Keep it moving

If you’re not dancing, swimming, walking, biking, or hiking, you’re leaving a lot of fun on the table.

What a season for Vashon sports.

This spring, our baseball and soccer teams both made hype-worthy runs to reach their respective State championships — and while both teams’ seasons ended just a bit shorter than hoped, they walked away with lessons learned, experience gained against tough opponents, and their chins held high. The sky is the limit for the younger athletes on those teams as the rest of their high school careers unfold.

We saw a powerful tribute to coach Steve Hall in May, highlighting the past and future of baseball on the island.

Rock stars from the Burton Beach Rowers and Vashon Island Rowing Club put up impressive numbers, too. Many of our rowers will go on to compete at the USRowing Youth National Championship.

Oh, and how could we forget: Vashon’s Jacob Plihal is heading to row in the Olympics, and local swimmer Mary Singer (with the help of Vashon and Seattle’s swim communities) is preparing for a solo swim of the English Channel in 2025.

These are no mere hobbyists. These are serious, seasoned athletes — pushing the boundaries of human performance, pouring their love and effort into performances that make the rest of us very, very proud.

We say cheers to these athletes, and to the many others on the island — young and old — for whom we don’t have room to mention.

Everyone benefits from pursuing sports and exercise. But we don’t need to perform at the level of these athletes to reap many of the same benefits. A little bit of sports can do wonders for us all.

Events like the June 8 Vashon Ultra and the Passport2Pain bike ride on September 14 are great ways to challenge yourself.

But if those are a bit much, try starting smaller. Get outside on the island’s monthly gallery cruises. Take a kayak or canoe out on Quartermaster Harbor. Sign up for a local gym membership. Attend a local dance or yoga class.

Even taking a walk around the neighborhood every morning, or tossing around a baseball with friends, is enough to engage your brain, warm up your muscles and expose you to the simple joys of life.

Find some way, any way, to keep your body moving, stretching and working. The benefits are legion and well documented: Improvement of brain function, reduction of stress symptoms and inflammation, strengthening of the body, more energy and better sleep.

None of these benefits are cure-alls, nor do they mean exercise is a panacea for all human suffering.

But let’s put it this way: If you’re not dancing, swimming, walking, biking, hiking, throwing a ball around or lifting weights, you’re leaving a lot of fun on the table.

And who knows? You — or someone you love who is inspired by you — might be the next person to break a record or accomplish the impossible.