There are two sides to everything, its what makes life interesting and how obstacles and struggles play out. For me the word "work" is a bit harsh and very negative. Some say work is a positive which in a way it is depending on your perspective. You hear things like "I work hard", "She's a workaholic", "Nice Work Bob", "I'm proud of your work sweetheart." With a certain perspective Work can be used positively and negatively. The funny thing is though, people work all their lives, some more than others and even put their lives at risk for their work but more often not many people work so damn hard and still don't get the recognition they deserve. I knew guys who bust their ass 12 hours a day and struggled so much they're brains were caving in. Work a lot of the time feels daunting, harsh and downright sucks.
The word "Play" in my mind is something that is filled with fun, excitement, creativity, something effortless even though it doesn't from another person's view, time passes by like an 8 hour day felt like 5 minutes; it happens sometimes. Fitness is a prime example between the words "play" & "work"; when you work for your body, you push it to certain limits, sweat dripping down after a hard fought set of Push-ups or deadlifts or you put in a good hour or more battling exercises and busting your ass for the results you want. No matter how much work you put in, results may not come the way you want them to because your body will do what it can and it's a gamble at times. People workout so hard and most of the time too quickly then end up quitting. When you change the mindset to the word Play, it becomes a whole different ball game; hell it won't be in the same freaking sport. I like to use certain phrases when I train, things like "today, i'm going to play with these exercises", "my training session consists of playful movement", "I'm excited to play today." You can't help but feel happy about hearing stuff like that, using words like these can change how you move, the way you think and how you use your imagination.
Play is letting everything go, the rules fly out the window and all you're left with is your imagination and what course of action within your creativity you develop. Believe me it's not easy being creative but once you let loose and let yourself be anything, possibilities open up, you begin to have burning passion and it won't become work anymore, it becomes something to play with and create something out of your own world in your mind. Being fit is both a mind and body journey that has you learning all kinds of things but what you do mentally first will show in how you physically move in that next step. I pushed my body to limits I can't even bare to mention but I have bled, I've been hurt and I've been as sore as you can possibly imagine but once I change my mindset to play mode; my creativity comes out, I move more freely, I smile and have a greater focus.
Next time when someone says "work harder", tell yourself "No, i'll play harder". When you're in school, you work on your homework to get good grades, sometimes working just won't cut it, play with your homework, make something funny and find answers that both the subject and your creativity can co-exist. You're in a sport and you work on drills, now say "let's play on the drills" it goes in a totally different direction and those drills may be easier to do because you're relaxed in the mind and you're grooving through the session like a pro. Play with your heart and your mind and you can't go wrong.