As I write this, my knee is really sore. When I was coming home from work last night, I rolled my ankle…yeah, yeah, the heels were too high…and came down on my right knee. Ouch!
When I was a kid my knees were almost constantly missing skin. I have the scars to this day.
I guess, like most kids, I always wanted to get to wherever I was going as fast as possible, so walking was not an option. Mum’s advice to not run on the concrete was ignored. I ran everywhere and my poor knees suffered.
The playing field at our school was huge expanse of hard clay. There was not a blade of grass on it. In the centre was a concrete cricket pitch for the boys and, in one corner, there were four concrete softball bases. Believe me, there were not too many instances of anyone sliding in to those bases.
It didn’t worry us that there was no grass. We had forty-five glorious minutes of free play time, so the lack of grass was a minor issue.
We played cricket and softball and football and trained for inter-school matches. We also played lots of games which involved chasing someone – Red Rover, Bedlam, Catch and Kiss, Stuck in the Mud, Octopus and, of course, there were many versions of Cops and Robbers type games. We ran around a lot.
Then there were the swings. Our favourite game on the swings was the one where you had to swing and swing until you were going really high and then – jump off and see how far you could fly. You marked your landing spot by scraping a line in the dirt and the other kids would try to beat your mark. Loads of fun…many scraped knees.
Most of these games have now been banned by the education department because children might get hurt. In today’s litigious society, schools have to protect themselves from lawsuits. Children are not allowed to turn cartwheels or other somersaults at school. Even skipping is on the No list at some schools. I feel sorry for the teachers who have to enforce these rules and I feel sorry for the children who don’t get to do (what I consider to be) normal kid things.
Sure, you can get hurt. Sure you can skin your knees or maybe, as in my daughter’s case, break an arm (dropping down from the climber..I saw her do it…I was the teacher on yard duty!), but you also develop risk taking skills. You learn what your body is capable of and how to assess a situation for safety. This is usually achieved by trying, failing, skinning a knee or two and trying again.
So, it seems that although I am not running so much these days, I am still moving too fast at times…yeah, yeah and wearing high heels – maybe my risk taking skills need reviewing. I still skin my knees occasionally.
But, seriously, why would I want to slow down? I have so much that I want to do!