Sunday, September 09, 2007

Parental Advice...

I may not be the best person to be advising folks on how to raise kids, as I don't have any of my own, but I do want to pass along a suggestion to parents or soon to be parents.

During some recent conversations (and many past conversations), it seems that many parents really stifle their children's experiences while growing up, and I don't get it.

Although I lived a far from perfect childhood (read I was in the middle of an ugly 6yr divorce/custody battle), and I never had a lot of money, my family always made sure that my brothers and I lived a childhood of experiences.

What brings this up is conversations while riding, or talking about riding and I would say, "just like that feeling of doing "XYZ" as a kid." Which is often met with, "I never did that as a kid."

I know, get to the point Jay! I'm talking about experiences like riding bikes, playing sports, swimming, hiking, etc.

Since I am into cycling so much now, you can see how I may get into a conversation like, I wish I could jump my bike like when I was a kid, or when someone asks, what are you thinking when you take a turn that fast? My reply, "I'm thinking that it feels just like when I was 10 and riding at Possums Track.

That feeling of speed, the little bit of g-force that tugs on you as you hug the turn, that millisecond feeling of feeling weightless while soaring my bike in the air off that makeshift wooden jump that usually fell apart after each launch!

My point is that while some others did the same things I did, many seemed to have not done so and that is incredibly sad.

If I didn't have these fond memories of my childhood, I'd most likely wouldn't have the same connection that I do with cycling today! This is one reason that I use this avatar, it reminds me most of how cycling makes me feel today, and how much of the kid is still in me.

I have such a hard time comprehending that kids grow up into adults never knowing how to bike, swim, play baseball, etc.

But most of all, I can't imagine what it would be like to be 37 30 years from now and my only memories were of playing video games or watching TV.

And I can almost promise you that if you get the go out and play, and become involved in sports, etc; your little ones won't grow up needing medicine for Restless Leg Syndrome!