family · fitness

Times to go Wheee!

Visiting my sister and her family always presents options for activities that I don’t normally do in the course of my daily life.  These activities invariably involve my youngest nephew Gray, who is the perpetual-motion machine of the family.

Yesterday Gray and my sister Elizabeth and I went for a walk around the neighborhood during a break in the rain that’s been falling for the past week.  Gray decided to take one of these along:


Elizabeth’s family has gone through many generations of scooters as her three kids (currently 10, 13, and 15) have grown.  I’ve never owned one, and now I’m wondering why not, as they are an entirely joyous way to move through space.  I looked up some information on scooters for adults here and found a variety of models, even for slightly varied terrain.  The accompanying copy is certainly compelling:

Only a decade ago adults riding scooters may have looked and felt out of place – now they are more likely to look and feel smart. Scooting is at least twice as fast as walking, and in contrast to biking, is allowed on sidewalks because the ability to slow down and stop, instantaneously, makes scooters much more pedestrian-friendly. And, Micro’s tall, smooth-gliding designs succeed in making riders feel, well, a little bit elegant.

I don’t know about the elegant part, but being able to glide along smoothly does propel me into an uncomplicated state of happiness.

Gray’s scooter du jour is called the Razor Powerwing Deluxe, which is ridden by swaying side-to-side.  In some ways it feels like skate skiing, as you are pushing from each side to generate forward momentum.  But unlike skating, you don’t take your feet off the platform, so it results in a swivel-hipped kind of movement.  Gray does a very good Elvis impersonation on his scooter (sadly not documented).

Of course I had to try it.  It’s not my size, but it was really fun trying on a different way to move.  Gray isn’t so enthusiastic about trying to muscle it up a hill, but I liked seeing if I could tweak my movements to improve efficiency.  Again, it kept reminding me of how one attacks terrain on cross country skis (is anyone noticing how I’m thinking a lot about skiing these days?  where’s the snow?)

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 10.04.35 AM.png

And going downhill was pure joy (combined with a little danger–there were landscaping trucks around– which makes the joy even greater).

So I’m going to get me one of these ASAP, so I can get to go Wheeeee! whenever I want.  You can see for yourself below.

[vimeo 150344640 w=500 h=888]
<p><a href=”″>IMG_6465</a&gt; from <a href=”″>Catherine Womack</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Readers, I’d love to hear what makes you go Wheee! and when you last did that.



family · fitness

Let’s stop talking about children and exercise (reblog from Impact Ethics)

I wrote a piece for Impact Ethics on the dangers of focusing just on sports for kids and neglecting everyday exercise (walking and biking to school, for example). I agree with all the commentators who recommend that children be left alone to play unsupervised (kids are more physically active when playing without adult supervision) but I wanted to focus on active lifestyles as well.