Let me be ME

Archive for the ‘FreePlay’ Category

Enjoy – Winning will come later

On a typical hot and humid Sunday I entered home post noon after a long ride tanned, dirty face, tired with a parched throat.. I removed my helmet which was dripping with sweat, kept it on the table and rested myself on the sofa. With a deep exhalation I said, “Damn, I could have ridden faster and longer today but it was too humid”. My words disappeared in the air as all other members were busy with their Sunday chores. I was too tired to take their observation into account so decided to head for a wash.

On some other day, I entered my house after my run and checked on my sports recording app for my distance and time. I was unhappy and murmured, “what is wrong with me, why can’t I run fast?”

I reacted in similar way after my swimming or stair climb but I thought my words went unnoticed, really?

It was on Sid’s sports day when I realized that my each word was taken into account.

After the prize distribution he came running to us with more than 3 medals dangling around his neck and his face beaming with joy. Surely, it was an elated moment for all of us. He said in all glee, “, Mom, I am the fastest in the entire junior section and no one is even closer to me “. I patted his back and was surely proud of his achievement.

Sid with his hard earned medals

But then the things changed a little. He wanted to race anywhere, anytime and with anyone. Why? To prove and show that he is fastest of all even the younger sibling suffered several times because he was slower. He was not even happy when he stood third in cross-country race among more than 70 students .Sid asked me one day to record his run on Strava (sports app which records your sports activity) .So, the Strava bug was setting in.
After my rides or run he checked upon my distance and speed. He was also curious to know if I was fast in the group and who was the fastest (he knows some of the fastest riders in the group) .This was alarming .I could see fierce competition.

I was at fault.

Unknowingly I introduced this culprit. My activities  are purely my passion. It is my outlet to anxiety, stress and depression but this was not conveyed properly and I could see my son getting into unhealthy competition.

So, how did I correct it?

Talk about enjoyment first , winning may or may not happen – it is just fine !

After my rides I talk about the fun we had , chit-chat, weather, road condition, what we had for breakfast, some funny instances. Also, focusing on how the group rides together and not to race. I focus my discussion  more on the love for ride than any Strava jargon.

One of our group rides

I run alone so after my run I come home with a satisfied smile and then talk about my sprint for a short distance and slow run for longer distance.  Also, discussing long distance running tactics with my boys and asking for their comments.

In the end it is neither the speed nor the distance that will matter but consistency will.

Parents feel elated by the accomplishments of their ward and look forward for medals too.  It is good to get recognized for the efforts but it is equally important to be happy and satisfied without medals dangling around the neck.

We have a medal stand at home and I love that corner of my house. It shows my effort , my participation, my pain , my strength , my hard work and my will to do more . My each medal has a story and a memory to it.


Our medals: We have a story and memory attached to each one

It is extremely important to get into a state of bliss when you enjoy any sport than comparing, creating records for recognition, proving oneself better than other and feeling low for not being at par with the group. My accomplishment, effort, handwork and dedication are for myself and not to prove to anyone else.

Joy, during my Rajasthan exploration on my cycle

Children give learning of life and my son did too. I shall continue to pursue my passion towards adventure in full fervor but for myself and not for any competition. I would love to get recognized by own inner belief that will scream to me,” DISHA, I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT “and I’ll give MY complete dedication to make it with a smile on my face.

“My boy, love , live , explore and come out as winner in life”

Summer Break- Let it be FREE

“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” -Kay Redfield Jamison

“Mom can we play 30 minutes more?” pleaded my 10 and 6 year old boys. My instant reply was a loud and clear “NO”, which even altered the security guards. The other two boys playing grabbed their cricket bat and pedaled away as fast as they could.  I asked the boys what was the time and they meekly agreed that they were late for lunch. Like any other mother I was in my best hyper mode. Walking fast ahead of them and mumbling until we reached the elevator. My younger one moved fast and stood in front of me, with hands on his waist and kind of blocking my way. He gave me a stern look exactly the way I gave them few minutes back. In an assertive tone he said,, “Mom, it’s OUR summer break and we can use OUR time whichever way we want. It’s fun to play cricket in the sun!”

Exactly, it is HIS summer break and he can use HIS time whichever way he wants. I panicked because it was noon with blazing sun and the boys were playing unperturbed by the heat. I noticed that there were very few children playing in the sun.

Another observation I made when I went for my run in the evening was ,only teams of boys playing gully cricket. As compared to Mumbai norms thankfully my housing complex has larger play area and various teams defined their pitch to play mini IPL there. I tried looking for girls but couldn’t figure out any. Going ahead there was a bunch of girls of few teenagers and few going to be teens. They were busy chatting, clicking selfies or seeing videos on mobile phones. This is a common site in the era of mobile-phones-taken-away-play-time.

The next morning again my boys picked up their cricket bats, tucked my pet along and went off to play. When I went to pick them up I was surprised to see comparatively more children than the day before in the park. I was happy and surprised too. My happiness didn’t last long as I saw vanity vans and it took me no time to understand that there was a shoot happening in the complex. These children were sitting diligently in the scorching heat waiting for the “CUT” .It pained me.
(Vanity Vans in the complex )

Summer break is a time where children explore freely. They should explore the nature, find new friends, discover interesting games , get into the world of reading or create painting master pieces by making their hands dirty . Children should learn things on their own either by creating a mess in the kitchen, or battling out with sibling. We have failed to structure our life but are keen to give a proper frame to a child’s brain in HIS/HER free time.


Summer camp information starts flowing in much before the school is ready to shut for the academic session.  It is good that children learn something new and get inclined towards progressive learning, which these camps offer. But it is equally important to have unstructured playtime for children. Let them find their own team, have their own little quarrel over lost ball, face the victory and defeat together. Let them learn with messy hands , let them be untidy, non-systematic, lazy but  Let them be. You can’t cushion them forever.


Let them be

Summer break is for all irrespective of gender so make your girls rough. Not just mentally but physically too. Let them face harsh sun. Encourage them to play with boys. There is much more than dolls and indoor games. There is life outside selfie, pouts and Instagram let them know this.

It is their time with no school routine , no time-table , no alarms, no rush for school bus but let them enjoy this MY  TIME. Trust me they’ll be a happier lot once the school reopens and just think don’t we all need OUR time? So do our children .



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