Happy Friday to you!
Early this past Sunday morning I was at my gym working out and Bob approached me. Bob is about 35 years old, blond hair with some serious flow, 6’3” tall and he’s about a shredded 190 pounds. He’s got two boys, 6 and 8 years old. Bob says to me, “man, with my boys in all their sports, I don’t have time for any of my stuff anymore. There isn’t time for anything! What do you do?”
Bob knows that my two eldest were in highly competitive athletics into college and my youngest is into crazy competitive academics, so he figured I’d have some insight. And you know, I’ve got some real concrete thoughts on this subject because I’m still living it. And likely you, if you have kids, are living it to. And here’s how it starts. Along about age 8-10, kids these days tend to get involved into really time intensive, often year round sports. Mine did the same, and boy does it consume your time. In fact, I ended up parking most of my hobbies (golf, racquetball, boating, etc) because there just isn’t time to do everything. And you know what, that’s perfectly ok. Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. Life actually got better.
It started with my daughter, Shannon. At 6 years old, Shan started taking tennis lessons from a teaching pro. This led to tournaments where we’d trek off together for a day or two of non-stop tennis. This went on all the way into college. In fact, it paid for a chunk of college! But what was very cool was that we got to spend so much more time together because of tennis, time that I probably would have spent away from her, maybe at the golf course. We shared, laughed, cried, celebrated and lived some great times building wonderful memories. I thought we were busy.
Then my next oldest, T, hit age 8 and all hell broke loose! That year he started motocross racing and competitive baseball. Between these two activities and Shan, there was less than zero free time for my hobbies. Motocross only lasted for two years, thank God, because at age 10 baseball became insanely busy, consuming most weeknights and almost every entire weekend, and the pace never slowed, even into college ball. We were fortunate that baseball paid a ton of his college bill, so I used some college money saved and bought a Sprinter RV, which we dubbed the ‘baseball van’ and put a crazy amount of miles on it. I wouldn’t trade the memories we made together for anything. And these are family memories.
One of our franchise owners asked me if year round sports are worth the tradeoff. I thoughtfully wrote out a response that boiled down to “I’ve loved the experience. And even more important, my kids loved it, and we’d do it again.” I ran my response by my kids first and they agreed 100%. We built some amazing memories and experiences.
Here’s the deal, when done right, your kids’ activities brings family together, instead of everyone splitting up and going their own direction, or me hitting the golf course for 6 hours at a whack. I believe it’s made us a better family. It’s made me a better person. But what about those hobbies of mine? Well guess what, my kids’ activities became my hobbies. Sure, I made certain my workouts and nutrition never wavered, and I carved out plenty of time to read on the road. The takeaway here is simple, we ALL need hobbies. You pick them. Choose something that jazzes you up and engage. Hobbies help to rejuvenate us. They lift us up. They refill our tanks. They make life much more interesting. They foster wonderful relationships. In sum, they make us better people. Outside of work, what healthy activities are you engaging in now? Want to up the Fun factor in your life, start today!!
Chris Tomshack, D.C.