Last week I was driving and happened to go past 2 guys riding bikes. They were average looking guys - probably worked a corporate job and were out on a beautiful Saturday getting some fellowship and exercise. What really got me thinking as I drove past these guys was not what they were doing but how they were doing it. There was a time when people would just get on a bike and ride - now everyone who is seen riding looks like they have just completed the Tour de France. They wear shirts and shorts that have logos and the right amount of padding in the right places, they have shoes with clips and helmets with aerodynamic molding. What ever happened to just riding a bike?
When did we make the turn and now you can't just play baseball you have to be in training. You can't just play volleyball - you better be in a select club. You can't just ride a bike, you have to invest an entire college fund to buy a bike.
I am not opposed to the new clothing and gear, in fact I am very appreciative of my dry lite running gear when it is below 35 degrees and I don't have to be bundled up like a baby eskimo. I am just reflecting on what has brought us to the point of super extremism. And, if possible, how do we get off this constantly moving treadmill (you know, the one that allows me to run a 5 minute mile at a 15% incline.)
There was a day that kids could go to school, they could be involved in a team sport and they still had time to play. There was a day when a game of backyard kickball didn't require special equipment and a designer ball (or a liability attorney). How do we get back on the humble biking path?
In this day of extremism and reality t.v. everyone wants to be a star, to push themselves to go where no one has gone before. I am a strong believer in raising the standard, in setting high goals and in driving to be the best. I just think we have gotten a little carried away and we as a society are pushing people away from fun activities because they don't feel like they can compete financially or athletically.
I think a big piece of the puzzle is that we are trying to fill a hole that continues to grow larger as we become more extreme and more reliant on our own abilities. This is a hole that can only be filled by Christ - if not we will continue to chase the - he with the most toys wins theory and be okay with it because it is in the name of health or fitness.
The extremism to go beyond what most in an honest conversation would say is way too far just needs to stop - so tie up those keds, jump on that schwinn, pick up that wooden bat and just go play. Invite the neighbors over and use a plain rubber ball, gather your friends and stroll down the street. Life doesn't have to be over the top - let it just........be.