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Sunday, April 24, 2005


Sports of All Sorts

Today, my wife and I were out and about, looking for something nice to do on a Sunday afternoon. We went down to Union Square, because my wife thought there was a farmers' market on weekends. Turns out it's most every day except Sundays. Then we went to Chelsea to check out the galleries, but found every single one of 'em closed because of Passover. So, as we were in Chelsea, I suggested that we take a look at Chelsea Piers.

For anyone who doesn't live here, Chelsea Piers is a huge sports complex. Seriously, they've got everything. Bowling, skating rink, driving range, butt aerobics, etc. I hadn't been in a batting cage in about twenty-five years, so we bought a few tokens and tried it out.

It was fucking awesome. I suck, but it was awesome anyway. I haven't played baseball since high school and I was a third-string right fielder even then, but I love the sport. My swing was a bit rusty. I'm talking broken down Chevy sitting out in front of an Indiana trailer rusty. And, strangest thing, I started off relatively strong, missing on only a couple of pitches, then I got progressively worse. My wife, on the other hand, looked like Babe Ruth's re-animated corpse on Codeine at first, but, after practice, started hitting like Babe Ruth's re-animated corpse on steroids.

The point is, I had a great time and I wanted to keep going. It got me wanting to do something active on a regular basis. The question then becomes: What is it that I can do at least several times a week that will keep my interest while keeping me fit? I've got the list narrowed down somewhat.

Four-square: In elementary school, I was actually pretty damned good at four-square. I was usually able to put a pretty good spin on the ball and take out even the most wily opponents. The problem here is that I don't have two friends who can be in the number two and three squares and help me gang up on whoever's in the fourth.

Ultimate Frisbee: I love frisbee. Love it. And it's one sport at which I've got to say I'm pretty good. I have good aim and I can usually put some pretty good distance on the thing, too. There are Ultimate Frisbee leagues all over the place. Unfortunately, I'm old. The one time I tried playing Ultimate--a game that never fucking stops moving--I was left so winded they had to hook me up to an oxygen tank on the sidelines. I like the game, but I hate feeling quite that pathetic.

Swimming: I like swimming. I love being in the water. But most health clubs in New York have a set limit on how much back hair one can have and still be allowed into the pool. Being half-Sasquatch, they won't let me within a hundred yards of the shallow end, for fear I'm going to clog their precious filter.

Softball: This is, again, a sport that I love, even if I'm not very good at it. The problem with this is that you generally have to play in a league. You can't just kind of show up at a softball field with your sad little mitt and say, "Can I play?" Corporations have softball teams. Bars have softball teams. I'm not the corporate type and I don't hang out in bars, so I'm snake-eyes on that one.

Kayaking: Kayaking kicks ass. It's a great workout (at least for your upper body; it basically leaves your legs the same pasty, mushy things they were before you started, but it's great for arms) and it's on the water, which, as I've said, I love. However, I live in New York City. I don't have room in my apartment for a kayak, unless we keep it in the bed with us. And the only places I could use it on a daily basis would be the East River or the Hudson. I believe there's about two used diapers per gallon of water in both those rivers, so I'm not exactly eager to spend time in either.

Fencing: I've taken a fencing class in the past. It's a lot of fun. Also, if you get really good, you could potentially kill somebody, providing you have a sword handy and they aren't carrying a handgun. The problem with this sport is that giant strainer they have you wear over your face. It's not that it's uncomfortable or anything, it's just that I'm always paranoid that the person I'm fencing against is making faces at me under theirs.

Tai Chi: There's no way I can do this. I just have no desire to move that slowly in a park. People doing Tai Chi always look like they're line dancing to a funeral dirge.

See, there's just no perfect sport for me. I guess I'll stay fit the same way I've been doing it for years: pissing on strangers' shoes on the street and then running like fucking crazy.

Someone stole my ball glove... grrr.
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