Ahh push it. Puh-push it real good.

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Ahh push it. Puh-push it real good.

It may seem like a very simple task to accomplish, but ever since my friend Dom suggested the Top 30 list item “Be pushed on a swing”, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect swing. Not just any swing will do. I’ve encountered plenty of bad swings in my 29 years: Swings that pinch, swings that teeter, swings that are form-fitted to the bum of a newborn infant and therefore not capable of holding any more than one butt cheek at a time…

No. I couldn’t just use any old swing. I needed to find THE swing.

While running along the Bay Run yesterday (we did a whole lap! Woot!) I took note of the very appealing “nest swing” in the “Constellation Playground” beside the Iron Cove Bridge. The thing is absolutely massive and, given the design, is just begging to be pushed around. The leg-pumping action normally required to swing oneself is simply not possible. It’s more of a fun-filled hammock really.

Sure, it was built for toddlers, but if a rambunctious 2 year old can’t break it, I’m sure I stand a fighting chance of escaping unharmed. I should think that if it can carry the weight of all of these children then it can handle lil’ old me:

Callan Park Swing

Higher! Higher!

In general, I feel like parks have gotten so boring since “Health & Safety” hit the scene. As a former child of the 80s, I know there’s nothing better than a giant ricketty old tetanus-addled steel rocket ship (complete with lead paint!) to bring joy to children everywhere. It depresses me to see these types of play equipment replaced by fake grass and plastic cubes. I don’t know about you, but I’d take a burned butt over a violent static electricity shock any day, so if they could just stop replacing the old steel slippery-dips with plastic ones, it’d be great.

Yet more depressing still, is the fact that this swing, this shining beacon of funness, has been the subject of numerous acts of vandalism from cranky old resident neighbours:

The council has agreed to lock up the equipment after dark to eliminate noise from teenagers using the park at night and council rangers will continue to monitor noise and anti-social behaviour in the playground.

Wait, what? Who are the anti-social ones here? The teenagers who choose this “natural high” over other alternatives, or the old cranks next door? I vote we lock them up at night! Oh, wait… they’re already locked up at night. Perhaps the more logical thing to do would be to go and get every last one of them, pile them on the swing, and them push them as high and fast as humanly possible. They will have so much fun! They’ll remember what it was like to be young and they’ll never complain again!

Isn’t that what this list item is all about? Reconnecting with my childhood so that I don’t forget what it’s like to be young and silly? It certainly wasn’t so long ago that I was “young” and… well… I’m still very silly.

I hope I never get so old and bitter that I forget how sweet it was to be young. Perhaps “being pushed on a swing” should become a regular thing? Maybe If I schedule an annual swing session I will never forget. Then again, that sounds like the plan of an old person already!

To be honest, I still play in parks and, unlike those teenagers mentioned above, I do not require the cover of darkness to hide my shame.

What silly things do you do to reconnect with your inner child?

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8 responses »

  1. I found the most amazing swing of my
    life in maffra Victoria. I’m not joking – I would road trip just for that swing…

  2. I love swings! We used to go the park at night when we were kids (I’m not sure where my parents were at the time!) and have a ball on the swings and slides. The vandalising of parks was unheard of back then. I really hope I don’t end up like one of the old fogies who complains about the noise from the park (but I probably will) 😀

  3. I remember an incident of Amanda as a little girl playing gleefully in a play area in Canberra when I heard the distressed cries from a distance. I am glad this traumatic experience did not take way your love of playgrounds.

    • I almost told that story but decided against it. My noggin healed (mostly). I’m probably the reason they introduced safety legislation – sorry kids!

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