Teacher Reflection

Looking for Sticks

What shared memories will you build during this time of such change to our regular lives? When we see workplaces reopen, schools resume and fewer people rushing to buy toilet paper, what might we hang onto and make part of the new ‘normal’?  What will we be truly grateful for and what might we just let go of entirely?

As I venture out of doors, after a day of eLearning, I see more people out moving and playing with their families.  Local ovals (sports fields) are dotted with small groups kicking a football, walking their dogs and throwing a frisbee.  I see people jogging, walking and cycling. My once quiet and solo trail runs are now frequented with people running (up ‘my’ hills!) and getting into nature at their doorsteps. The local kangaroo population is seeing a lot more of me and my local neighbours.    And it doesn’t matter what time I run, walk or venture out – the once quiet daytime is no more – small children on bikes or covered in suncream and hats are outside picking flowers, being herded by their parents on bike paths and wander around in the mud and in search of sticks in the bushlands.  There are birds to find and listen to, plants to identify, sticks to collect, dogs to admire and shy away from. There are keen cyclists, busy exploring trails (always metres apart from each other) or hurtling down roads and the local gardening stores are seeing a run on stock, equipment and advice.  However we are choosing to move, it is happening, at all hours of the day. I run because it is my meditative space. There is clearly a range of emotions and subjective reasons why my neighbours are all now outside – maybe they are also meditating, or easing frustrations or finding some self-time or giving energetic young people a chance to burn off a little. 

Moving together with our families or friends in our gardens or local neighbourhoods might offer an opportunity to build new routines, foster emotions and togetherness time in ways we may never have again.  A silver lining in a World of uncertainty. This might be the moment to embrace what we would love to see as Purposeful Movement advocators – more activity which in turn may lead to… more activity (because they love it, find joy in it, find it challenging, socially engaging and relevant to them and their environment).  I hope that when we consider eLearning and the enormous task of educating young people through and about movement, that we are focused on how we can support our families to want to be involved in more meaningful movement and not to see movement as a chore or a tick-off-list or as separate from their feelings, knowledge, and experiences.  Right, I’m off for a bird-watching walk, with my daughter and my mother. I hope we might see you out there. 

This blog was written to feature in Andy Milne‘s MicroBlogging series in April 2020. You can see the post on his amazing website – Slow Chat Health – Andy is a former Health Teacher of the Year and is constantly blogging, sharing and creating incredible experiences for his students.

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