually or in teams. It’s usually the accuracy games that adults want to play to show kids that they’ve still “got it.”

Snowball/Water Balloon Fights

CriteriaLevel
Energymed
Skilllow
Teamworklow
Inclusivenessmed
Sillinesshigh

Snowball and water balloon fights have few rules and are generally a free-for-all of silliness. Often, one need not be the strongest or fastest participant: those who create their own strategy (or find good hiding places) can fare well.

Be careful in these games around those who wear glasses. In northern or southern climates, less popular in Spring/Fall.

Imagination Games

CriteriaLevel
Energylow
Skilllow
Teamworkmed
Inclusivenesshigh
Sillinessmed

Examples: Lost on an island, Cowboys, Fashion show, etc.

Imagination games (also known as “pretend” or “make believe”) are for those who want to escape rule-bound games with winners and losers that require equipment and physical skill or strength.

In imagination games, anyone with creativity and a playful attitude can participate.

"Adults Playing" by eekim is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Adults Playing” by eekim is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Strength Games 

CriteriaLevel
Energyhigh
Skilllow
Teamworkmed
Inclusivenessmed
Sillinessmed

Examples: Red rover, tug of war

Simple, straightforward us-vs-them team games, where the most important rule is…be the strongest and win! Expect the occasional skin burn or scratch.

Sometimes these games can get violent–it was this aspect of tug of war that was emphasized by Netflix’s Squid Game (2021).

"Tug of War" by joshwept is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Tug of War” by joshwept is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Organized Sports Games

CriteriaLevel
Energyhigh
Skillmed
Teamworkhigh
Inclusivenesslow
Sillinesslow

Examples: Flag football, baseball, dodgeball, kickball, soccer

Organized sports build skill, stamina, and teamwork. They create opportunities for life-long bonding. But being group-based, rule-bound, and equipment-heavy, these serious games can separate casual from competitive players.

Also, no one likes to be picked last for a team.

Speed Relay Games

Examples: Relays (e.g., egg and spoon race), potato sack racing

CriteriaLevel
Energymed
Skilllow
Teamworkhigh
Inclusivenesslow
Sillinesshigh

Individual or team-based–and often requiring nothing more than a ball, a baton, or a sack–speed relay games can bring the best of a group of people working together.

These games can be not so fun for folks who may struggle to keep up or who take relays too seriously.

"Sack race" by badjonni is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Sack race” by badjonni is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tag and Strategy Games 

CriteriaLevel
Energymed
Skillmed
Teamworkmed
Inclusivenessmed
Sillinessmed

Examples: Tag, Capture the Flag, Musical Chairs, Red Light-Green Light, Hide and Seek

Combining the skill of accuracy games, the endurance of strength games, and the creativity of imagination games, tag and strategy games can utilize diverse talents. These games attract those who enjoy being the last one standing.

Dancing · fitness · fun · holiday fitness · holidays · meditation · mindfulness · motivation

Making Space: Day 31

Welcome to Day 31!

I hope today finds you with the space you need to take good care of yourself.

And I hope that you can recognize your own efforts to make that space, even if you didn’t always succeed.

You matter, your needs matter and your efforts matter.

And here’s a gold star for those efforts:

A large gold 3D paper star hanging on a white door.
Image description: This is the largest gold star I own. It’s a foldable 3D paper ornament and it is covered with sparkly gold spirals. In this photo, I have hung it on a white door.

Now, onto our movement and meditation for making space. (As always, feel free to do these or to do your own thing.)

One of my favourite ways to get moving is to join my friend Elaine Dunphy in either an ageless grace or a Nia dance class. Since I can’t bring all of you to one of her classes (what with Covid restrictions and the laws of physics and all), I asked her to create a short video for today’s post.

Here’s Elaine, in full positivity and joy, with a New Year’s Eve message and a short and fun movement practice for you to try as you create a little space for yourself today.

My friend Elaine Dunphy with a New Year’s message and a short movement practice for us today. I posted this on my own YouTube channel – the only other video on there is my husband doing the ice bucket challenge, so obviously I am not a prolific YouTuber. The still image shows Elaine in her dance studio. She has very short salt-and-pepper hair and she is smiling and holding her right hand up, palm towers the camera with her fingers held widely apart.

And as for a meditation, I am offering two today.

The first one is for people with a lot of space in their day, the second is for people with just a sliver of time for themselves.

A ten minute meditation from the Great Meditations YouTube channel. The still image is a cartoon drawing of a person in yellow sitting in a classic meditation pose – legs crossed, backs of hands resting on knees, palms upward. The words ‘Clear Your Mind guided meditation’ are on the left side of the image.

And if you just have a minute, here’s a meditation for you.

A mini-meditation from the Headspace YouTube channel. Still image shows blue squiggles against a yellow background with the words ‘Health Mind’ written in purple on the upper left side.

I hope that these posts have helped you find space for yourself during the month of December when time seems to telescope, dragging on or collapsing without any relationship to the clock or to the calendar.

As we move into 2022, may you have the space you need in your mind, in your heart, in your days, in your schedules, and in the places where you spend your time.

See you tomorrow for my first Go Team! post.