Daily Prompt: Playtime

Yesterday was Friday, the last day of teaching before a week-long Thanksgiving Break. It was also a particularly gloomy day, on the threshold of dark and rain all day long. So it would seem that, as soon as the students left, I would hurry to my cozy home and settle in for the bliss of that “I have a whole week off” feeling, right?

Not so fast.

First I was going running. My friend and I had planned it out a few days in advance. We wanted to get in a fairly long run sometime during the weekend before we went our separate ways for the break. Precipitation was in the forecast for the next few days and it looked like Friday night was our best bet.

As I drove home to quickly change into my running clothes and grab my dog (he, too, was due for a long run after being cooped up in the house for several days), I intermittently ran the wipers to erase the mist settling, and resettling, on my windshield.

Mist. Rain. Sun (what sun?) setting. Temperature dropping. Rain turning to snow? Should we go out for a long run this evening?

But that’s the thing about scheduling something like this with a friend. Neither wants to be the one to call and say, “Meh. I think I’ll just go home and sit on the couch and eat.”

I quickly texted her:  On my way!

The misty rain had stopped by the time we started. We ran on a packed gravel road behind her house, turning our headlights on almost immediately to find our way through the gloom. The temperature – 34 – was perfect for running since we had on hats and a few layers. I knew though that the slightly above freezing temperature would result in sleet, if the precipitation started up again. A few miles in, we noticed particles of moisture dancing around in front of our lights.

When we were four-and-a-half miles along, we turned around. The rain/snow was coming down harder now and we could really feel it once we turned in the opposite direction. Feel it on our cheeks (refreshing!), feel it on our arms and legs where our clothing was thinner (wet!), feel it in our eyes (difficult to look up, look ahead, to see the small pools of light just in front of our feet on an otherwise utterly dark road!).

We kept chatting. Kept running. I kept an eye on the amount of moisture building up on my fleeced arms. Nothing I was wearing was waterproof. “This isn’t the type of weather you want to be caught in too far from home,” I told my friend. “We’re not dressed right to be getting this wet.” We weren’t worried though. Only a couple more miles.

I felt great. There was nothing telling me to slow down, to walk for a bit, not my legs, not my head, and not my dog as he led us onward through the darkness. And certainly not the weather.

When we got back to her house, she asked if I wanted to come in for a bit. No, I needed to get home and get out of my wet clothes, have some hot food from my crock pot, and settle in to the bliss of that “I have a whole week off” feeling.

Today’s prompt – playtime – made me think of last night’s run. Running with a friend is always fun, but having the added elements of precipitation and nightfall made it even more so. It was exhilarating and refreshing and exhausting and just the teeny bit worrisome. And all those things made it all the more playful.

To me, doing anything outdoors is considered playtime; adding in one small, different, perhaps unexpected, element makes it all the more fun, such as:

1. Running with a friend

2. Skiing with a helmet cam

3. Running in the dark

4. Playing frisbee and counting the number of consecutive catches

5. Running in a red dress with a black clutch purse

Clutch Purse

6. Running up the switchbacks and through the tunnels on the Colorado National Monument

7. Pedaling, cooling off with a swim, pedaling home

8. Swimming around an island or across the lake

9. Running in the snow

10. Having a dinner date 20 miles out-of-town in the camper

11. Making a goofy instructional video while cross-country skiing

12. Showering on a slab of slickrock

13. Kayaking upstream

14. Hiking alone

15. Pedaling through a canyon and sleeping in a cabin

16. Hiking with my daughters to a class II archaeological site that cannot be found on a map

False Kiva

17. Playing racquetball at 5:00 a.m.

18. Pedaling from the brewery, out and back, and then celebrating with a local microbrew

19. Kayaking in the snowy desert

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

20. Hiking to see petroglyphs

21. Playing racquetball round robin style

22. Cross country skiing to an overlook

23. Keeping a tally of wins during a month of racquetball

24. Floating a river with all of my relatives during a family reunion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

25. Climbing a 14-er and relaxing, afterward, at the clothing optional hot springs

26. Camping under the stars in the backyard

022

27. Going on a super moon or meteor shower hike

28. Letting photography be the point of a hike

29. Trail running while Jim ATVs around and stops by with water, smiles, encouragement

30. Taking a day off work with a friend, the sole purpose being outdoor playtime

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Obviously, the list can go on and on. What do you do to get out and play?

How others responded to this prompt:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/daily-prompt-play/

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. farfetchedfriends
    Nov 24, 2013 @ 09:11:05

    To get out and play, I find a friend to exercise with and do whatever that friend wants to do: hike, walk, run, etc.
    My “playing” in Jan/Feb will be at a hula hoop aerobics class at the community center. I can’t wait! It sounds like SO much fun! So much fun that a friend signed up a couple weeks after I did. We are going to have a blast!
    Thanks for the reminder to have fun, Randee!

    Reply

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