Chicago group activities for the un-athletic male?
June 3, 2011 7:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for suggestions for new activities and/or hobbies (particularly team-based ones) in and around the Chicago area. While there are similar questions out there, one unique element of this question is my personal guidelines (of varying degrees of importance) that has forced me to rule out some of the more common selections like "Play tennis!" or what have you. This is not to say I won't give something a try, but that I may be better suited to one activity over another.

First, some facts. I'm male, single, without much of a social network, in my early-thirties, Chicago-city-dwelling, and I work in computing (for what it's worth).

* More than anything else, I want something mentally "active", and where there are goals.
* I would like to be part of a team or group for at least part of the activity.
* I'm not very competitive, so I shy away from "high stakes" sort of activities.
* I'm kinda sedentary (though not super out-of-shape). I'd like to be more physical, though I have issues where I can't run or walk for extended periods.
* I'm uncoordinated as heck and quite aware of it, to the point where I'm even wildly phobic about dancing. I'm also awful at pretty much all sports.
* Ideally, I'd like something that could be enjoyed year-round.
* Moderate to low-cost (or free) is ideal.

Apart from those guidelines, I'm pretty open, honestly, and I appreciate any suggestions or guidance!
posted by mjbraun to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
posted by unixrat at 7:39 AM on June 3, 2011

There are awkward, unathletic people that play ultimate frisbee and seem to enjoy it. I've heard that Chicago has a particularly good scene. It's also a very welcoming sport, almost too welcoming for my tastes, but people will be nice to you and invite you for beer after games. I would suggest starting out with a beginner or hat league. Here's the site of the group that runs the leagues.
posted by Aizkolari at 7:43 AM on June 3, 2011

Check out the CCC. They have everything from leisurely cruises to intense athletic training rides scheduled... riding bikes in a group is fun. It requires little co-ordination, gives a sense of achievement at completing a ride, and can definitely increase your health without pounding your joints or leaving you too winded to continue.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:02 AM on June 3, 2011

There are a few game nights around town
posted by mike_bling at 8:11 AM on June 3, 2011

Acting, marching bands, LARP'ing, Kite Flying?
posted by JJ86 at 8:11 AM on June 3, 2011

Ooh, maybe ComedySportz?
posted by JJ86 at 8:20 AM on June 3, 2011

Chicago Swordplay Guild
posted by SollosQ at 8:25 AM on June 3, 2011

Cycling club, FTW. Also, the ultimate frisbee idea is a good one. Maybe lawn bowling/bocce? I think a book club would be a nice, or maybe a painting or drawing class?
posted by hamandcheese at 9:12 AM on June 3, 2011

Doing stats for roller derby - Chicago has two leagues, so lots of openings.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 9:56 AM on June 3, 2011

JJ86 started what I came here to say: Chicago is the best place to take improv classes! Second City, Improv Olympic, Annoyance Theater, the list goes on. No, they're not free, but often if you bond with your classmates, you form a troupe on your own and rehearse whenever/wherever you like--which is or can be free. And improv, unlike rehearsed standup comedy, is totally a team activity.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 11:26 AM on June 3, 2011

Orienteering, but you will have to create a group or find one. It's not a "team" sport, though you can go in teams, so teams won't automatically be set up. The before-and-after is usually pretty social. There are different levels of difficulty (I did the easiest level of difficulty until I was six months pregnant and the baby decided to camp out on my sciatic nerve; the hardest levels I can't even dream of doing).

It's a problem-solving, brain-oriented activity, with little rewards along the way for solving the puzzle right. My husband says it's sort of like real-life D&D. Most groups meet year-round unless there's lightning or it's dangerously cold.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:28 PM on June 3, 2011

Chess! Surely there are some chess clubs in Chicago.
posted by TheRedArmy at 2:44 PM on June 3, 2011

posted by achmorrison at 8:20 PM on June 5, 2011

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