Over the past few years, I have traveled to neighboring communities, as well as small towns in other states. One particular place that comes to mind is Saranac, New York.
This is close to Lake Placid, where the 1980 Winter Olympics was hosted. Saranac, to me, was a type of dream town. Many people were outside and touring around. Both local and outside tourism.
I had gone with a group of friends on a canoeing trip in the Adirondack Mountains. We found an outfitter in Saranac to suit us with a rental canoe we would need for the week.
At the outfitter, there was a bright young lady there who told me about the town. I complimented its beauty and asked what she had done for her hobby. She opened up about her joy in fishing and hiking, as well as so much outdoor recreation during the winter times.
This type of insight sank into my mind from that day since. Outdoor recreation is essential to the vitality of a community no matter where you are. It has shifted my philosophy, in regards to fitness, on how to apply ourselves with exercise beyond a solid fitness routine.
We need to use exercise as a tool to be out and active more often. As much as the application of movement, it takes a simple shift in perspective to understand to feel alive, truly and utterly alive, we need to be getting outdoors.
I see this happening now in Washington Court House. This morning I was training a client at Eyman Park. Upon our finish, there were a group of older adults getting ready to play Pickleball (sort of like tennis). They seemed exuberant and energized to be out and playing as I inquired about the sport.
It’s good to see this happening, and this is not an isolated instance. More often, I am seeing people on their bikes, at the dog park, kids playing on the park equipment, and individuals running on sidewalks.
It brings, for me, a sense of Joy living around town. Just a few years ago this was not as prevalent. Due to Covid, we’re beginning to understand the importance of movement, activity, and beneath that, play. It reinforces a commitment to my craft, as a personal trainer, and to continue to develop it as a service to Washington Court House and Fayette County at large!
Trey Tompkins is a local fitness expert who writes columns for the Record-Herald.