Every couple of years Katie, one of my BFF's (actually my very longest serving BFF - she showed me to the girls loos when I started a new school age 7) and I find an event to do that's about us, about pushing ourselves, about connecting - it needs to have some sort of physical challenge involved and hopefully a smidge of intrepidness. So far we have done the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker, Mototapu, an offroad marathon in NZ,and this weekend gone, we competed in Tough Mudder. I know many of you have seen photos and news stories about it, and yes, it really was as wickedly fun as it looked, as well as a physical challenge with electric shocks, mud and high things to climb while on a 20km run. My marathon weary legs were a little weary, but managed even though I was always a few paces behind Katie.
And we ran, and chatted, and freaked out, and asked strong guys for help, and got muddy, and patted ourselves along the way as we realised that we were passing people who'd started an hour before us. And we laughed. At some points, we laughed so hard, we had tears running down our mud smeared faces.
Which got me thinking. As we get older, how often do we have that kind of fun which makes you feel ageless. Which makes you feel like you have no burden of responsibilities. Which makes you feel light and blimmin joyous just because of the sheer fun of it all. And I'm not talking about the kind of fun you have after that extra half bottle of wine - which is never quite as fun the next morning, (although Sister, the "flag dance" will be longstanding in our family treasure chest of happy memories). I'm talking about those moments that brighten your soul a little, and make you doggedly determined to do MORE OF THAT soon, ok, before you forget how good it feels?
Because I think in our busy lives of responsibilities, of raising children, of paying mortgages, of making our mark on the world, we forget to have fun. Or we have redefined fun as something that is really only a satisfactory attempt at "fun". It's a little safe and a little controlled, and in my world, usually revolves around my kids and their version of fun.
I'm guessing that there are some of you reading this, who are happily shaking your heads thinking "nup, not me", well I say hats off to you, and I bow deeply, because you are my role models. Don't change a thing, just sit there smugly, because you can.
I ran over a marathon finishing line with my arms in the air and my face fill of joy last Sunday, and on Saturday, I ran laughing with my bum hanging out of my ripped pants, mud smeared all over my teeth, and a light heart.
It feels good to have fun.
When was the last time you had belly-laughing, pants-wetting fun?