Easy to say, so hard to achieve. You can’t take it to the bank, however it just may save your life. Achieving balance—the transition from crawling to cruising, then taking those first steps—is an exhilarating and perilous journey for children and their parents alike. Its power is undeniable. But few stop to look back. Life accelerates and sometimes causes us to lose our balance again.
Technology has expanded expectations of students beyond their schoolwork and of workers for their availability in the workplace. We are pushed from here to there and back again. Compared to a generation ago, parents have more demands on their time. The cloud, always in our reach via WiFi, keeps the reality of globalization ever present. Our country is built on hustle, and we do, making balance seem more elusive than those first few tentative steps we took as infants.
Perhaps you’ve completed the exercise in which you first list the things that are important to you in your life, then prioritize the top five. At some point you return to the full list, assign the number of waking hours during the week you spend on each and compare it to your priorities.
This is a wakeup call for many. In his book Break A Sweat, Change Your Life, Bill Simon, a squash player, adjunct professor and businessman, looks at what he calls the greatest threat to our children’s health in America: obesity and inactivity. He describes the research revealing the benefits that physical activity has on us all—forming good habits are essential, and the earlier the better. Twenty years ago, Bill and his wife Cynthia founded Sound Body Sound Mind, a non-profit that provides in-school equipment, training for physical educators and a curriculum to give students in more than a hundred schools the opportunity to gain exposure and confidence through physical activity.
In this issue, Tal Ben-Shahar provides a personal history of how he got into squash and the component pieces of why squash is an ideal sport to create happiness. Among the reasons: it’s rooted in community, requires mindful meditation on court and teaches delayed gratification and hard work.
Those who play squash and are part of the squash community are the lucky ones. While I know I’m preaching to the choir, it’s worth pausing and appreciating just how fortunate we are to have squash in our lives. US Squash’s mission focuses on fostering lifelong positive engagement in squash for as many people as possible. This mission keeps us balanced, and we trust it does the same for you.