Play At Your Own Risk

“Nana, look at me!”, squealed Kamdyn, the active blonde-haired preschooler. She and her nine-year old brother, Landen, had forfeited an afternoon of sitting at home playing Xbox action games and perusing the internet for baby videos on YouTube. They tumbled instead into the back seat of the late model car to spend six hours with Grandpa and Nana.  Currently they were among hoards of kids heartily involved in physical activity at the newly-opened “Rec Plex”, an indoor recreation center. Kamdyn was hanging upside down on the parallel bars swinging hands-free as her ponytail nearly brushed the cushioned floor mat. Her eyes danced with laughter as she viewed the world topsy-turvy.  

Meanwhile, Landen was buckled into harness gear ready to challenge a sequence of towering rock walls before him.  Upon closer scrutiny, obstacles were placed from floor to ceiling designed to test balance and agility. Some steps whirled creating a false sense of security while others slanted causing the climber to anchor sure footing before ascending further. Climbers Beware. One false move could trigger a misstep resulting in a safety harness free-fall back to the base. Now it was Landen’s turn.  He drew a deep breath and focused his attention on the summit above him. Within seconds he began the vertical ascent. In synchronized motion, he calculated each step along the way, testing the objects for stationary weight resistance. The upward slope was jumbled with hand grips as well as distance markers. Halfway to the top he paused, looked in our direction for moral support, and then climbed higher.  Once he reached the peak, he grabbed the ringer to sound the brass bell before scaling back down the rock wall. A quick victory cheer and he was on to the next challenge.  Meanwhile, Kamdyn cart-wheeled acrobatically down the sloping trampoline ramp leading to the gigantic pool of foam blocks.  “Nana, I did it!”, she shouted afterwards in a thrilling voice. It just goes to show you, the youth of today are willing to leave technology behind in lieu of normal physical activity.  In their innocence, they strive for encouragement as well as an outlet to gain our attention and approval.