Photo by Pratik Jamatia on

“But are not exercise and the open air within the reach of us all?” ~ Walt Whitman

The grass on the soccer field is much longer than normal. There are no lines, no cones or flags, just open green space. The players, two of the college athletes I train, check in with the appropriate ten feet of space between us.

We don’t know what the future holds for the fall but right now we are going to run, outside, on the grass. No artificial turf or rubberized track. Its good to be back on the grass.

Ten feet becomes ten meters as begin. After a warm up the shoes come off and we work barefoot for a while. Reconnecting with our feet, the grass, the ground. Then, shoes back on, we run. It’s challenging. It feels good.

Whether its the college players or my retired clients, we have all gotten used to spending time in the gym. Sometimes I think the main reason we go is because we built them and now we feel we need to use them , as if they were the most natural place for us to move and exercise.

Except they aren’t.

What more natural place for a soccer player than on the field? What more natural environment in which to move than your own back yard or neighborhood or home? All the things we need to do to become a better athlete we can do on the field. The things we need to do to become healthier we can do in our backyard or neighborhood. The equipment and machinery have become distractions and separated us from our natural environments.

Perhaps, when this crisis has run it’s course and the gyms are open again, we’ll go back. Maybe we’ll use them a little more sparingly and see them as a resource for our health and fitness, not the source. But, for now we are reconnecting, feet on the ground, toes in the grass and it feels good.

It feels natural.

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