News reporters are often sent all over the world. Sometimes they can control where they go depending on the beat they have but often each assignment is an adventure. That’s just one of the many perks of journalism.
I’ve been a reporter in Minnesota for the last four years, and one thing I’ve observed in that time is children are great examples of what it means to be brave and try new things. I was reminded of this recently.
The St. Joseph Park Board hosted the first Joetown Snowtown event last week in Centennial and Memorial parks. Packed with outdoor winter activities, festivities included sledding, skate races and snowshoeing. Seems pretty harmless, right?
As I tiptoed down the side of a hill in Centennial Park to get in a position to take a photo, I was shocked at how little the riders were standing at the top. Clearly, this hill is taller than me. I know I’m taller than them, but their rosy cheeks glowed and they smiled as they flew down this gigantic hill, laughing all the way down. I don’t remember being that adventurous when I was little. My thing was coloring books.
I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Every time I gripe about how cold it is in Minnesota, I’m reminded by peers, “Hey, it snows in Cleveland.” Yes, it does, but I have no memory of ever going sledding. I tried ice skating once as an adult and it ended badly. I didn’t see my first sledding hill until I moved to Minnesota. Even though it looked scary to me and I’m 29, those children – some rode down with and without their parents – looked like they were having so much fun.
I met an 8-year-old who tried snowshoeing and sledding for the first time in one day. She thought it was great. The temperature outside was no deterrent for her outdoor fun. It didn’t matter to her the snowshoes were a little bulky or that she fell while trekking through the snow. She got back up and finished the course.
As I thought about that little girl’s resilience, I was reminded of another assignment I had where children let nothing get in their way when it came to learning something new. They were fearless and kept an open mind during the event.
At another event I covered recently, area students were attending a science-education event and learning about the anatomy of the heart. The learning aide for this lesson was a real pig’s heart. I know many adults who get squeamish just thinking about blood. These students didn’t just look at pictures as they listened to the instructor. They held, poked, prodded and examined those pig hearts like pros. I was proud of them. I don’t know if I could’ve joined them though.
Those are just two examples of how children prove to be fearless sometimes. I like making these discoveries. Next time, I might put on a pair of snowshoes myself and give it a whirl. I’m still thinking about the sledding hill. Maybe next year.