For the third consecutive year Mom was at the CanWest Games cheering on the Empower team.

Between events, as she, Motor and I sat talking about the great vibe, Mom made a profound observation.  The CanWest, she told us, reminded her of her time in Barbados.  On that island, unlike here, it is culturally appropriate for adults (at least the men) to play.  Every day you can see men of various ages cavorting about the beach, playing soccer in the sand, engaged in calisthenics, practicing acrobatics.  All of them lean and athletic with washboard abs and playing like kids on holiday.

In our culture, adults have lost the ability to play.  And our health and happiness has suffered as a result.  CrossFit, as Mom pointed out, has made it okay for adults to play again.  It has offered us the opportunity to reclaim our health and vitality by engaging in physical games as once we did in our backyards and school yards.

And events like the CanWest Games bring us together from across the province and around the world to celebrate our love of playing together in games designed to test and challenge us physically whatever our age.  At this year’s Games Empower had athletes in their 20’s 30’s, 40’s and 50’s participating and playing our hearts out.

When so many of our peers have resigned themselves to lives of limited capacity, we have overcome the obstacles of aging, refusing to let them slow us down or deny us the joy of fully experiencing and expressing our physicality.

In the words of George Bernard Shaw: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

Handstand walking, muscle ups, handstand push ups.  We weren’t born with these skills.  Most of us developed in the latter half of our lives.  And we did so because we won’t stop learning and pushing and testing ourselves.  Like children in the playground, we refuse to believe in “can’t” we just keep on trying until we do.  How about you?