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Vancouver Courier: 2013 was the year fitness got fun

Megan Stewart, “2013 was the year fitness got fun,” Vancouver Courier, 24 December 2013.

Running isn’t just for runners anymore. And racing wasn’t something only racers did this year.

In 2013, the stamina sport of barefoot purists, weekend trailblazers, lanky Kenyans and P.E. teachers found legions of new fans thanks to anti-establishment events that put the dance into endurance. Yes, I wrote that.

The emergence of playful 5k runs is an answer to the punishing military-inspired obstacle courses like the half-marathon distance Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race. Only suckers sign up to suffer. (I’ll be doing the Tough Mudder next year.)

Instead of boot camp abuse, repetitive circuits and urban fitness regimes to prepare for barbed wire, 10-foot walls, frozen water and electrocution, the preparation for these gentler, more playful events amounts to little more than lacing up a pair of shoes and showing up with a group of raucous friends, ideally without a hangover.

The softer, light-hearted side of exercise doesn’t mean you can slack off. You still signed up to run; you just expect to keep a smile on your face the whole time.

The most incredible development in Vancouver recreation this year, however, focused on mental exercise as much as physical exertion. Credit to Germaine Koh for founding League, an open organization that emphasizes problem-solving as a form of play.

Koh is an artist who holds a three-year residency at the field house in Elm Park. On the last Sunday of each month, League meets at the Kerrisdale location at noon and everyone is invited to “drop in to exercise your strategic instincts, stretch rules and limits, and workshop ideas for action.”

[Read more at http://www.vancourier.com/2013-was-the-year-fitness-got-fun-1.770179#sthash.ekGkcUQS.dpuf]

December: board game jam

December is board game month at League. The challenge is to invent new board, card, or table games. We can either jam with existing game materials, play-test ideas that individuals bring, or invent new game equipment. The “League Home Edition” kit of parts is available to get ideas rolling.

Work/play in your own groups, or come to one of the open gatherings at the Elm Park field house:

  • Tuesday December 10, 6-8 pm: with special guests R&D Straker, whose Kickstarter-funded board game Escape from Sunset Island: Zombie Apocalypse Simulator is currently in development.
  • Sunday December 15, 3-6 pm: game jam. Amongst other games, we’ll be working/playing on a game relate to moon phases for grunt gallery later that week.

Then come join us to play and for some seasonal festivities at at the grunt‘s  Early Winter Solstice Party on Thursday December 19.

Moon phases