I never want to stop playing. I have no mountain of scientific evidence to back me up, but I believe that one is more mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy when play is incorporated into their day. Learning new things, refining skills, and moving the body in new ways are very important to me.
As an athlete, specifically a bike racer, I spend a lot of time working bicycle specific skills. Some training sessions are specific, but often, learning and training new skills can be very fun.
While recovering from an injury, I found play to have a higher importance than normal. Working on specific Physical Therapy exercises, while important, wasn’t always fulfilling. I had many different exercises (neck, back, shoulder, brain, vision, balance, etc) and I wasn’t able to complete all of the work each day.
I worked with my Therapists to reprioritize the focus areas every few weeks. But, even then, I found that some of the very small focused movements made me feel weaker and more injured. Having negative thoughts on my recovery was something I had to manage.
In order to address the negative thoughts about PT work, I looked for different ways to address my new weaknesses. After growing tired of working tiny balance skills while standing in a corner, I signed up for aerial arts classes. My breakthrough moment in early 2017 was selecting “NO” on the intake form at a new studio for the question “Do you have any physical limitations for this practice?”
It’s possible that the instructors should have been away of potential balance and post-concussion issues, but it was and remains liberating to say that I have no limitations.