Chasing Childhood Dreams

Do you remember what it was like to be a child? The world seemed like it was full of possibility, life was easy, and we found joy in everything. Fast forward to today where we’re working our days away, not getting enough sleep, and definitely not experiencing the joy we once did.  Wouldn’t you like to go back sometimes and feel the lightheartedness and simple pleasure of life again?

I do. Towards the end of last year, I felt like I was plodding my way through life. Get up, go to work, go grocery shopping, do laundry, answer emails, go to bed. And repeat. Over and over and over. As I’ve been slowly approaching 30 (still two years away, thank you!), I’ve been promising myself that I will go back and take tumbling or gymnastics classes again. I took gymnastics from age 3 to 9 years old, then came cheerleading and tumbling for three years throughout middle school. I threw in some street jazz classes that took me all through high school, and it was as a freshman in high school that I discovered my passion for singing and began vocal lessons that spanned five years. I loved being active, performing, and continually improving my skills. A few years out of college, I began to miss the feeling of challenging myself and the thrill of victory as my talent rose to the next level.

So I made myself a promise late last year. I would get in shape in order to relive my childhood passion and take an adult gymnastics class. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been working out three to five days a week with cardio and strength training. At the end of each workout, I diligently stretch my body back into positions that it hasn’t been in since I was twelve years old. I started out barely able to hold my legs in a split, but now, after about six months of training, my legs are on the ground, and my split is pretty darn good, thank you very much. No matter how exhausted I am, I always push myself to work out because I have a goal in mind, and I don’t want to lose the progress and momentum I’ve gained. All the hard work will be worth it when I step out on the spring board floor and throw myself into a round off back handspring. I’m looking forward to that familiar feeling of strength and power that pushes me into the air like I’m flying for just a split second.

What makes you feel like you’re flying? Were you on your local swim team, spending weekends and summers in the pool? Or were you out on the baseball field, throwing curve balls and striking the opposing team out? I think it’s important to rediscover your childhood passion and reconnect with a part of your soul that is innocent and pure. Feeding your soul doesn’t just come through spiritual discovery. It also comes through personal discovery, and if you’re ignoring your soul, the essence of who you are, then the spiritual enlightenment that you’re seeking will never be attained. Your soul needs to be nurtured, and a great way to breathe life into your heart is to practice the activities, sports, or hobbies that ignite a passion inside you.

Now, you may think you’re too old or there aren’t any opportunities for you to step back into a hobby you practiced twenty years ago. However, I’m here to tell you that you’d be surprised to see how many adult leagues there are for almost any sport you can think of – baseball, kickball, volleyball, basketball, biking, etc. Heck, if there’s a gymnastics class for adults, one of the most strenuous and demanding sports that exists, then you should have no trouble finding an adult class for any activity you may be interested in. As you enter back into the world of your childhood passion, I hope you’ll find excitement in life again, as I have. Practicing your hobby with abandon will bring a nourishment in your soul that will spread through the rest of your life.

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