This is Ryan. He teaches a class at Steve Nash Fitness World that I attend on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. He makes us work hard, and there's never any doubt that he is serious about his job, but he also has a playful way about him that I really enjoy. Some of us use two mats when we do the core strengthening portion of the class and yesterday, he decided to poke a little fun at us by using four mats. That's when I popped the camera out of the bag, and his big smile and great form are now recorded on this blog for posterity. The class is packed most mornings, with just enough room for each of us to find a spot. We are a mix of ages and abilities, but one of many things I really like about Ryan is that he gives at least two and often three levels/options for each exercise. He also encourages the advanced people to add challenge by working on bosu balance trainers. I've had a membership at Fitness World for a few years now, but had hit the boredom plateau in terms of working out on the machines by myself. Although I have to adapt some of the class exercises to accommodate old injuries, I am loving the variety of training styles and routines that are leading to improved strength and flexibility while still putting some play into my fitness routine. I really appreciate that so many classes are included in the reasonable membership fee, and although I've found myself happy to stick with the Howe Street gym, just a ten-minute walk from where I live, I also have access to 14 different gyms throughout the city! If you are thinking of starting up an exercise routine, a class may be just the way to go. Some outside perspective and a little humour can sure put new life in an old(er) body. Thanks, Ryan, and thanks, Fitness World. I think you're doing a great job!
And, a few other kinds of "play" in our day, yesterday. We attended Havana Theatre to see Mauritius, by Theresa Rebeck. As we walked from our parking spot, Bill encouraged me to take pictures of lovely foliage along the way.
I'm not going to attempt to name plants for this post, but will just..
give you a sample of the attractive sights in our two-block walk.
There seemed to be..
such a variety of..
colours and shapes..
reaching out to my eyes and camera, I wondered if we would ever make it to see the play.
In the park across the street, we saw this fellow, and there was just enough time..
to spend a few minutes watching him play/practice with his machetes.
When I asked permission to post the photos (sorry about the quality), he told me to be sure to mention that an International Busking Festival will be coming to Vancouver soon.
Keep an eye out for that folks. It's another way to encourage play and creativity in what I know are some stressful times for many of you.
While these machetes look pretty dangerous, and he was careful to remind us to keep a respectful distance, he also..
Okay, by now, you're probably concerned, but I must add that although they weren't completely harmless, they also weren't as sharp as they appear.
I think Bill had fun doing this Ninja act, and his instructor was happy to play along.
Another budding Ninja star joined in for this wonderful shot that will keep me smiling at the memory for quite some time.
And the play? Well, if stamp collecting has ever been your thing, you may want to check it out. We had a few critical thoughts, but overall, we were glad to have seen it. There was some hard work and a lot of discipline behind the performance and both Bill and I respected that fact.
Kids perhaps understand best of all that hard work will bring a lot of fun into our lives when we are truly following our natural bent for play. Whatever your age, I feel sure there is an inner child in you waiting for encouragement, and I hope you give him or her a little space in your day today.