I'm Ready for Adventure! Are You?
I have a confession to make. I think I might have used up all of my adventurousness when I was in my late teens and early 20s. Back then, it was no big deal to pack up a backpack, hop in the car with a few friends and hit the road for an extended exploration of national forests, parks and all the towns and country in between here and there.
You grow up, you settle into a daily routine of work, housework, family and play, and before you know it, decades have passed you by, a pandemic forces you to molder in your own house for 12-plus months and all of a sudden, you're really longing for an adrenaline rush caused by something other than the nightly news or your kid's daily battle with their band homework.
So I was happy to get a little adventurous—at least figuratively—this past month, putting together the feature story on climbing walls and ninja courses for this issue. These kinds of amenities have a way of sparking people's imaginations, inspiring their urge to explore and push boundaries, and then giving them the opportunity to grow their strengths, both mentally and physically.
Of course, these exhilarating elements aren't the only kinds of offerings you can add to your recreation, sports or fitness facility to inspire the adventurous among us. Playgrounds—and especially inclusive play—can give kids of all ages and abilities the chance to test themselves and grow, physically and mentally. Parks provide a place to get out and experience some local beauty and community. And when you tire of pushing your boundaries, a picnic table or park bench gives you a place to settle back and take it all in. We cover all of these topics in our annual Guide to Playgrounds and Park Furnishings, enclosed in this issue.
In fact, recreation, sports, fitness and aquatic facilities offer innumerable ways for people to try out something new, to push past their limitations and to explore the possible. And many of you have kept that exploration going, even through the pandemic, with safe and distanced in-person possibilities as well as virtual offerings.
Some of us had a tendency to hunker down and stick to our comfort zones over the past year, while others have taken the opportunity to explore new ideas and skills. Neither way is wrong or right, but I'm willing to bet that as life begins to return to some semblance of normal (hopefully sooner rather than later), people are going to be chomping at the bit for a little exploration and adventure, from kids attending summer camp and swim lessons to teens trying out a new sport or performing arts class to grownups looking for a fitness activity they truly love.
We're almost there! I know I'm ready for some adventure, and as the weather warms up, I'm eager to do things I've been putting off for far too long, like local fests and farmers markets, hiking in some new places with my kid and more. Are you ready for adventure too?