Play On

Playing is just as important for adults as it is for kids. If you don't believe it, you probably haven't played in a while.

We spent the morning at the outdoor rink. the boys played ball hockey while I spent some time playing my very favourite, lacrosse - and I have missed it so much. 
This morning I didn't think about how many calories I was burning or the food I was working off. I thought about my life playing with the most amazing ladies, how much fun we had on and off the floor. I thought about my mom, driving us all over the city, working bingos and casinos so we could play. I thought about the joy that sport brought to my life, not just on the floor, but off. I made some of my best friends in sport, was inspired by role models, and built confidence. I thought about the incredible coaches I had that truly made a difference. 
When I was thirteen I was looking for a change from figure skating. Fortunately for me, my mom heard about a girls lacrosse team starting up - I actually had no idea what lacrosse was or how to play but with my mom's encouragement I signed up. Also, read up on fundamental movement skills and physical literacy - there's no doubt I'd have been as willing to play if I hadn't had the confidence and competence. I played on the first ever girls lacrosse team. We were all ages, ranging from six to thirteen, some who played, had brothers or dads that played, and some brand new. I was the latter.
This is where I met the men that would become my coaches, a couple of them for nearly every season I played. Al, John, Dave and Wes. They probably don't know and if they do, I figure they're far too humble to ever admit it - they taught so many of us everything we know about lacrosse. Al taught me how to hold the stick, cradle the ball, throw properly, and he encouraged us to think like a team. They all showed us compassion, strength, dedication, and joy. They are without a doubt, one reason that my experience in lacrosse was so amazing - and I hope they know it. I hope they know how many girls often stop playing sports between 13-17, that they think it's not for them or they should focus on their studies. But we all played. And we felt just as important and valued as any boys team. 

This morning I am left feeling so grateful to the people who contributed to sport in my life. To all of the ladies I played with - thanks for being the greatest friends through some of the hardest years. To the coaches - Al, John, Dave, Wes - thanks for encouraging the love of sport and dedication to it with all of us. And putting up with all of our sass. To my mom - thanks for prioritizing sport for us, going out of your way to make it a reality for us and for cheering us on at every single game - even when Kate beat people up.
Ageing doesn't mean stopping - sure you might not play full contact lacrosse anymore - but that doesn't mean you can't play. Find something you love, move your body in joyful ways, and celebrate the generous contribution play has made to your life.

- lovefrommaria

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