Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 208: Built A Playground

There I was, in front of a large crowd, on the brink of something that would end up being a complete and total disaster, or something that would throw the crowd into an excited frenzy.  My heart was beating out of my chest as everyone surrounding me was telling me to hurry up and do it.  I took a couple more seconds to compose myself and to try to reassure myself that I had it in me.  Once I talked myself into it, I closed my eyes and let go...and made it...well at least mostly.  My friend Nick came over and helped me up off the ground; my pants full of dirt and grass stains, my shoes sopped with muddy water.  But I made it.  I was able to swing on the swingset harder than I ever had before, let go at my highest point, and leap over the giant puddle that always filled the playground when it rained.  I high fived everyone, and then others took their turn trying to jump over the water.

That memory is something that I will never forget.  I could tell you exactly what I was wearing (a Chicago Bulls t-shirt and red sweatpants) and remember the faces of all those that looked on.  Memories like this aren't created inside while playing video games.  They are made running around with your friends outside, playing on playgrounds and in backyards.  Too often today, kids sit around inside their house, doing nothing but playing video games.  This has led to an alarming increase in childhood obesity, ADD, and stunted social/cognitive development.  In a city like Chicago, one of the biggest reasons behind this is a lack of places for kids to go like playgrounds and other greenspaces.  My wife's school saw this issue and decided to do something about it for the children of Humboldt Park Chicago.  Along with the playground building team from KaBOOM! and volunteers from Radio Flyer, today for my random act of kindness, I helped to build a brand new playground next to the school.  My wife is out of town, so it wasn't too easy getting up extra early, dropping my daughter off at the nanny, and then volunteering all before my work day started, but I don't mind one bit.  The benefits of those children having a place to play will be astronomical.  Plus, maybe in the near future, I will head over to the park after a rainy day and try to recreate my daring leap.


  1. Loving this blog how inspirational!!!!

  2. That's awesome. You are right about kids needing to go outside & play more instead of on the computer inside. The kids will really appreciate all of the hard work that you all have done to make them a playground. Keep up the great work that you are doing for everyone!!!