“You are never too old to dream a new dream” – C S Lewis
That is probably what I miss most about childhood,
that belief that you can grow up to be anything, to do anything.
Then you get older and the big dreams get smaller
I don’t know if we become realists or we buy into the world’s persuasion that our dreams are silly, or pointless, or unreachable.
Ask a five year old what the want to be and they will tell you:
“An astronaut- rock star- ballerina- mommy.”
Children have grand visions of their potential. How lovely it would be to hold onto those big dreams and not be weighed down by adult responsibility.
At least that is what I was thinking as we stood in the Steeler locker room and Tyler pointed out which locker will be his when he is the kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
On Tuesday we took part in a field trip being offered by Tyler and Ozzie’s cyber charter school. They had a field trip planned to the Carnegie Science Center and Heinz Field, (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers.)
We arrived at the science center at 10:00 am where we met the bus load of students from central Pennsylvania that came together by bus, as well as two other co-op families. The science center isn’t what drew us to the outing. We LOVE the science center, but with our gift membership from my parents we can go anytime. It was the second part of the outing that made us sign up:
A tour of Heinz Field.
The day went as follows:
From 10:00- 12:00 we toured the Science Center. We spent our time at SportsWorks, a separate building that highlights the science behind sports and movement. When we visit the science center we rarely spend time in that building. As much as the kids enjoy it, especially Tyler who loves all the interactive sport stations, it is usually so crowded that most of the time there is spent waiting in lines. On Tuesday that was not the case. There was NOBODY there. Our co-op families pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.
The kids loved exploring and trying out some of the stations that they normally won’t wait in line for. After about 1 ½ hours of sports fun we walked over to the Science Center cafeteria to each lunch.
From 1:00- 3:00 was our behind the scenes tour of Heinz Field.
I am not a sports fan but even I found the tour fascinating and thrilling. For Tyler, who lives and breathes football…well, it was like he had died and gone to heaven!
The tour began with everyone being given “backstage passes” to wear on their coats. These were worn to show security that you are with a tour and allowed in the stadium.
The tour began in the Great Hall where are informative tour guide, Teresa, walked us through the history of the team and its players from its founding by Art Rooney in 1933 through six Superbowl wins. As we walked from display case to display case we saw how the game has changed through the years. It was neat to see the uniforms evolve as safety requirements became more of a priority. Key players were highlighted.
There was even a display dedicated to the terrible towel and its history in the Steel Nation.
After walking the Great Hall we moved behind the scenes where fans rarely go.
It was neat to walk the back corridors and see the hustle and bustle of workers preparing for Thursday’s Pitt football game. (The university team of The Pittsburgh Panthers also shares the stadium with professional Pittsburgh Steelers)
We then walked through the visitor’s locker room and onto the Steeler’s locker room.
It was amazing the difference in these two locker rooms.
The kids had fun exploring and peeking inside the header above each locker to see whose locker it was.
It was during this time that Tyler claimed his future locker. 🙂
In the center of the locker room there are two logos on the ground. These logos are never to be stepped on. Even in the midst of a room full of players, hustling to prepare to go onto the field these two logos are never walked across. It is considered bad luck.
As we left the locker room we were able to see the symbol of luck the players tap before they run on the field.
As we were walking down the hall Teresa pointed out another cool addition. Next to the Locker room used by the male officials during the game was a separate locker room for female officials. She explained that the NFL now has a female referee making the addition of a female locker room a positive needed addition.
Go, girl power!
She also informed us that a few teams now have female coaches working for them. Tyler found this quite cool, especially since he had a girl on his team this year. Nessie was one of the power players of his cougar team.
We then moved up to the box seats where we got to see how the fancy folk live. The boxes were impressive, with seats lining the windows of the box and a living area behind. It had its own private bathroom and kitchen area where a butler serves food during the course of the game.
Then it was onto the press box. These seats had an amazing view, which I suppose in a necessity as a sports reporter. We were able to watch from the box as employees began covering the field to protect it from the rain moving in before Thursday’s game. What a big job!
We also were able to view Heinz Field from two vantage points…
Up high in the stands, from the point of view of the fans:
And down on the field, from the point of view of the players:
It was one of the neatest and most unusual field trips we have had with a school and we were awfully glad we participated.
One final stop for pictures and home we went.
This picture kills me!
When we arrived home Tyler eagerly shared his experiences with Toby, telling him all about the stadium he will play in one day.
As a Momma, I listened and smiled.
Will he grow up to be the Steeler’s kicker?
But I am not going to be the one to crush those dreams.
The years of big dreams doesn’t last nearly long enough.
So I say dream big, Tyler, dream big!
And if your dreams one day become your reality I will have the photo that celebrates the beginning of a dream realized. 🙂