SI.com - Writers - Elliott: Hooked on the Web - Friday December 31, 2004 10:04AM I want to tell these kids idling for far too long for a seat at this keyboard to go read a book. I want to tell them to go outside, where the perfect sea is begging to be jumped in, frolicked near, or at least napped next to. Of course, these Christmas carols being piped in, complete with the requisite tin-drum atmosphere and at a volume some might find criminal, can be disorienting. I want to chat with just a couple, see if I can't get them outside in the warm sun, plop them down with a real page-turner -- surely the first book they'd have read purely for pleasure since Curious George a decade ago. Or, God forbid, I coax a couple of these pasty blobs into some consciously chosen exercise.
Two days ago both boys went to the doctor's office for annual check ups. Erik has grown beyond the height charts. And, he is lighter than a year ago. He lost weight. Doctor David was very happy.
Last winter, our Market House Rec Center was closed. Shut down. I have been on the Mayor's case like white on rice, but truth be known, my wife recently said that she was ready to ring his neck last year as Erik's fitness was so poor. This was due to the closed gym, no doubt.
Well, last winter I was also coaching. So, I was heading out to play with the varsity boys and girls swim teams at Fox Chapel Area High School while my guys were in baloon mode sitting at home.
This fall (2004) we played indoor soccer at the Market House for a 10-week term. The parents/boosters got the keys and re-organized the programs in our city owned facility. As the soccer season was closing, the boys and I dove head-long into a winter swim season at another suburban district. Beyond the lack of city implications, I am very, very please. The swim season and practices are going well. The other coaches, the team's friends and its leadership is fantastic. And, it shows with the boys.
Beyond the new desks (boards places on old file cabinets) and new computers for both boys, other gifts include new ice skates for Erik and a new helmet for Grant (who fits well into a pair of hand-me-down skates). My sons and my wife have been skating for hours on most holiday days at Schenley's outdoor rink. Great fun. They love it and began the activity last year with the closed Rec Center. But, that's more of an extra and not enough to really be the whole of a fitness program.
Anyone know what's up with South Park's rink? Not opened. Why? True?
The other plus to highlight within this linked-to-SI-rant, beyond a good game of NFL Football with John Madden, is the concept of the kids getting into the technology aspects of life. That points well to the concept of the proposed Youth Technology Summits -- still to hatch in this area.
THE NFL'S TOP FIVE (OR SIX) TEAMS, BECAUSE I SAID SO
1. PITTSBURGH (14-1): The sort of fan this team produces: My pal Devin Pedzwater called on his way from Heinz Field to the airport last Sunday, flush with visions of home-field throughout dancing through his addled brain. We spoke for 20 minutes. He has no memory of the conversation.
BTW, who's this Pgh dude named Devin?
Okay, I'll get my database snapping again and send this guy a campaign letter in the weeks to come.