When I was a child, I got on swings all the time. It didn’t seem to matter what park I went to; each had a swing set to play on. If there was ever a list of demands for a park, on it I would expect to find swings and a basketball court. Only certain ones were lucky enough to have a merry-go-round to hurl oneself off of. My behavior as a child bordered reckless, which is probably normal for most kids. I guess it is part of that invincibility we think belongs to us at that age.
There are things I strongly remember about playing on a swing set. The first is that I always wanted to go higher. Sometimes, in order to go higher in life, we may need a little push. It didn’t matter how high I swung using all my might, it was never enough. So, I asked for someone to push me harder without knowing the repercussions of such a request. I found out, or shall I say the back of my head found out, you can swing too far. Someone pushed me back and forth until I swung way too high. Whether over the rail or not I don’t remember, but at the top of my motion, I realized it didn’t work out the way I thought it would. New things were learned about gravity that day on my way back down. I landed flat on my back and cracked my head hard on the ground.
By the way, if you ever elicit the help of another to give you a push, choose wisely. Some may be a little too eager to push you! Sometimes its ok to give someone a little push. After all, they may need it. If you are the one pushing, though, make sure not to push too much or it may send the other over the edge! But I’m sure my older brother didn’t mean to push me so hard that I would flip upside down. Or did he…?
As a determined childhood scholar, I continued my study of the laws of physics. Of course, it was without knowing it and without a textbook. Needless to say, every lesson came the hard way and ended with pain. That was, of course, not the only fail I had on a swing set. I also learned about momentum the first time I let go of the chains I held on to and was sent flying forward into the dirt. Afterward, a new theory arose that if I swung harder, then I could launch out even farther. If I cleared the dirt and landed on the grass, it would surely be a softer landing. Then there were other times when one of my limbs became entangled in the chains in a way the designers never intended. I’m not sure exactly how many cuts and bruises it took for me to finally accept the intended use of a swing set. After that is when I discovered the merry-go-round!