So many sports, so little timeI am not a sports guy, at all.  I would rather have my teeth drilled than watch a football game.  Last time I had the opportunity to see a major league baseball game, although I did go with my family, you know what I did?  I sat in the parking lot and drew sketches of different parts of ZIPPER JUNCTION™.  No, I am not a bad Father, or Husband, I am just not a sports guy.  My wife on the other hand loves sports of all kinds.  Unlike me she actually understands most of them very well.  Being that she is also a physical educator and fitness instructor helps too I guess.  But to say I do not value sports is not true.  My younger son loves playing soccer.  I have come to tolerate soccer, for his sake.  In fact, I have actually been known to cheer at his games.  Seriously, I do understand the fascination that many people have with sports and I also understand it is a very important part of our culture.

My feelings are so strong about sports being an important part of our culture and way of living that I began to study it as a method of teaching and learning, seeing how it could be woven into the fabric of The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ in terms of general fitness and as a complimentary set of opportunities and experiences to the rest of the programs and activities.  What grew from that initial exploration was fascinating to me.  I actually got a little excited about sports.  Not that I was partaking or anything, but I was excited to see their potential to be included, and to be included in a big way!  The potential to add breadth to other programs and generate self-sustaining revenue for our main operational purpose demanded their inclusion.

Yes, high schools and colleges all have sports programs.  When I had the first few conversations with educators they thought I wanted to build a high school or college with the required extracurricular sports programs or the few important ones as some colleges have.  Nothing could be farther from what I had in mind.  Unlike schools that view sports programs as a separate thing, an extra thing, I wanted to weave the sports programs into the general well-being for everyone as well as intertwine the actual operations of the other areas, the workshops, theatres, culinary programs, etc, into the sports activities, and vice versa.  Sounds a little crazy, and to be truthful, a bit hard to comprehend, but that is exactly what I did.

The test for cross pollination is critical in deciding if an activity or program is to be included in The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™; it must happen or the activity or program does not belong.  The movements of athletes can be used for motion studies, track and field construction and maintenance can be the subject matter and laboratory for different trade programs, sporting event documentation and further video and audio production from the same events will become material for the sound stages and recording studios.  Conversely, the culinary program can tailor menus to certain athletes needs as well as supply concessions for the multitude of events.  Yep, cross pollination is possible, check!

What I did not see in the beginning was all the different sports, the number of different activities that could be included, sports, sports, and more sports!  Of course there is the basketball, soccer, football, and baseball, but there is also all the track and field, tennis, squash, field hockey, swimming, diving, floor hockey, ice hockey, figure skating, fitness activities, softball, and on and on.  Layer that with all the potential age groups, from toddlers to seniors, as well as different ability levels, and you get the idea that sports and fitness became a large part of ZIPPER JUNCTION™, and rightfully so.  It is woven into, around, and though just about everything, and most importantly it is about the people and their health and well-being.  Sports started out as a curiosity for me and became one of the main focus areas of the project.  Hope to see you at an event really soon!

And remember, even a non-sports guy can love sports!!!