I mentioned in my last blog how important it is to have regular leisure and recreation activities in your life. It should be something you feel passionately about, something that drives you. The more you like you recreational activities, the more likely you are to stick with them for the long term. And that can only benefit you physically, mentally, and emotionally. So I’d like to share with you my own personal recreational activities.
I’ll start with my hobbies, the ones that I don’t talk about a whole lot but do enjoy immensely. I enjoy baking. All kinds of goodies: cookies and squares, cakes and crisps, pies and breads. I’ve tried to bake all kinds of things. Sometimes they come out wonderfully; sometimes they are, as my instructor this term would say, “fantastic flops”. But I always enjoy the challenge of trying a new recipe. When it comes down to it, I’m just taking my extremely analytical thinking, my love for all things science and applying it in a more ‘creative’ way. Because baking is chemistry. And I like chemistry. I would say my specialty is cookies; my family has a long standing tradition of Cookie Day – November 11 every year the women in my family get together and bake Christmas cookies and then do an exchange. We make hundreds of cookies in one day, pack them up, and then freeze them for the Christmas season. That way, when you have a seasonal party, you can just pull out a tin of cookies from the freezer and you’re set! It’s one of my most favourite things to do!
I am also an avid seamstress. I love sewing! I started when I was around 9 years old and my mother taught me everything I know. This is another example of applying science to a creative art. Because sewing is about math and precision. It’s about measurements and making things fit. It’s about fabrics and textures. I don’t get a lot of time to do it anymore but it is still one of my favourite ways to spend a rainy afternoon. It’s a great feeling to create something that is functional (and not just fattening like baking!). I generally like to sew clothes the most but I dabble in quilting a bit too. Mostly baby quilts … which reminds me, I’ve got some projects to finish up!
My most consuming recreational activity currently is roller derby. Roller derby is played on a flat track oval with 5 members on each team wearing quad (old school) roller skates and it is a race for points. Without boring you with too many technical details on that, I will let you know that there is no ball and that it is a full contact sport (equivalent in nature to hockey or rugby). It is my deepest passion these days. I skate up to 3 nights a week for 2 hours. I train off skates as well 1-2 nights a week. I am usually achy all over or covered in bruises or Velcro burn. And I love it! Roller derby isn’t about science (although there is definitely some physics involved); it’s about community. I have met some of the most interesting people through roller derby. People who have become my closest friends. It’s hard to explain why roller derby is so awesome; you kind of have to see it to believe it. It is my therapy: my outlet for frustration and cooped up energy. And I’m proud to say that on Sunday, June 15th, my team was able to secure our spot in the championship final on July 12th. I can’t wait! (For more information on the sport of roller derby, visit my league’s website www.terminalcityrollergirls.com)
My advice would be that to really integrate leisure into your life, and to reap the benefits of it, you need to find something that you enjoy doing. Something you can become passionate about. Then you can see why having leisure, and teaching it to others, is so important for a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle. Good luck in your search!