Why I'm running...
August 10, 2017
Playworks wrote -
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” -Mr. Rogers
The grown up I've become is a direct result of the kid that I used to be trying, failing and getting back up again on a field or court of some kind. My personality and perspective were shaped through a collection of life lessons acquired, often the hard way, while at play.
I cultivated courage as a seven year old who insisted on playing on the boy's t-ball team. Here, I spent the majority of my time perfecting my cartwheels and picking flowers for my mom in the actionless outfield. But, my days of wearing a cup (yup; rules are rules!!!) served a far more valuable purpose that has lasted me my entire life; the knowledge that I can hang with the fellas!
Play has taught me this and so much more. I discovered how to manage pressure and maintain composure as the last line of defense as a goalie on the soccer field. I cultivated leadership skills as the center of my basketball team responsible for seeing the entire court and ensuring the squad was executing our defensive strategy. Most importantly, I learned to communicate and cooperate with teammates, many whom have become my extended family and support network to this day.
When Bora texted me on Sunday, November 6th, 2016 to inquire about my interest in joining him in this great endeavor. I immediately responded, "I'm in." This is exactly the kind of challenge I live for; the culmination of all those life lessons amounted to an understanding that I can train my body and mind to do anything with time and discipline. What he did not include in the text was the fundraising responsibility that came with the entry privilege. When I found out that we'd be raising friends and funds for Playworks, I was even more committed to the undertaking.
I've been a fan of Playworks for a long while - since back in it's Sports-for-Kids days. I've known several folks who have worked for the organization- all good folks, all working toward the greater good for all the right reasons. In recent years, I've partnered with Playworks through my work at Head-Royce School where I manage the auxiliary programs. They have provided amazing training to our teams on game facilitation, conflict mediation and creating an inclusive playspace to many of the members of our faculty and staff.
The impact of play in my own life strongly aligns me with their vision "that one day every child in America will get to play—every day. We are changing school culture by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. We offer an essential opportunity for children to explore their imaginations, to connect with other kids, and to stretch and grow physically, emotionally and socially."
Since that text, we've had 364 days to train and as much to fundraise for Playworks. We are six weeks into our training program and are now launching our fundraising efforts. We invite you to join us to share in this powerful journey with us by giving to Playworks on our behalf. All funds go directly to the organization, we are financing our registration and trip fees independent from this effort.
As I train, I invoke the love and support of my own community, many of you who've been cheering for me in my play for many years. I take that with me each time my alarm rings before sunrise and every time I lace em' up.