I bought myself a baseball bat the other day because the last one I had broke, and I just miss swinging a bat! Standing in my living room, talking dry cuts and imagining myself in the 9th inning of the World Series with a 3-2 count and bases loaded brought back a lot of good baseball memories for me. But it also made me think about how much fun it is to just go out and play sports. Throw a baseball or football, shoot a basketball or play some pick up, goof off with a soccer ball and so on. Playing sports is a way to be active with some form of organization. And while i love going out and just being active, I recognize that there is something unique about participating in sports as well.
If you've never enjoyed playing some form of organized sport in your life, I'm sorry to say but you've totally missed out on a huge aspect of learning though activity, and childhood. And whether or not you've competed in organized sport, the great thing is: you still can. Sports are cool, you can get a group of friends together for a fun game of anything. You can join a local league and get your fix that way. The world has recognized that sports are something that people like to do, and it's pretty easy to get out there and do this stuff if you really want.
For me there has been a bit of a void somewhere inside ever since my baseball career ended. I took up running; it was fun, I got really involved, but it wasn't the same. I took up jiu-jitsu, same thing. I took up CrossFit, got close, but not totally the same. What is it about sports that I connected to so much? Well hold on a sec, I need to be clear that I understand that running, jiu-jitsu and CrossFit can all very easily be considered a sport, I am just using the term way too loosely. Let's see if I can clear up what's going through my head and then I think my point of the importance of "sports" will be better understood.
What I miss is the ability to be a part of something organized, where I can showcase my athleticism, exert myself physically in a skilled manner with other people either on a team, or in a competition setting. Pretty much defines all sports no? Then why do we think baseball, basketball, football and soccer when someone says something about sports? Why not 5k races, or golf, or CrossFit?
Well, I've spent a few days thinking about this one and I went from one idea to another. What I've come two different conclusions: The first is that I just loved playing these classic sports that, from my understanding, all children grew up playing. Perhaps if I really wanted to dig deep I could come up with some theory about connecting with my childhood and the feelings I enjoyed when playing these sports (baseball, basketball, soccer). And that's a perfectly acceptable argument I think. But the second idea came after talking to a few people about what sport actually is. Honestly, I never really thought about this until lately and it turns out I have a very different view then I would have expected. I would agree with the idea that "sports" are organized physical, skill and athletic-based activities against a direct defense; as in, someone, or a group of people defending your advances. Running (in any form, distance, cross-country, sprinting) is a competition. CrossFit is a competition. Golf, swimming, etc, are all athletic competitions, not sports. I understand this is pretty arguable, but because so much of this stuff is pretty subjective, and I have gone over the feelings I've had towards all sorts of different athletic endeavors, this conclusion is one that makes a ton of sense to me. I miss competing against an immediate and evenly matched opponent. I miss taking my hard-trained athleticism and and skills and matching them up against someone trying to stop me from performing those things. That is why, while I loved running, and love CrossFit, I still feel unsatisfied. Jiu-jitsu was increadibly close (that is why I'm getting back into MMA, slowly but surely). This how I am wired, and I like it.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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