Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Sports I’ve Tried and What I Thought of Them

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A few of my comments on Blogspot blogs went through last week. This week, none of them are going through even if I switch browsers. I will keep trying, but that is why I’m not commenting on some sites.

A photograph of a basketball net against a dark night sky. The photo is positioned so that it looks like the full moon in the sky is about to swish through the basketball net.

Physical education class was where I was first seriously introduced to playing sports as is probably also true for many other folks. Every year we played football, basketball, volleyball, and baseball as the seasons turned. Sometimes the teacher would mix things up a little by having us play hockey or kickball indoors or play tennis or run around the track outside when the weather was nice.

While there are people out there who learned to love those sports and exercise in general through their experiences in gym class, I was not one of them. I wasn’t a naturally athletic kid or teen, and competition squelches my interest in exercise instead of encouraging it.

I’m sorry to say that I loathed every single one of these sports. Other than tossing a baseball around with my oldest nephew a few times, I have steadfastly and purposefully avoided even the slightest whiff of all of them as an adult.

The sports I like generally have a few things in common:

1) It’s easy to participate in them non-competitively,

2) They can be done alone or with a small group of people,

3) They do not involve pain, balls, or running. (I sustained numerous injuries in gym class over the years. Even though they were minor things like sprains or bruises, having so many of them happen year after year gave me what seems to be a lifelong aversion to sports that involve these things).

4) You can do them at your own pace and with modifications if certain moves hurt or if I can’t yet do them.

So, for example, I love swimming, nature walks, yoga, bicycling, light hiking*, dancing, and weightlifting. I used to love canoeing, too, although I haven’t done it since I was a kid.  Rollerskating is also fun if I’m on a smooth surface, am wearing appropriate safety gear, and can move at my own pace.

*e.g. I’ll explore a trail for an hour or two (or much longer than that if the weather is mild and the terrain is fairly flat), but then I want to go home, rest my feet, drink lots of water, and maybe eat a banana.

Basically, I don’t mind pushing myself in reasonable ways to see how my body reacts, but I never want to wake up the next day too sore or bruised to function.

If any gym teachers end up reading this, I hope contemporary gym classes are much more useful, practical, and encouraging than the ones I had. The idea of teaching kids to get into the habit of exercising early in life is a great one, but that class was useless for me at best.


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15 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Sports I’ve Tried and What I Thought of Them

  1. Exercise doesn’t have to be competitive, glad you like a number of activities to keep you healthy.

  2. Walking and swimming are great. There’s such a lovely wooded area behind where I live with a few foot trails threaded here and there. We get to see all manner of animals from foxes, rabbits, squirrels and birds. Walking can be very mindful too.

  3. I can understand the appeal of competition, but I tend to prefer casual sports — shooting hopes on my own, playing catch with my dad, that kind of thing. When are the best seasons to hike in Canada?

    • That makes sense!

      Spring and autumn are the best times for hiking in my opinion, especially earlier in the spring and later in the autumn when there aren’t so many mosquitos and other biting insects.

  4. I completely agree with your last point there. If the gym classes I took had shown me ways of exercising without the competitive sports aspect, I might actually exercise more now. As it is… I have an aversion to anything resembling “PE” because of the way those classes were taught.

  5. I didn’t mind the competitive aspects, but because I didn’t take them terribly seriously I quickly learned to avoid team sports. (Not because of the sports themselves, but because of the culture: nothing will make me nope out faster than having my own teammates and/or coach yelling at me.) So I enjoyed things like gymnastics, fencing, wrestling, and even track (I actually was a fairly athletic kid) but soccer, basketball, baseball, football and that sort of thing were all wasted on me, and vice versa.

  6. Gym teachers should only have seen the cafe when I’d be sitting there, still able to wear a few things I wore in grade nine, and some of the more “athletic” types from the same classes would waddle in, weighing 200 pounds and wailing about their arthritis and other symptoms of “old age” meaning not exercising. If the goal is to build healthy adults, the crucial thing is to make physical activity FUN. Afaics, one day per year for one “team game” where a few people could be stars and others were just taking up space, would be more than plenty. The rest of the time the class could do calisthenics, circle dancing (no couples! no touching!), and nature rambles–things adults actually do! The only habit my gym teachers were building was the habit of thinking we didn’t want to take any exercise!

  7. Google uses a version of Captcha that’s usually invisible, but invasive enough to be banned by law in some places (like Virginia). So there’s a work-around. If I do Ctrl-Alt-Delete to get to the Task Manager, there’s a tab for “Services.” By clicking on that I can check on whether a “Captcha Service” is running. One version is permanently stopped; the other I have to start, manually, to get Google-hosted sites to work properly.

    By activating any Captcha service I’m authorizing Google to store information about what I do in Chrome. So, that’s a lot of reading and writing, NO money and NO “personal” messages, travel plans, real names of real people, etc. Print tax forms and pay taxes in real life, not online–that sort of thing.

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