My mom and I just bike jogged together at the Jersey Shore. Able to zip up the East Coast to share a few days in Seaside Park with my parents at the beach, I love vacationing Blackwell-style. And while a few elements have changed over the years, the schedule stays pretty true to tradition. In the morning, the family (now including three dogs) wakes up for a 5am sunrise beach walk, followed by breakfast. Around 7:30am, the family walk becomes a family bike ride down the boardwalk to Seaside Heights and beyond. The 10:00am hour unfolds family swimming time; as kids we did a family ocean swim for a mile or two, as adults now we take the cocker spaniels swimming in the bay. The bulk of the day is spent being active on the beach and the day gets rounded off with a family walk on the boardwalk after dinner.
The point is that mom, the leader of family fitness activities, has specialized in maximizing her opportunities in life. She loves being at the Shore and she loves being active, so she molds her days around getting the most out of the both, something that was passed down to her by her parents. In fact, until the age of 82, my grandfather kept up with all of the above listed family fitness activities, adding to it his own regime of push-ups, body-surfing and calisthenics on the beach.
It didn’t hit me until we were bike jogging today (OK, I was running at a decent pace and she was biking at a very slow pace to keep me company) that part of the legacy that she has handed down to me is the value of an opportunity. My mom instilled in me to leave no stone left unturned in exposing my brother and I to as many opportunities in our childhoods as possible. The span of athletic, educational and travel experiences that she supported (and taxied us to) comprises a list too long to share in a blog. My parents supported (and still support) any opportunity for discovery because they know that the opportunities in life that really end up changing us come in unexpected ways and forms. The moment that any opportunity sparks life and passion into me, my parents are by my side to cheer my growth on. Even at the ripe age of 29, my parents are love their new surfer-daughter Trish, cheering me on from the beach and helping me online shop for my first surfboard. Blackwells believe that you are never too old to try something new.
Seize your opportunities and start looking at each stone that you unturn with new eyes. You might find something you never expected or you might find a new passion in your life; one this is for sure though that whatever you do find, you will find fulfillment because you in fact are seizing the day.