Back Yard Recreation:

Every afternoon at 3pm, I get together with my kids and the girls across the street to leverage recreation not only for our physical wellbeing in staying active, but also to leverage humour to maintain our wellbeing since the kids laugh their heads off at the wild dance moves and wonky exercises that I make them do each day. I am, without a doubt, the most uncoordinated fitness instructor in the history of the world, but I try to channel my inner Jane Fonda and just smile and fake it. Then the kids take their turn leading us, and we invent new moves every day. We run around the backyard, flying like birds around the plum tree and jumping off the stairs on the deck. We always end with a freeze-dance party where we blast “Walking on Sunshine “and “Love Shack” and Whitney’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, and other songs which make us smile, and which we sing at the top of our lungs.  And then we fall on the ground and laugh and pretend to stretch.  

Some days I feel dizzy and overwhelmed with all the suffering around us and the magnitude of what is happening in the world right now. I sometimes want to stay on the couch and hide from the world. But then 3:00 comes around, I get up, and I go outside, and turn on the music. And for thirty or forty minutes, we forget COVID-19, and we laugh and dance and connect (ten feet apart from one another, of course.) At the end of the day, when we sit around the dinner table and share our favourite moments of the day, at least one kid always says our “workout” was their favourite moment. And you know what? It is always mine too.  

- Shannon Wall, Recreation Studies Instructor