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It’s early in the morning, the air is crisp and cool. We are walking towards an indoor pool facility. As the sliding doors open, you feel the warm clammy air caressing your face. The smell of chlorine hits your nose as you breathe in. It’s a strong smell but one you have grown to trust, so you resist the urge to leave. You can hear the rhythmical sound of water splashing over the edge of the pool into the filter grids. It’s quiet. There doesn’t seem to be anyone nearby. Suddenly you hear the sound of music. It plays loudly, it’s a well known oldie. You recognize the tune and the lyrics: “hey, hey baby… (ooh…aahh)… I wanna know ..(ooh oh)..if you’ll be my girl … . To the right you can see six people standing in a circle in the shallow water of a large free-form pool. Above them looms a slide that winds it way down from the top of a set to stairs to the water below. As you watch these people you see how they are laughing, chatting and ducking under the water. Their energy is lively and there is a sense of anticipation in the air.

They all turn their heads and look up at the woman standing on the edge of the pool. She calls them towards the edge of the pool, handing them each a floaty board. They laugh playfully and make their way back into the circle, excitedly using the boards to hit a rubber ball back and forth between them. Each hit or miss is signalled by a laugh or cheer. They are really enjoying themselves, playing around in the shallow water. After awhile, the woman calls them back to the edge of the pool and they all move obediently towards the edge placing their boards at her feet. With squeals of laughter and splashes of water they form their circle again, playing a game of dodge ball. Not long after the woman calls out to them again and they all stop and turn to look up at her. Happy and cheerful, enjoying the excitement of the game. It’s time for them to get out of the pool. They all begin to swim, dive underwater or walk making their way towards the steps. The laughter and chatter follows them out of the pool. The music is still playing as they head dripping wet towards the change rooms.

As you joined me on this journey, I wonder how these people looked to you? How old were they in your mind’s eye? Were they male or female? Take a moment to really think about how they seemed to you …..

These six people swim regularly in the local pool where I use the gym. They are men ranging in age from 50 to 70. It is the most marvellous thing to watch them playing in the pool as part of their physiotherapy. They come alive before your eyes and suddenly you have a sneak peak at the young playful boys they still are. It’s such a refreshing reminder that you really are as young as you allow yourself to feel, by doing what you allow yourself to do.

I’ve decided I’m going to celebrate life this week by doing things that are playful and fun, things that remind me of the kid I once was. Here’s a list of some of things that come to mind:

Colour in a picture with wax crayons.
Roll down a grassy embankment.
Sit with my feet in the sand on the beach and eat an ice cream.
Camp in the backyard.
Dance and sing while I’m cooking dinner.
Eat hot chips smothered in tomato sauce with my fingers!
Have a go on the swing in the park.
Are you willing to allow the playful kid in you to have some fun? You can join me, if you like – wouldn’t it be great if we posted what we did on 4 The Bucket List and you could even add a photo if you’re up for it!

Thanks for reading and sharing.