I used to sport, but I don’t so much any more¹. Family and work and all doesn’t leave much time for it. My approach to this list is to list the sports I enjoying watching² and would do had I the time to do them.
5. Tennis. It all started when I took a tennis class in college. I was terrible at it (and still am), but I gained an appreciation for how much agility the sport takes. I like to imagine I’m Roger Federer out there, gracefully gliding back and forth, slicing the ball with transcendent dexterity and eagle-eyed accuracy. To others it probably looks like I’m just stumbling about, swatting at flies. But it’s my thought that counts.
4. Mountain biking. One summer when I was in college I rode a mountain bike down the ski slopes at Steamboat Springs, CO. I loved it. For years following I had hoped to buy myself a decent bike. I was finally able to obtain a used one from a coworker a couple years ago, so now I can actually go riding³. I love feeling the wind in my face as I careen down a narrow dirt path, skillfully avoiding ruts and rocks. It makes me feel like a gazelle, or a mountain lion. It’s a great feeling.
3. Swimming. I’ve been a decent swimmer as long as I can remember. I’m not particularly fast, but I know what I’m doing. We have a Olympic-sized pool in our subdivision, so it’s pretty convenient to swim regularly throughout the summers. I can even break away from the kids every once in a while and swim a few laps by myself.
2. Soccer*. I played soccer for a city league when I was a young boy. I didn’t really play again until college, and my real interest in it didn’t start until after college. In my completely objective opinion, soccer is the most challenging sport in the world. It takes a combination of physical strength and endurance, as well as delicate agility. I have none of those things, but I do have two legs and two feet. I can still score against my son when we are kicking the ball around in the back yard. That has to count for something.
1. Basketball. Basketball had been a significant part of my life throughout my high school and college years. I went to a very small high school, so it was easy for me to make the team. I didn’t play on any competitive team during college, but I always enjoyed playing in pick-up games. For the few years I was a teacher I coached our varsity girls’ team. I enjoyed that as much for the coaching as for the chance to scrimmage with the girls myself. My knowledge of the game far exceeds my skill, but that is fine with me. I don’t do much ballin’ nowadays. However, I’m pretty sure I could still whip Ellen and Matt (and Blake) in a pick-up game. In fact, I challenge them to come over and play a game of 21, if they’re not too chicken.
¹Maybe once or twice a year
²Although I almost never watch sport anymore
³Less actual “mountain biking” more “riding my mountain bike around the neighborhood with my kids”
*whatever, we’re in America so I’ll call it “soccer”