Rediscovering the magic of a childhood necessity

By Sarah Hansing


The Recess Selfie by Bruce Dorman.

I have discovered something glorious. Okay, maybe not GLORIOUS but definitely super rad. Now that I think about it, this thing isn’t such a new concept. It is something we were well acquainted with during our formative years; in fact, it was a very near daily practice for just about every single one of us. Somehow, this thing I have recently rediscovered became lost to us as we got older. We sort of forgot about it. Thought we outgrew it. Phased it out of our lives. After all, we have busy lives and full schedules, commitments and obligations.

We became adults, and there was no time for recess any more.

(You thought I was going to say “naps,” didn’t you?  Fair enough – that most certainly  deserves an honorable mention.)

Anyways. Recess. We spent half the day sitting still at our desks (or in my case squirming around in my seat) just WAITING for the bell so we could escape outside into the fresh air and go PLAY. It was something to look forward to during the first half of the day, and something that helped us to get through the second half. It helped us get our wiggles out and get our happy on.  

So, it is with great joy that I am happy to announce my return to recess. I’ve started going for quick mountain bike rides during my lunch break and IT IS AWESOME. I come back feeling more awake and way happier for sure, and my head is in a good place. The endorphin afterglow seems to make the second part of the work day just fly by, after a lunch ride.

It’s actually kind of weird, because for the longest time, I convinced myself that an hour just wasn’t long enough to sneak a ride in, so I’d just sit down and hang out on my break – eat something and do the iPhone/Bookface/Instagram/Words with Friends kind of thing. That hour went by SO FAST with my face in my phone. But when I go for a ride, it’s almost like time slows down; the minutes have more value in the currency of time spent.

I know everyone is not so fortunate to have a job within riding distance of a trail. I’m fortunate there. I also know that not everyone has the same breaks in their work day, or consistency in their schedule. But hopefully everyone CAN find at least a few minutes in the day to go outside and breathe some fresh air, take a look around, and remember that life isn’t just about the next task at hand. Somewhere inside of us is that same kid who would’ve been an absolute terror to deal with if we had just sat inside ALL DAY. We’re not a whole lot different, now, really – we’ve just learned to control ourselves a bit better as we wait for the end of the day bell to ring.

So next lunch break, remember recess.

Go outside and play.   


​Fat Tire Tuesday columnist Sarah Hansing has been slinging wrenches as a pro bike mechanic for 15 years (with the exception of a one year stint working for Trek Bicycles in Wisconsin.) Epicenter Cycling scooped her up as their lead mechanic and the shop’s crew plans to ​keep her forever. Sarah loves riding singlet​rack, wrenching on bikes, and hanging out with her jerk-face but adorable cat Harlan. (Who is a jerk.)