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?

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?
posted by Harvey Jerkwater to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (60 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You will be a hero on a rugby pitch. Seriously.
posted by DWRoelands at 7:28 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

Shot put? Log rolling. Caber toss!
posted by fish tick at 7:34 AM on June 17, 2009

What about one of the martial arts? I (very) briefly looked at Aikido many years ago and the best practitioners were the ones with the lower centers of gravity. Being tall and gangly was something of a disadvantage for me. The instructor was very much a fire hydrant and he was a serious bad-ass. Nice as can be, but holy cow...
posted by jquinby at 7:36 AM on June 17, 2009

The father of a friend of mine has a body type similar to yours and is a big shot put junkie.
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:37 AM on June 17, 2009

(damn, I just saw your note about judo. Still, Aikido might be a good match)
posted by jquinby at 7:37 AM on June 17, 2009

Powerlifting, Olympic lifting, or Strong-man events like the highland games are the 'sport competition' part of weightlifting.

I think you should try Brazilian ju-jitsu. Like judo, but more competition based and focuses on grappling and submissions (joint locks and chokes) moreso than throws. Your build would be a huge asset - short limbs are harder to catch and control. Stocky mean I can't push you around easily. Strength means you can overpower or muscle out of submission attempts by more skilled opponents. Look up Matt Sera on youtube sometime (grappling, not his UFC fights).
posted by anti social order at 7:38 AM on June 17, 2009

posted by bz at 7:41 AM on June 17, 2009

posted by carmicha at 7:41 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sadly, there's very few sports where longer limbs don't offer at least a minor advantage. Running is one of the most common activities in sports, and using limbs as levers is fundamental to a bunch more. There are ones where these don't matter as much, though.

It has some of the same downsides as boxing, but I personally know similarly-built individuals who do MMA-type fighting.

Joking about weight-classes aside, I don't know why wrestling wouldn't appeal.

Hockey goalies come in all shapes and sizes.
posted by aswego at 7:41 AM on June 17, 2009

Association football (AKA soccer) is good for all sizes and shapes, and there are usually loads of teams of different age and fitness levels to join. A low center of gravity is no hindrance. And it's as competitive as you want it to be. Plus, arm length is immaterial.

A good place to start is right back; as you get more fit you can try different positions on the field, but it's a good place to get a sense of what's going on without running yourself into the ground or rousing the ire of your teammates. It might take a couple years to reach your fitness goals, but that's also enough time to learn the game and really fit into your team.

Then one day you'll pick up a lacrosse stick and never look back.
posted by breezeway at 7:43 AM on June 17, 2009

What about tennis? It can be very competitive, and short and tall people do equally well in it. You don't have to be an extremely fast runner either, especially if you have powerful shots and good placement.

And thirding hockey. Roller hockey if you live in a place where ice hockey isn't too common.
posted by yawper at 7:43 AM on June 17, 2009

Tennis? You don't have to be tremendously mobile to win, especially if you can whack the ball, hard, where you want it to go. Developing a good first serve and a decent backhand will help you beat most others out there. A quick Google search will find leagues in your area.
posted by IanMorr at 7:43 AM on June 17, 2009

You are built for rugby but if you can't move your own weight around that well (and seem to have no want to improve this) your going to have a miserable time. Even the props have to run.
posted by Loto at 7:44 AM on June 17, 2009

Not sure if you're near the slopes in the winter, but I always marvel at the stability and speed of people with your body type when I'm downhill skiing. I look at them and say, "How can that barrel of a man twice my age get down that slope with those moguls so easily!" Or when I see them on groomed, fast slopes, they just fly because they have so much extra mass and a low center of gravity. I go skiing with a friend who's exactly your body type. I ski rather well, but it takes me everything just to keep up with his acceleration and speed. And because his center of gravity is so low (I assume), he's very stable even at high speed.

re: I can't throw my own body around easily or jump all that high. You might not think so, but get yourself on some skis and watch gravity prove you delirious.

As for competition, there's nothing more fun than bombing downhill in a chase (and nothing more likely to get you hurt, except for perhaps that tree over there).

I'll admit that I see the majority of people with your body type choose snowboarding over skiing. I don't know why, but maybe it has something to do with the board being easier (to learn, to maneuver) than the planks?

Sadly, neither are the most acce$$ible sports around and the required climates limit you geographically.
posted by foooooogasm at 7:45 AM on June 17, 2009

Hockey. Skating ability isn't as necessary as you would think since you have a stick to lean on and boards to stop with. Local rinks will have a beginner's league made up of duffers just like you. Once you get your feet underneath you, you can use your build to develop a hella slap shot.
posted by dness2 at 7:46 AM on June 17, 2009

Rugby League is a good bet, if you can find a local team. Rugby Union less so: there's a massive amount of arcane techniques and laws to pick up, particularly as a front row forward, which is most likely where you'd end up playing. Steer well clear of Sevens Rugby - that's for the fast skinny guys.
posted by Bodd at 7:47 AM on June 17, 2009

I'll suggest the martial arts, as well. It's a question of finding the right one for you. One of the best guys I ever fought was built like you. Not tall, but a complete fireplug. I saw him break a man's cup once. I might be coerced into fighting him if I had a submachine gun and was about ten paces away, and some villain was even now cackling over the glowing green vial of my antidote, to be dispensed if and only if I won. Other men of similar build fared well, too.

It sounds like you want one with physical contact, and grappling, throwing, and the like. How are you with your feet?

Alternatively, have you searched for countries where men of your build are prominent, then looked at their sports?
posted by adipocere at 7:50 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

Nth-ing hockey. You can play ice or roller hockey indoors or outdoors (the skills are quite transferrable), a wide variety of skill levels, a very social game, and as physical or non-physical as you want it to be. And the cardio is amazing.
posted by evadery at 7:56 AM on June 17, 2009

Racquetball? Not too big a court to get turned off by running but a hell of a fun game and workout.
posted by doorsfan at 7:56 AM on June 17, 2009

posted by bonobothegreat at 7:56 AM on June 17, 2009

Seriously, have you thought of strong-man? Heaving rocks is competitive -- plus I've seen the guys resting the boulders on their belly when they get 'em half-way up. Of course training for it involves going to the gym, but depending on where you live, you might be able to find a gym with actual boulders, logs, etc.
posted by creasy boy at 7:57 AM on June 17, 2009

You'd be a beast in Rugby League, as a couple others have mentioned.
posted by Kreiger at 7:58 AM on June 17, 2009

I would second the lacrosse recommendation, as either defense or attack (middie would be hard if you're not up for endless running). I'm a tall, skinny guy, and never had any problem with the little quick guys playing attack; it was the big ones who I couldn't push around that gave me fits (i.e. "somebody else take this guy and I'll switch to the left side"). Really good players will of course overcome that, but outside the very top level of competition being a big guy who's hard to push around can really help.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 8:01 AM on June 17, 2009

I never thought I'd like rugby either but it's a ton of fun. Give it a try.

Does your town have a dodgeball league? Dodgeball's a lot of fun and has a place for all types of athletes.
posted by geekchic at 8:03 AM on June 17, 2009

Sorry, whoever has mentioned tennis needs to rethink their suggestion. Success in tennis happens to the lithe and limber, which is specifically NOT what the OP is looking for.

I would suggest: rugby, powerlifting, soccer, lacrosse.
posted by dfriedman at 8:06 AM on June 17, 2009

Another martial art to consider is Brazilian Jujitsu. It's a lot of grappling and ground work, rather than hitting although you'll have to work on flexibility.
posted by tommasz at 8:17 AM on June 17, 2009

Dang, that's a lot of replies very quickly. Thanks, folks!

Caber toss would be hilarious. There should be a league for that around here (Washington DC).'m an atrocious skater, but that's due to lack of practice. Something to consider. short-leg, short-arm, lots-of-inertia form would have a harder time than a willowy dude would, but the small court and rec-league-level competition might keep that from being too big an issue. Hm. Lots of courts around my area.

Rugby seems a likely choice. If only I can figure out what the hell it is.

Lacrosse and I have an ugly history together. Back in school, I did set an informal record for "most shots caromed off of a player's helmet in a single game."

The martial arts and I have a long and mostly good history together, though I keep wandering towards the styles I suck at (wushu, karate) and away from the ones that seem obvious (judo, jujutsu, BJJ). This is because I am a doofus. PROTIP: if you're 5'10" and are a solidly-built 280 lbs, wushu, which is essentially "ballet with weapons," is a poor fit for you. Two goddamn years I spent, jumping around the school and trying to flip around...oy.

Soccer is the Devil's Sport. SATAN CREATED SOCCER! This is not an opinion -- this is scientific fact.

adipocere, my people, the Swedes, are often tank-like in build. Maybe a quick research into the big sports in Sweden and Polynesia (the other land of tank-guys) would be fruitful.

Dang, MetaFilter folk. You come through in force. Sweet.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 8:20 AM on June 17, 2009

I would second martial arts. You could train at an MMA gym. They do everything there from stand up fighting to grappling. You do not have to compete in the ring if you do not want to. Plus I know that MMA gyms are always looking for stronger guys to train against. Your size and strength can only make them better. Worth looking into. Good Luck.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:28 AM on June 17, 2009

Have you thought about trying cycling? It takes a while to gain appropriate fitness but it's one of the sports where size truly doesn't matter. It's what you've got inside your muscles cells that counts. There's all sorts of cycling disciplines to try out, cyclocross, mountain biking, road, track to name a few. Plus, there's just no easier way to burn calories.
posted by talkingmuffin at 8:29 AM on June 17, 2009

Softball might work for you. You sound like the perfect person for it. I play on a sunday morning league and guys of all body types play.

You actually sound perfect for it.

You can get a lot of excersise in softball. More then you think just make sure you run the bases and not have a runner for you.

Dont count it out just yet.
posted by majortom1981 at 8:32 AM on June 17, 2009

posted by aquafortis at 8:36 AM on June 17, 2009

Weightlifting isn't a sport

Yes it is. Weightlifting is a sport consisting of the snatch and the clean and jerk, which are both explosive, technical lifts in which the barbell begins on the floor and ends extended over the athlete's head. Powerlifting is a sport consisting of the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Powerlifters definitely benefit from short limbs and a thick trunk in that it reduces the travel distance of the bar.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:45 AM on June 17, 2009

Riffing on the tennis theme, racquetball might also work for you.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:51 AM on June 17, 2009

I'm surprised no one has mentioned cycling. bikes come in all shapes and sizes, so limb length is not an issue, but powerful legs can be a great asset, and smaller riders tend to be great climbers. It's great for fitness, and there are age level competitions in track cycling, road cycling, cycle-cross and mountain biking.
a year on the bike will take care of that doughy middle too.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:12 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bowling. Seriously. It's more of a workout than you expect, and your low center of gravity will help you immensely as you approach the line. The downside is that you'll end up lopsided, with one forearm that looks like Popeye, and the other that looks like Olive Oyl.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:15 AM on June 17, 2009

Weightlifting isn't a sport

Yes it is.

Yeah, I know, but I'm using "sport" in an idiosyncratic way. The day-to-day practice of weightlifting is "go to the gym, lift a lot of metal." To do it well requires skill and focus, no doubt. My own misadventures with free weights in the olden days taught me that. But weightlifting doesn't feel..."sporty" to me. It feels more like "going to the gym."
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 9:19 AM on June 17, 2009

Have you tried racquetball? I've noticed that most the really good players on the court are built like tree stumps. I'm tall and fairly fast and whenever I play vs. one of those players they take up the center of the court and barely move, whereas their shots make me run back and forth until I'm exhausted.
posted by Happydaz at 9:23 AM on June 17, 2009

Lots of good answers already but I'm going to chime in and repeat that rugby is your friend, and particularly if you're in the US, you can find teams where learning the sport is a big part of it. Even though you're 35 you will very likely be able to find a team at your level.

I played rugby for years and years and there's a ton to recommend it - not the least is which that it suits people of radically different shapes and sizes. When I played in my 20s I was pretty thin and wispy myself and played wing, but later in my 30s I had filled out a lot and played inside center or fly half or in the pack at #6-7. I guy with your build (and once a little more in shape) is the prototypical prop - but even so, you wouldn't be totally restricted to that if you don't like that position. Look at Pacific Island teams - on those teams it seems like EVERYONE is built like you at every position (except maybe lock, when they're built like you, only taller).
posted by mikel at 9:31 AM on June 17, 2009

Yep, I came in to suggest cycling as well, because it's one of my recent obsessions. Metafilter even has a group on this tracking website We Endure. The great thing about publicly tracking your rides is that even when you're not riding in a specific race or event, there's still that element of competitiveness. Hell, I added a 4 mile loop to my bike commute this morning just to keep my miles up! My husband and I have decided to sign up for a century (a 100-mile event) and it's a great incentive to ride more and more every week.

I'm no fireplug, but I am short (and short-limbed) and find cycling to be 1000x more rewarding than running, or anything involving running. I still regularly get smoked on the bike path by big guys on slower bikes with poorer form, because they have leg strength I just don't have. The regular exercise has brought my weight gain due to an aging, slowing metabolism to a halt and even started to reverse it. And I'm still eating whatever I want!

My only problem is I've gotten so obsessive about it that I'm always tempted to buy new equipment/accessories. It can get expensive if you let it, but it also can be a fairly inexpensive sport.
posted by misskaz at 9:36 AM on June 17, 2009

Yeah, I know, but I'm using "sport" in an idiosyncratic way. The day-to-day practice of weightlifting is "go to the gym, lift a lot of metal."

You seem to be conflating the training with the competition. Training for football or soccer or baseball or weightlifting all involve going to the gym. A weightlifting or powerlifting meet is the competitive part of the sport. Have you ever attended one?
posted by ludwig_van at 9:51 AM on June 17, 2009

frisbee? (or ultimate, as I gather it's called). my city has a competitive (nonbeer) league. maybe yours does to. You have to run a lot, but I don't think much "throwing your body around" is done. Also, I play tennis and am very short. It's mainly about speed and good hand/eye coordination.
posted by bluefly at 10:00 AM on June 17, 2009

--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.

Walk the course. No carts. Your game will improve, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:01 AM on June 17, 2009

You seem to be conflating the training with the competition. Training for football or soccer or baseball or weightlifting all involve going to the gym. A weightlifting or powerlifting meet is the competitive part of the sport. Have you ever attended one?

No, and I freely admit I'm talking out of my butt on this one. I do that a lot (e.g., "Soccer is the Devil's Sport!").

My real lack of interest in weightlifting is that if I don't enjoy the day-to-day aspect of the sport, I won't keep it up. Fencing training was a hoot. Wushu training was an absorbing challenge. (The competitive aspects were what sucked.) Lifting free weights was a chore. Many sports are mostly game-centered, which means potentially a lot of fun. That there's a big payoff in competition won't keep me going if I don't like the training.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 10:10 AM on June 17, 2009

I'll drop by to add another hit for racquetball. My stumpy dad would regularly clean my thought-I-was-faster-and-fitter-than-him clock. Power shots are good (and fun to WHAM! off of a wall), but there's much more to the game once folks get more accomplished.

A wall to return my ball to me + ability to practice and actually gain some finesse + chances for (minor) physical injury = win
posted by LoraxGuy at 10:43 AM on June 17, 2009

May I suggest that there is a difference between playing a sport as a motivational tool to exercise, and playing a sport to win?

You don't have to be the best at a sport to benefit from it, and arguably you'll try harder if you adopt a sport that you know you're ill-suited for.

Consider it the difference between playing a sport to be in better shape, versus playing a sport as an ego boost so you don't feel like you have to be in better shape. The latter is more fun at first, but the former provides more benefits.
posted by davejay at 10:50 AM on June 17, 2009

Kickball! I have seen kickball leagues playing in parks in various cities, and the burly folks of both genders seem to be the stars.

Racquetball or squash also seem like good choices. Handball is great, but pretty limited in its geographical distribution.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:24 AM on June 17, 2009

You sound like you'd love rugby. And your rugby club would love you. You can start out playing touch (you won't be beneficial for touch) to see if you like how the game feels to play rather than watch, and then start with a local club and learn the mysterious art of being a forward. Ex of a forward: this guy, weighing in at 261 pounds and measuring 6'1".
posted by devilsbrigade at 11:24 AM on June 17, 2009

If cycling is of any interest to you, and you live in a town with some bike culture, you might give bike polo a try.

The advantage of your body type is that you'd be tough to either stop or move, which can be a huge leg up on others. Once you get the basic bike handling skills down and some decent mallet work, you'd be pretty hard to keep away from the goal, just because nobody could check you off your line.
posted by rocketman at 11:30 AM on June 17, 2009

Seconding racquetball. Great cardio, and your size will be a non factor.
posted by DrDreidel at 11:59 AM on June 17, 2009

Not sure if you'll define these as "sports"(lack of direct competition), but what about climbing or kayaking? I've only really done the latter, but it seems like both could be body-type-neutral. Yeah, climbing could favor the light/limber/nimble, but it all depends on what you're climbing. And I think it would be really fun to do on a regular basis.

I'd n-th racquetball. I'm of the tall, nimble variety, and when I was in college my roommate and I played frequently, he being around 5'10, 200#ish. We were pretty equal in skill...there were some shots I could get that he'd never have a chance at and vice-versa.

As with most competitive sports, the key is to find someone else who's at a similar skill level. Once you do that, everything else takes care of itself.
posted by specialnobodie at 12:17 PM on June 17, 2009

If you aren't in decent shape to begin with, I would say that you're going to get hurt playing rugby. And it'd be hard to play rugby every day (though you might practice often). Most leagues don't have matches more than a couple of times a week. But give it a go if you like.

Nthing racquetball. As someone said above: A wall to return my ball to me + ability to practice and actually gain some finesse + chances for (minor) physical injury = win The rules and scoring are easy. There is no preparation required to be immediately ready to play racquetball. Just go play and get dog-assed tired the first few times you have a multiple-volley round and after that it's nothing. Your short arms and power are a big plus for hitting great shots in racquetball--it's not like the broad, swinging strokes and sprinting over a longer distance that characterize much of tennis. And chasing the ball. And tennis is like golf: If you suck at tennis and can't hit it (1) over the net and (2) still within the lines, tennis will be a horrible experience (and no one will want to play with you). Who likes a game where play lasts two seconds because you can't hit it where you're supposed to? Plus, you can play racquetball with up to three guys (theoretically less running), and if you have ANY coordination at all, the game will be tons of fun right away once you learn (1) just don't hit the floor and you're money. PLUS, any YMCA or fitness club will have tons of courts and leagues and dudes that just like to play. You can generally just show up and there will be someone to play. And it's a cheap sport: a cheap racket is 20 bucks, tons of balls for 10, and goggles for 5 and you're set up for a year.
posted by resurrexit at 12:41 PM on June 17, 2009

Another vote for racquetball! Body size/shape doesn't matter all that much, it's great exercise, and another bonus is that people tend to start playing at a later age, so it will be easy to find other beginners to play against.

Floor or roller hockey....if you don't like skating.
Running/biking. Sure, the pros are all long and thin, but people of all body types can do well and enjoy themselves. And it's easy to find fun races and rides to give yourself a goal.
Are you a good swimmer? You could try triathalons.
posted by emd3737 at 12:54 PM on June 17, 2009

Squash seems like a viable option. Yeah, there's a lot of running, but it's over very short distances. I'm sure long-legged people have some kind of advantage, but the relatively small size of the court ought to negate that. And as others have suggested w/r/t to tennis, if you can whale the hell out of the ball due to your superior strength, that ought to give you a pretty nice advantage yourself.

It's also a really good, sweaty workout. Generally speaking, people play "soft ball" squash, which means the ball doesn't bounce much, so it requires a lot of hustle to get to the ball. If you've never played before, sign up for a lesson or two (I'm sure some DC gyms have squash courts).
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 1:17 PM on June 17, 2009

Swimming is awesome, and if you feel like being competetive try out one of the free-diving clubs or whatnot. If you're of barrel built you might have barrel lungs that would help you beat the 11 minute apnea record…

In Sweden we're all satanists so soccer is the way to go. Or frisbee golf. (Handball is popular, but not so much in combination with fire hydrants)

I'm just learning to SCUBA and it's more tiring than I expected. Not very competetive, but if you have good body control you might offset your lack of relative strengh which maybe would be rewarding. (A more experienced diver shout if I'm talking out of my ass. Is diving good exercise?)

Also, post favourited for being the most fun exercise question in a while.
posted by monocultured at 1:25 PM on June 17, 2009

It's a shame you've got a negative association with lacrosse. I found that lacrosse fit my shot-and-squat physique pretty well. You might want to give it another shot.
posted by lekvar at 1:44 PM on June 17, 2009

Seconding squash. Two people I know who played it extensively in college were neither tall nor lithe.
posted by plinth at 1:52 PM on June 17, 2009

Being of the short and squat persuasion myself, the sport that I have found to be the best at is canoe racing. I am a member of a 13 person team and we climb into the biggest fucking canoe you have ever seen and race around. I sit in the back. I am the engine, baby.

I have also played rugby and it was fun although I had no idea what was going on. I don't think you really need to know. It was something like run, run, tackle, run, push, run, drink beer.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:16 PM on June 17, 2009

--I've tried to get into judo a few times, and it just doesn't do anything for me.

Pity, because I was going to suggest that. You might want to look at Brazillian Ju-Jitsu instead; some people who don't find Judo to their taste get enthusiastic about it.
posted by rodgerd at 3:19 PM on June 17, 2009

Speaking as someone of a similar stature - I challenge you to a downhill mountain running race!

Seriously, I find that I'm a lot more stable downhill than anyone else when tramping (I think you'd probably call it hiking), which probably has to do with having to have stronger legs. Downhill mountain running is a sport I have seriously considered starting in New Zealand, just so I can be the best at something - it suits my body type.

/location assumption/
I'll let you open the North-American conference.
posted by MatJ at 4:58 PM on June 17, 2009

Skiing and cycling are the pursuits of a similiarly shaped relative. Also backpacking, which usually isn't considered a sport.
posted by mezamashii at 8:53 PM on June 17, 2009

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