OV Town Talk: I’m Calling Time Out!
Published on December 28, 2022
By Kristy Diaz-Trahan, Town of Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Director
Throughout my childhood I played a lot of sports—volleyball, basketball, softball and golf. I could throw a football farther than any of the boys and wanted to be the first female to play in the NFL. I even wrote a letter to the legendary Rodger Staubach with my aspiration, but that’s a story of another day. The life lessons I took from playing sports include the value of teamwork, the characteristics of leadership, the humility of sportsmanship and the habits of living a healthy lifestyle. But it wasn’t until recently that I truly understood the life lesson that sports taught me: when to call a Time Out!
One of my first memories of calling Time Out! was on the softball field. I was 11 years old. It was the last inning; we were up by three when we took the field. Right off the bat (pun intended), routine groundballs were rolling through legs, fly balls were bouncing out of gloves and the other team was quickly building momentum. The opponents got loud, cheering and yelling with vigorous enthusiasm. Our team got quiet. We started snapping at each other, blaming each other and physically tightening up under the pressure. That is when I called Time Out! All nine of us gathered in the pitcher’s circle. We needed a break. We needed to regroup, clear our minds, and relax our bodies. This move also stopped the chaos of the other team taunting us. We talked to each other, strategizing as a team, and feeling better as individuals. A simple Time Out! made all the difference.
As a parent the term Time Out! took a whole different meaning… or so I thought. Tired, hungry, overstimulated meltdowns resulted in—you guessed it—Time Out! Our beautiful little darlings sometimes need a break too. They need to be removed from the overwhelming chaos and stimulation so they can calm down, reset and breathe.
A few weekends ago, I felt myself getting irritable, tense and short-tempered, so I called Time Out! I needed a break. I needed to get outside, look at the sky, smell the fresh air and move my body. So I retreated to the new Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve. This 202-acre open space near my back yard did the trick! I laced up my sneakers, filled my water bottle and left the ear buds at home. My soul needed to soak up nature’s medicinal benefits. Within minutes my body eased, my mind cleared and my attitude changed. While at the Preserve, I marveled at the large, ribbed saguaro standing atop a hill, beaming with pride. I took in the smell the fresh desert landscape after a light sprinkle and was surprised by a group of deer nibbling on leaves before bounding off with the grace of Olympians.
Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve is the Town of Oro Valley’s newest park amenity. This former golf course has six miles of paved pathways, hundreds (if not thousands) of plants and animals, and 360-degree mountain views. It is truly a gem. Oro Valley Parks and Recreation is in the process of developing a Master Plan for this special space. The Plan will outline a master land-management plan that aligns with conservation principals. It will provide a roadmap on facility improvements to include trailheads and educational opportunities. The consultant team, Sites Southwest, had the opportunity to meet many Oro Valley residents last month as part of their data gathering and community engagement phase, which also included more than 600 survey responses. Sites Southwest will be hosting more community meetings the week of January 23, 2023. Details on date/time/location will be announced early January, so keep an eye on the OV Parks and Recreation web page and social media.
In the meantime, I wish you, your family and friends a wonderful and joyful holiday season. Remember to use the lessons learned from playing sports. Be a good teammate, lead with humility, and call a Time Out! when necessary.