The Peter Pan Syndrome, Part 1

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that, like it or not, we never really grow up.

I’m going to explore this concept in some detail down the road but I wanted to start with something Peter Pan was know for: having fun.

Kid Fun Never Gets Old 

Kids are very smart and they know how to have fun. Their lives are filled with silly games and mindless activities that challenge mind, body and spirit. It’s too bad we mature and turn into adults because kids got a lot of fun stuff figured out.

So much of adulthood seems like a departure and/or graduation from the child state, where more sophisticated, wiser and practical beings live a life of responsibility, purpose and vision. While us old folks certainly have a vastly different daily experience than our young counterparts, when it comes down to some of the leisure things that we consider important and spend time, money and effort on, we are more childlike than we think.

Just using the platform of sports, it jumped out at me: most sports are glorified versions of what we used to do as kids.

Soccer, the most popular sport in the world, is basically a game of keep away.

As is basketball, hockey, football, rugby, lacrosse and water polo.

Billions of dollars, millions of hours and countless energy is spent cheering on grown men and women play keep away. People literally go to battle over it!

Tennis is basically a game of hot potato. So is volleyball, racquetball and ping pong.

Running, one of the fastest growing sport, is literally a race of who can get there first. So is cycling, car racing, horse racing, skiing, swimming and countless other competitions.

Kids, especially boys, like to fight. No surprise that things like wrestling, boxing and martial arts have global appeal for all ages.

Target games such as bowling, golf, pool, shooting, archery and curling are roughly a game of who can get it closest for adults.

Kids are always trying to do things like other people, then adding their own little twist. The competition of I can do that too is all over kid world and often ramps up into doing them better and prettier than someone else. Not shocking, gymnastics, figure skating and diving are still popular with adults while the trick sports (skateboard, snowboard, ski aerials) are rapidly gaining steam.

There’s a few others, such as baseball and cricket, that don’t really fit in the above categories, but almost everything we do for sport fits into the kid sport mold.

I’m sure there are many more parallels and without going too far into the rabbit hole, we’ll just leave it as this:

We never grow up. Particularly when it comes to our sports.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

P.S. Going a little bit further, movies and TV are extremely popular and that’s just adult versions of dress up and pretend. 🙂


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