March 04, 2013

Confession: Crabby is a Secret Swinger


You can't really blame me, can you, after so many years?  So yeah, maybe I wanted to mix things up a bit.

As I recall my first experience was on a lovely warm evening, after a glass of wine or two, accompanied by seductive music--what can I say? I couldn't resist!

I thought the Lobster might think my proclivities were too, well, weird and embarrassing, but once I explained she was surprisingly accepting, even if she didn't often want to join me.

And hell, now I'm shameless.  I'll do it in the morning, in a park, in broad daylight!  Even though technically what I'm doing there is against the park rules, but hell, what are the chances I'll get caught and punished?

Yep, after years of keeping it respectable....

...my long walks and furtive runs have gotten a LOT more fun now that I go ahead and sneak onto playground equipment when no kids are using it.  Yippee!

And the swings are my favorite.

Note: if I could entice the Lobster into "the lifestyle" to accompany me more often, this would be a picture of one of us flying happily through the air, and not a post-swing photo, but I'm still workin' on that.

The Scene of the Crime

Swinging is fun!  It hardly feels like exercise, yet I think it actually is.  It's even more blissful than when I was a kid, because back then they hadn't invented mp3 players yet.

And bonus: due to the unfortunate childhood obesity epidemic, even some of the smaller swingsets now seem sturdy enough to accomodate grown ups. At least I haven't broken one yet. (Knock wood).

But sadly, I do have to sneak off to swing as kidnapping a random child might be frowned upon.



In fact often I'll slip my swing in during an evening walk when it's dark and all good children are all at home doing whatever wholesome things it is kids do these days.  I am blissfully ignorant of such matters.

So where are all the Adult Playgrounds?

I bitched about this several years ago in an adult playground post, and have discovered I'm not the only one with this complaint, though not much has been done about it from what I can tell.

I got all excited when I saw this New York Times piece on a new playground for grown ups in the Bronx until I clicked on it and saw the pictures.

Does this look like a freakin' playground to you?  Where are the rides?  That is an outdoor gym, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but a gym is not a playground.




Note:  If the copyright police round me up and I have to remove the photos, you may have to go the article itself to view the Not-Playground.


Now this next photo looks slightly more promising:



But still, where are the giant slides, self-powered roller coasters, trampolines, bungee devices, big-ass merry-go-rounds that go really fast, spinning human gyroscopes, and other play things that could be totally fun for adults even if they might kill us?  I'm still waiting!

Any of you sometimes tempted to do a little swingin'?


So how do you guys turn exercise in to play, or does it feel like play already?


Photos: 
Swinger Poster:Movie Poster Shop
No adults: Crystal Eagle
Boring Adult Playground Marilynn K. Yee, New York Times
Fun Women: Jogo Equipment 

62 comments:

  1. I love swinging! I don't get to do it too often because there's always someone around and they seem to frown on an adult using swingsets.

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    1. Oh good Robin, I'm not the only crazy grownup who loves it?

      We need some "adults allowed" hours in playgrounds or to build some just for us!

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  2. Even playgrounds for kids aren't as fun as they used to be. Too many lawsuits. So sad. Remember when slides were wicked high? And remember the round-and-round you could spin on until you thought you might get sick? Ah, those were the days. Swinging is not so much my thing anymore - weird, but after having kids it made me feel "eh." I feel most like I'm playing on my bike. I'm thinking of adding spoke colors and ribbons on my handlebars. I already have a bell!
    Gaye

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    1. Love the idea of jazzin' up your bike Gaye! And yeah, what happened to those super high slides?

      At least there have been some improvements; like the rubbery stuff they've invented since the old tambark, asphalt, or gravel days. I ALWAYS had a couple of skinned knees as a kid.

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  3. Is that a teeter-totter those gals are on? Regardless, I think I'd like to have a glass of wine with those two. Seems like they'd be enjoyable company.

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    1. LOL. No kidding, they were hilarious!

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    2. Don't they look fun? I thought the same thing!

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  4. I love swinging and miss it terribly. Husband and I in the blissful youth of our relationship occasionally went out at midnight of a summer's day and played on the swings and teetertotter. He went for the monkeybars, too, and still does when he has a shoulder out of place.

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    1. Another secret swinger, yay Leah!

      So, no swings nearby anymore? Perhaps you guys could construct a teeter totter or swingset, and I'd figure out how to invite myself over to play.

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  5. OK, I am just going to admit to it, I like swinging but unfortunately I make myself sick to my stomach doing so. Sigh. It is the "drop" when you swing high.

    Also. Anything involving benches for sit-ups, bicycles, whatever, I don't think that is a playground. :)

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    1. Ah, too bad QD about the queasy feeling! I only get that if I tilt my head back on the downswing, which I sometimes do on purpose 'cause it's weirdly thrilling.

      OK, so I'm a little nuts...

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    2. I do/did that, too, tilting the head back on the downswing to get that swirly head. I no longer sneak onto the swings, because my knees are getting older and older, and for me the total purpose of swings is to get going as fast and as high as you can and dismount so that you land on your feet roughly thirty feet in front of the swing set. The knees don't appreciate the beauty of this anymore.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    3. I can't do it either - it gives me a headache. :(

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  6. I haven't been on a swing in years - I had an awesome swingset in my backyard when I was a kid and that was my favorite thing to do. Old me wouldn't dare sit on a swing back when I was overweight, but hey - I might fit/not break one now. You're tempting me to find one!

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    1. Go for it Shelley, it really can be a blast!

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  7. Since when did playgrounds become non-adult friendly?? I still like to swing and merry-go-rounds are my favorite. I still try to get the boys to play the games on them we used to - pitch your shoe off and lean way out to get it while you are going super fast (stuff like that). The boys think they are too "old" for that kind of thing - wimps!!
    I do pretty much enjoy exercise all the time, even when it's not "play"!!

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    1. Too funny Kim that we are NOT too old for playground but your kids are! :)

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  8. The swings were always my fav! But I have fibromyalgia now and the hips are continually sore. I can't find a flat swing seat anymore and the rubber straps pull up around those sore hips and hurt! Bummer. If I had a high, sturdy tree in the yard I could construct my own. Now if I could just find one of those twirly things I would be in business. Really, dont't they make them anymore?

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    1. Oh shoot mk, hope you can find a nice flat swing somewhere and go flying again!

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  9. I LOVE playgrounds! When I find myself getting "too serious" about fitness, I'll stop randomly at a playground and just PLAY. Swinging is the best, I also really like the slides.

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    1. Yay Monica, glad to see there's another playground interloper, and slides are awesome too. Yet none of the playgrounds nearby have big enough ones, darn it!

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  10. Yes, i'm a swinger, on the playground at Sunday school. And since i stopped growing at age 12, i'm still the size of a kid who is allowed to use the stuff, so i'm not questioned! ;)

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    1. Ooh you're a Sunday school swinger Messymimi? That sounds like it would make a great book title, of the drugstore variety! :)

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  11. Access to a child really helps! Unfortunately my nieces don't play tag or Marco Polo any more as that was great fun and exercise. Hide and Seek can be a little embarrassing. Never hide in a neighbours bushes 'cause you may have some explaining to do!
    Some of my gal pals do play skip and double dutch occasionally at the local YMCA.

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    1. Cindy, cracks me up to think of the misunderstanding possible with adult hide and seek, never thought of that!

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  12. Aw, I thought at first this was going to be about swing dancing! Which I've never done but I'm always eager for opportunities to pass along raves about ElectroSwing music. Listening to Parov Stelar immediately makes me feel 1000x cooler than I really am. If any of you check it out and get hooked, I'll send you a workout playlist.

    As for the other swinging, I insisted that we build a real, sturdy swingset for the kids, with big old flat swings like we used to have. It was glorious, though my kids never got much into it, and once we got dogs and the small back yard turned into Turd Central, it was abandoned altogether. But it was glorious for a bit.

    BTW, Crabby, I have to say that your giveaways are really wonderful things. I truly LOVE the Rugged Reader glasses I was lucky enough to win, and based on your post, I located and tried out Quest bars, which have become a real favourite. There's something about potential LOOT that really gets you thinking about things.

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    1. Trabb's Boy--

      WOW, thank you so much for the introduction to ElectroSwing, it's so right up my alley, how did I not know about this before?

      And you crack me up with the glory days pre- Turd Central.

      And speaking of crack, those damn Quest bars are addictive, damn them. I need an intervention!

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    2. LOVING Parov Stelar! #8-)

      I'm a long time fan of Caravan Palace - I think you should probably give them a listen! #8-D

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    3. Oh wow, that's great too Shadowduck! I love this kinda stuff.

      The only problem I have with using these for exercise is that the beat seems to run a bit too fast (or too slow at halftime) for my running/elliptical playlist. Are all electro swing songs in this sort of 125/250 bpm beat? (just estimating using "tempo tap.") Or did it just happen to be coincidentally the ones I sampled?

      Probably great for a brisk walk or dancing, but might sound a little weird if i tried to adjust 'em to my sweet spot in the 150-180 range.

      Thanks again for the input, I need more music!

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    4. It's the nature of electro swing to be upbeat and uptempo so I'd guess it's all in the same sort of bpm range, but it really is just a guess. I don't listen to music on the bike for obvious reasons, and the exact tempo isn't a critical factor when I'm dancing about the kitchen or drumming on the steering wheel!

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  13. I used some great exercise equipment in a park in Redwood city, Ca on a visit there! Not too much here in adult sizes except as you point out, swings.

    What is it about them? I've done them in many positions. Standard, from the side, turned up or down, back and forth or side to side, slow or fast...

    You get the idea...:-)

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    1. Seriously, Sideways? Upside down? You are an adventurer Dr. J!

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  14. having worked as an occupational therapist for kids i got to play with all kinds of swings. my favorite is the big board-swing that hangs on 4 ropes and you lie on it on your stomach! awesome! so yes: i am a swinger too....

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    1. Puja I have never seen a swing like that, sounds FANTASTIC! I think Europeans are way ahead of us yanks when it comes to outdoor activities; we're all too busy watching tv!

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  15. I am loving this post & I am sure Carla will too! ;) That pic of the 2 ladies towards the end - yes to that! I actually don't do this at all. When the grandkids lived here, it was a more often thing when I played with them.... I know - I need to get out & play! :)

    GREAT POst!

    WAIT! My weight training is play to me! :)

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    1. Jody, yeah, I was thinking of Carla on this one as she is queen of "PlayOuts!"

      And dang, I wish weight training felt like play, I envy you!

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  16. Yes!! There's a playground down at the beach near my house and I love to swing and see-saw!

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    1. Oooh, see saw, great idea Karen. Oh wait, not so fun solo... need a co-conspirator!

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  17. I have a swing on my porch that I love. Once when moving to a new home, my ex would not move the swing...even though we were only moving a couple miles from one house to the new house. I never EVER forgave him for that. Probably why he's still my ex....well that, and the fact that I remarried. My hubby got a swing for me the first year we were together and we still have it. And WE moved several thousand miles!

    Playtime for exercising though....I still find it terribly odd and exhilarating at the same time ... when I go for a walk, sometimes I just feel like jogging. I break into an easy pace and can keep it up for a very long time...well long to me anyway. I've done it as long as a mile but a quarter mile is probably more the norm. I feel absolutely giddy when it happens.

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    1. So glad you ditched that ex Sherri, sounds like you are much better off with a husband who understands your need to swing!

      Oh wait, that didn't come out quite right... :)

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    2. Oh, but.......wait........no, no, I will tie my fingers up so I don't type any more! hahahaha!!!

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  18. I remember when you first wrote about adult playgrounds and thought it was a fine idea. Now that I read about how many of you still head over to the park to swing I feel silly because there's one just a 3 minute walk from my house. I'm going to have to remedy my absence of swinging soon. Thanks for the .. umm.. push.

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    1. Hilary, yeah give it a try! And with your photo skills I bet you could even figure out how to take wild pictures while swinging that people all over the internet could enjoy...

      Oh wait, that didn't come out right either...

      Delete
  19. Dear Crabby - you get double, extra credit for posting that amazing movie poster with Tony Franciosa AND Ann Margaret:) What a find!!

    Oh - and of course the actual POST is terrific, as always :).

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    1. I suspect the movie is probably horrible but the poster is a hoot! And thanks anon!

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    2. Horrible - oh yes! But, in a "it's SO bad it's really fun" kind of way.

      This post begs SO many double entendres that it's almost unfair... - so, I will restrain my normally buttoned down self.

      Aside from the full body work out of a good swing - I think there's something akin to a rocking chair in terms of it moving that cerebro-spinal fluid up and down (brain through the spine and back again and again) that is super healthy AND helps prevent dreaded diseases. Maybe I'm wrong or someone actually knows something about this - but, I seem to recall having heard about this a while back.

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    3. Oh shoot, anon, you gotta go all buttoned down on me now?

      And love the cerebro-spinal fluid explanation and don't even CARE if it's true as it sounds like another great justification when the park police try to stuff me in the back of their cruiser.

      Delete
  20. Is Marathon Sex considered exercise?

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    1. That's a yes StarvingBitch!

      But just where does one sign up for a sex marathon? And more mportantly, are there t-shirts?

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    2. Is there a 5K version of this marathon? :D

      Delete
  21. Death Ride GrandmaMarch 4, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    Yup, me too. I only wish my grandchildren wanted to go to the playground as often as I do. Actually, I meet my trainer at a city park/playground that has a suitably diverse group of ages (and every other sort of diversity I can think of right now) & preschoolers play happily among dogs, middle-aged guys and (at least one) little old lady doing their weight training, tai chi groups. I look longingly at the bars & rings I dream of being able to swing on again one of these days (hey, and do pull-ups, too), and sneak over to the swings now & again.

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    1. DRG, I suspect if you wanna do pull ups, you WILL!

      You sound like you'd be a blast to hang with at a playground, wish you lived in San Diego!

      Delete
  22. Never pass a swing up without taking it for a ride. I figure it's my civic duty to test the safety for the kids.

    I adore that outdoor "Playground" - and you have to remember that playgrounds are gyms for kids. They disguise exercise as play.

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    1. Love your civic mindedness Deb! I'll have to remember that rationale if the park police ever bust me.

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  23. you know me...OF COURSE :-)

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  24. I love to swing too and The Boss usually pretends he is isn't with me when I do. I assure you that does not deter me in any way! LOL!

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  25. Such a funny sign board. I believe no one is too old or too young to play and enjoy in the playground.

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  26. Time for a road trip:
    http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/09/musical-swings-on-the-streets-of-montreal/

    PS - see? Having kids does come in handy some times. You can come use the swing set in my yard any time. It's adult tested. :)

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    1. OMG bdaiss what an awesome concept, I want musical swings!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  27. I wish I could get on the swing when I take my kids to the playground, but it makes me dizzy these days. :(
    Next time you're in Boston, run directly to the musical stairs at the Museum of Science. Soooooo fun!

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  28. I'm a swinger too...although I'm very open about it :D it's so tiring yet addictive and fun.

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