Thoughts from the Boss: I'll Pass on Gym Class

I hated gym class. Always. I was the kid who always had her nose in a book. Music was my elective. I couldn't catch a ball to save my life. It seemed that in those days gym class consisted of 80% team sports and 90% balls.

I think this is the experience for a lot of people. Their first introduction to sport and activity comes in gym class or the school yard. There they find that it's too difficult, too demanding, or too competitive. For me, and many people like me, it comes down to the fact that I don't have the skills or the motivation to enjoy what was offered in gym class. So like many other people I decided that sports weren't for me and I'd move on with my life.

However, things changed.

And I know exactly when the change happened. It happened when I took a 'learn to kayak' classes in 1989. Instantly I was hooked. From my first paddle stroke I knew that this was a sport I could actually enjoy. And unlike in gym class, I was invested and I wanted to improve. I was finding that I was exhausted at the end of rivers so I joined an exercise class to improve my endurance. At some point during exercise classes, I realized that lifting a weight or two would help my muscle tone. I was well on my way to being active. And volleyball wasn't necessary.

At some point I realized that if I found one sport that I loved I could find another. Since you can't kayak on frozen water, I figured I'd pick up a winter sport so I tried skiing. I didn't get out often but my increased confidence from kayaking meant that I slowly improved on the slopes. I found that the coordination and balance I gained from the river helped me out on my skis. I tried skiing only once in a while but I enjoyed it so much I started to go as much as possible. Now I try to ski once a week.

When I had kids, I had a decent routine going with exercise classes and occasional ski trips. It was important to teach my kids that grown ups are active. I wanted to set an example, especially to my daughter, that moms are fun. Its not just dads that get to play. So, we biked to the library and to the pool. We swam in the summer and skied/skated and tobogganed in the winter. They knew that Mom was happier when she got to the exercise class. If we went to a water park, the entire family was in the line up for a turn. I knew that my kids were going to have the same experiences I had in gym, and maybe they'd enjoy it more, but if not they had more options to get active.

Living in Centre Wellington, I have been able to continue the activities that I started as a young woman. I try to do most of my errands by bike. I kayak twice a week. I go to exercise class 2 or 3 times a week. I cross country ski and mountain bike whenever possible. Overall I would say I am an active person. And while life does get in the way (running C.K. Maggs Adventures and working as a part time nurse will eat up some time) I will continue to be active because it's truly something I enjoy.

My point is that even if you can't catch a ball and hated gym class, you can still be active. The key is finding the right fit. Instead of saying "I don't enjoy sports" you should say "I haven't found any sports that I like". Now, I'll admit, it can be difficult finding that perfect sport. I found my way to activity through my first kayaking lessons. That's why we are proud to offer introduction to multiple activities with our vacation packages. If you are like me, and gym class wasn't your thing, why don't you see what we have to offer. I promise there won't be a dodgeball in sight!

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(Centre Wellington),

Ontario, Canada