In Search of Sport
I have always used movement and athletics as … everything: a source of happiness and triumph, fun and entertainment, where I can sort my problems, how I can get away from everything for a while, a way to stay healthy and fit, and where I find solace. So, the desire — and need, really — to move and play is an absolute priority for me and will be for the rest of my life.
I move to move, mainly, and because it’s essential to my well being, BUT I do have the lingering ego of a long-time athlete who wants to compete (if just a little) and have a sport, a sport that I’m good at or at least one I’m trying hard to get better at. Though CrossFit at the competitive level is absolutely a sport as far as I’m concerned, I’ve never considered it a sport for me personally. I treat CrossFit as a life enhancer. It’s a way to have fun and move and get stronger and make everything else in my life better including whatever sport I want to play. The problem is finding a sport.
For most of my life, I was identified as a basketball player, and those days I will always cherish. But the thought of playing pick up ball now with a bunch of hacks exhausts me. My Jordans are hung up on the retirement hook for good. HORSE at the gym is one thing. Pick up games where all I think about are broken fingers and twisted ankles? Yea, I’m done.
I tried triathlon in 2013. I thought surely triathlon was going to be a sport I could do for a long time. I placed 2nd in my age category for my first tri, which really pumped air in my sails, but man, I hate swimming in the ocean more than I like the sport as a whole. I decided to keep searching. For 2014, I had the hair-brained idea to do the bikini bodybuilding competition. I trained so hard for that, and it was fun. Mainly, it was crazy and weird. And expensive. I got a third place in my age category and 5th in Novice for my first show. Maybe this could be my sport! As soon as I started training for my second show, I was bored to tears. Training just for aesthetics had only been interesting for the newness of that first show. I was left again with no sport at an age where most sports won’t have me anyway. 48 is not the most ideal time to make a new, athletic surge.
Enter running, which I’ve always hated — which everyone knows about me because of how much I’ve bitched about running and because of the heaving and hyperventilating evidence I couldn’t hide during a running WOD. But after Sean died I was drawn to running almost out of pure inertia. The pull to move in a simple and challenging way where I could tap into a zone of nothingness was too great for me to fight despite my long, loathing history for the sport; despite my superficial and perceived hatred of running. The truth is that running has helped me recently. It has helped me tremendously. And now I look forward to running with subtle joy and with great reverence for the inexplicable healing it has provided me.
I may have found my second-half sport. We’ll see. It could just be my sport of 2016. But either way I feel running chose me this time — I didn’t force myself on it like some of the other sports I’ve tried to fit myself into the past few years. Julio and I signed up for the Malibu Half Marathon in November and though I’m excited to train for the race, I feel my runs are much bigger than feeding my athletic ego and fulfilling this small urge to compete. Running seems more than a sport — as was basketball when I was young — and that seems key to the longevity of participation
40 Power jerks (135/95)
40 Front squats
Alt KB Power snatches (25/20% BW)
Alt DB Pistols (20/15% BW)
*5 Kipping CTB Pullups