With Coldplay’s “Violet Hill” stuck in my head, I left my house early this morning, grabbing some breakfast before taking my bike off of its stand in the garage and heading off in the direction of my local BMX track. Once I got there, however, I found the track too muddy to ride, and was therefore left with two choices: I could simply ride home, or I could embark on an epic adventure. I think it’s pretty clear which one I chose.
Because we just moved, I have yet to explore my new surroundings very well. Therefore, I still had the park, and the city, to explore, so I set off across the park, and experienced that awesome feeling of being somewhere that surprised me at every turn. (One of the many reasons I had asked my parents repeatedly if we could move was that I knew my old city inside and out; every last road, park, trail, and otherwise had been explored well enough that I had to ride my bike for an hour or more before I’d find somewhere new to ride.) After exploring the northern end of the park, I went back down to the soccer fields, when a few playgrounds caught my eye.
They reminded me of a conversation I recently had about playgrounds, and how cool our elementary schools’ playgrounds were. Thus, I made it my mission today to seek out and play at every elementary school’s playground that I could find. On my way home, and without any sort of map, I found about eight or nine playgrounds, most of which I had some good times at.
I swung on the swing set at one school, marking the line to measure how far I jumped and continually trying to beat my previous record (I think I jumped about a half dozen times before leaving), walked across the top of and swung from my hands on monkey bars, and revelled in the awesomeness of my local elementary school’s rock climbing wall. I made it from one end of a playground to the other without touching the ground, repeatedly took my shoes off and tapped them against a pole to get the little rocks out, and slid down countless slides.
Why don’t high schools have playgrounds? We’re too old for it, we’d never use them. I can’t remember how many times my friends and I have crossed the street at lunch to go to the playground there, and although it may be good to wean us from playgrounds as we get older, nobody is too old for monkey bars or jungle gyms.