Choosing a sport for the brick-shaped man
June 17, 2009 7:25 AM Subscribe
What sport suits a thirty-five year old man built like a hot water heater? Everything I like is made for the lithe and long-limbed, not the squat and powerful. Any suggestions?
posted by Harvey Jerkwater to sports, hobbies, & recreation (60 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
As I age, I'm growing doughier. This needs to stop. A gym isn't the answer, either. I have the commitment and self-control of a hobo. No, I need something fun. I need a sport.
The challenge is that I'm competitive by nature, and frustrated as hell trying to compete in sports where I'm at a significant disadvantage due to body type. Drives me insane to put in twice as much work in a sport as a tall skinny guy and get crushed by him time and again simply because he's tall and skinny.
I'm a fire hydrant, with short limbs relative to my torso. I'm beefy, which means I have good absolute strength (i.e., I can lift heavy stuff no problem or hit things hard) but poor relative strength (i.e., I can't throw my own body around easily or jump all that high). And I'm a little squishy around the middle. Okay, more than a little.
The sports I'm drawn to, and have have tried to enjoy in the past, are those for which I am ill-equipped. Fencing, when you have short limbs and a long, wide torso, is frustrating as hell. Yes, you can overcome these problems with time and practice, but you know what?
Why not play a dang sport where I don't have to "overcome" myself?
(A long-simmering half-joke rant of mine is that sports where size is an advantage protects the smaller by creating weight classes; where size is a disadvantage, the larger aren't protected at all. Boxing? Weight classes. Gymnastics? No weight classes. Weightlifting? Weight classes. Track? No weight classes. This is crap! Let's see "Heavyweight Gymnastics!" It'd be interesting to watch, at least. Or forget weight classes in other sports. If track is dominated by the scrawny, then why can't boxing be dominated by the huge? Returning to the question...)
The sports that suggest themselves to the Larger Gentlemen are those that I don't enjoy.
--Weightlifting isn't a sport, it's going to the gym. Feh. I need something competitive.
--I've tried to get into judo a few times, and it just doesn't do anything for me.
--Boxing is out, since I have a giant head and don't like to get punched in it. (Also, that "short reach" problem returns. Short arms, big head? Oh man, that's not good.)
--American football would make sense, but at thirty-five, my only option is "flag football," which, where I live, structures its rules specifically to cater to the small and fast. ("No-contact blocking" is the rule in local leagues. It prevents injury and allows small people to play. This negates my one asset, mass, and turns it into a hindrance. Gah!)
--Rugby is a possibility, I suppose, though I'm not excited by the idea.
--Golf sucks. Unless you're hitting the ball into a windmill and through a fiberglass pirate's mouth, in which case it's kinda cool, but not good exercise.
--I can't hit a baseball worth a crap.
--Softball probably wouldn't be enough exercise for my girthy self. Plus, y'know, beer.
What sports are out there where being built like a tree stump is a plus instead of a minus? Or, barring that, what competitive sports are there where being built like a tree stump isn't a giant drag on your performance?