I didn’t think anybody would show up to Neighborhood Fitness Group. It was raining and dreary; who wants to exercise in the rain?
But we can’t help ourselves. We love it.
By the time I get the double-dutch jump ropes out, a group of children is already rolling down a hillside. Then I look and see that my daughter has tied a kite to the back of her bike, and she rides as fast as she can to keep that kite flying.
You can’t slow down. That kite needs speed.
Then, the best part of all, one of my college students shows up to teach the children how to play 4-Square.
I find myself right in the mix. I play 4-Square. I jump double-dutch. I dance to the music from the car speakers. It’s raining, and I don’t even notice.
I realize that I need this. I need to be part of my neighborhood. I need to know folks by name, roll down a hill with them, and gather even in the rain.
On the walk to school this morning (in the pouring rain), two children announce how far they got in 4-Square. “I was almost King!” they shout and pull on my sleeve.
Is this what they’ll remember in 20 years? Is this what they’ll put into place in their own neighborhoods in another generation?
I’m starting to think that showing up at Monday Night Fitness Group is the best thing I do in a week. Even in the rain, I’ll be there next Monday.
Journal: What else can we do to build our neighborhood?