Ghosts, goblins, ghouls. Skeletons, superheroes and sports legends. Icons, inspirations and idols. Spooky season is not so spooky after all when you think of all the possibilities it brings to those of us, both young and old.
Halloween comes on October 31st every year. It is a night where dreams of being whoever we want, become reality. Expressing ourselves in a way that is fun & creative. Growing up my mom and I used to spend hours thinking up ways to put together different fabrics, materials, and items from the craft or dollar store to make my costume. From Tinkerbell to the Tin Man it was a time for us to bond and push our creative boundaries. Creativity is a skill that just like communication and leadership needs to be worked on in order to improve. It shows through in sport and life when we reach roadblocks and need to think of novel ways to get past them. New dribble moves with a soccer ball or basketball, different ways to beat your defender, or choreograph a dance routine.
Not only does Halloween give everybody the freedom to express their creative selves, it also brings people together. It bond's parents and their kids in the costume creation phase, friends dressing up in group costumes and entire communities. Neighbourhoods come together to decorate their lawns and houses in competition, with the friendly spirit of the season. From festivals to school dances and streets upon streets of neighbours opening their doors to kids from close and afar. With the small greeting of “trick or treat” and a knock on the door, children of all ages are greeted with smiles, candy and admiration for their costumes.
Sport does something similar, it unites communities. Youth leagues bring together kids from across the city, recreational leagues unite adults after whatever their day jobs bring. Fans of all races, genders and socioeconomics statuses come together to cheer on the Raptors, Leafs, Jays - or whatever home team they are rooting for.
Community is such a powerful thing.
And these teams give back to those communities. The MLSE for instance, provides sports opportunities at no cost, such as Homecourt Hoops and Home Ice Hockey or offers programs like Kickstart that focus on developing physical literacy. Similarly, Lead Thru Sport initiatives aim to build communities of strong girls and women who are socially responsible, have amplified voices and can celebrate each other’s successes.
So if you think about it, Halloween inspires individual creativity and communities to come together. What a wonderful day! Although, if I am being honest, I have one bone to pick with Halloween. THE CANDY!
If you are at all like me, candy is a weakness. It is my achilles heel. The sour and sweet kick that I cannot refuse. So on Halloween, when I would drag home a pillowcase worth of goodies, it was difficult to have the willpower to pace myself.
That is why around this time I think speaking about nutrition is extra important. According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, “Proper nutrition is vital for child and adolescent athletes to attain proper growth and perform optimally in sports.” They explain that nutrition is all about balance, of both macronutrients and micronutrients to provide enough energy.
Does this mean we shouldn’t be trick or treating?! Or eating all that delicious candy? Of course not! SportsMedBC reminds us of the 80-20 rule. 80 percent of the time, eat well but leave space for foods that bring you pleasure and happiness!
So this weekend, embrace your creative self, meet a new neighbour in your community and just remember to balance out the sweets with some veggies.
Whether you prefer the trick or the treat, Happy Halloween!
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