Dear Mom and Dad,
At twenty-five-years-old, I’m starting to come to terms with my grown-up status. I have a job, bills to pay, a car to maintain, and I even make my own dentist appointments. I get that sleeping in isn’t cute anymore and I can hear Dad’s voice saying, “Half the day’s gone by” even at 8 a.m.
Though I’m excited for the future, sometimes I wish I could go back to the simplicity of childhood. Remember when I turned nine-years-old and believed that I had reached the pinnacle of life? Nine was it. There could be no better age to turn and I had to convince you that it wasn’t just because nine was my favourite number.
Here’s the thing about the magic number nine that I couldn’t explain back then. Life was awesome. We rode bikes, skated on ponds, played soccer, and because you let me, I was the neighbourhood kid who ran around the crescent until the moon was my only light. You never held me back from a challenge and encouraged me to try any and every activity, even if I wasn’t great at it. Like *cough* hockey *cough*. So that’s why you put me in net, eh?
I’m lucky to have had two active parents who always replied with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” to a post-dinner game of mini sticks. Although I probably never told you this, you were my idols. I bragged to my friends that my Mom still played competitive volleyball and my Dad played lacrosse. You showed me that being active didn’t have to stop when there wasn’t a school team to play on; being active was a way of life, your way of life, and I’m so grateful you gave me that gift.
Even if I had to make a competition out of everything, spending time outdoors with you is a memory I will never forget. Who can rake the biggest pile of leaves? Who can run around the block the fastest? Who can kick the soccer ball the hardest? (Sorry about your fence, Dad.)
No matter how many times I asked, you always watched my backyard dance routine again and you never got tired of judging the splash of my dive. Life was always a game. Life was fun.
Now that I’ve transitioned to being a coach, I’m beginning to realize just how important it is to teach kids how to move the way you taught me to move. And though my years as student athlete are behind me, I never hesitate to join a new team or jump into a game because you gave me the skills to be active for life.
Thanks Mom and Dad for being active role models.
Thank you for playing with me.
Thank you for being my biggest fans.
Thank you for teaching me to love my body and all that it’s capable of doing.
Thank you for giving me confidence.
Thank you for making me into the active adult I am today.