The other day I was attending a function in a hall at an arena. A group of young hockey players were leaving. They were pulling their equipment out to the cars/vans/suvs in wheeled bags. No-one was walking home, in fact, many of the young “athletes” were being picked up at the door. Their parents drove around to pick them up rather than everyone walking to their parked vehicle.

Something didn’t seem right. We’re trying to encourage people to exercise, but we’re giving off the wrong impression of exercise.

Sure, playing games is exercise, but it should be the added bonus to or a highlight of our exercise not the major or possibly the only part.

Exercise should be a part of living. Such activities as walking somewhere daily; taking the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator; when shopping parking further away from the mall/store entrance. You know, the simple stuff.

What does driving a child to an arena, having him/her wheel the equipment into the building and after the game picking her/him up at the door teach?
• exercise is an event that has to be organized.
• the trip to and from organized exercise shouldn’t require physical activity.
• why should I carry something I can roll on wheels (even though we all know that the stuff being pulled can easily be carried)?

I can understand a goal tender rolling equipment. It’s bulky, awkward and a tight fit through most doors. However, if exercise becomes a part of life rather than an event, goalers could also carry their stuff (when they have it all on, they seem to move easily when stopping pucks. I play some goal and lug my equipment over my shoulder in a wheelless bag. It’s all possible.

The idea of exercise being an event rather than part of life was highlighted in a cartoon a while back. The scene was a tourist couple in a 2nd world country having a lunch in a sidewalk café. There were no cars evident, the towns citizens were walking, carrying, pulling. The caption over the tourists was “This would be a nice place to stay, but there’s no fitness club”

So to be fit, move. Move often. Move more. Move lots.

The Plaidneck