My son and I sat down on the worn benches provided for the parents and watched as a sea of pink leotards and four-year-olds in ponytails ran, jumped, twisted and turned in front of us.
With smiles plastered permanently on their faces, my daughter and the rest of the girls in her gymnastics class rotated from the trampoline to the uneven bars to the balance beam to the floor exercises to the ball pits and on and on and on. It was a smorgasbord of equipment and experiences.
After about ten minutes, my son had all he could take. He leaned over and said, "Wow! It sure looks like they're having fun out there. Can you sign me up too?"
As you may have guessed, in my family that's almost a rhetorical question. So, when week two of gymnastics began that sea of pink was dotted with one boy in yellow shorts and a red t-shirt.
Later on I asked him if it bothered him that he was the only boy in the class (I could have said the room). He gave me one of those classic, innocent kid looks that said, in essence, "Why would I care if I'm the only boy?"
I could tell the thought had never crossed his mind. All he was concerned about was getting a chance to participate in the good time his sister and her friends were having on all the fancy equipment scattered around the room.
His little six-year-old mind instantly recognized what my thirty-year-old brain wouldn't –- gymnastics looked like fun and he wanted to try it.
For me, it was yet another reminder that no matter what your age, no matter what your job, it's important to be true to yourself, to try new things and broaden your base of experiences.
In this issue, we highlight two parks and recreation departments that have done just that. Both the Longmont, Colo. and Medina, Ohio departments have built new recreation centers to meet the demands of their growing communities.
Both worked to achieve the same goal, expanded recreational resources for their citizens, in different ways. I guess you could say that both of them were trying new things and working to be true to themselves and the communities they represent.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Parks & Rec Business and welcome any and all feedback you can provide.
Have a good month!
Rodney J. Auth
President & Publisher