I don’t remember a time when I was ever discouraged from playing hard. My parents encouraged me to play outside, be active, and get dirty. I didn’t have to apologize for grass stains.

Both of my grandfathers owned two different types of clothes:
1. Work clothes
2. Church clothes

When my granddad’s were not dressed up for a particular event, such as church or square dancing, they were dressed in something that would allow them to get sweaty or dirty at a moment’s notice. I remember them always being outside. I also remember wanting to be like them, so I stayed outside as well..

“Mom, I’m going outside” was a common phrase in my house and I don’t remember ever being met with resistance, assuming it wasn’t dinner time and my educational responsibilities had been met (or lied about). I spent a lot of time outside and I had a lot of fun getting my heart rate up. I don’t remember my dad ever once saying “No” to throwing any kind of ball and I remember being allowed to play under the street lights until there was simply no more energy left on our entire block.

I loved coming home, absolutely exhausted and covered in grass stains. I really had a great childhood.

Last night, at about 9pm, our 11-year old decided that he wanted me to time him running from one end of the house to the other. He did about four sprints, back-and-forth, back-and-forth:

5.2 seconds
4.8 seconds
4.9 seconds
4.6 seconds

We timed each sprint and the family got louder with each attempt. It was hard to tell if there was a track meet, a boxing match, or a cattle drive going on in our living room. I was in heaven.

We were all laughing with Grayson as he tried to break his previous record. It wasn’t long before Amanda decided to punch-in and get in on the action. Amanda and Grayson were trying to out-do each other’s time. The entire house was shaking on its foundation as they were FULL-OUT sprinting. The house could have completely collapsed and I would have been perfectly content because the laughter and energy were priceless. We were all yelling and everyone was excited.

It wasn’t long before Andie decided she wanted to join in on the fun. Being nine-years-old and wearing a unicorn onesie, she was giving it all she had, a little bit slower but equally as competitive as Amanda and Grayson.

Watching the track event take place in my living room made me smile. It made me appreciate the rambunctiousness that I was afforded as a kid. It made me happy to think about how often I was encouraged to exhaust myself.

There is something special about wearing yourself completely out.

There is something magical about grass stains.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,