Tag Archives: sports

Own It

swing2.jpgThere are people who love the gym and the people who don’t. I don’t. I use the gym to further my plans of world domination. Meaning, if you’re not planning on going to the Olympics, why go to the gym? Why bike if you aren’t headed for the Tour de France? Why run if you aren’t after the New York City Marathon?

“Well,” you say, “there’s also the issue of your basic health and fitness to be attended to.”

I see your point. I do. It’s just not my deal. The gym is super boring. Competition is where it’s at in sports for me. I tend to be a athletics bulimic: binge when there’s a goal, purge when there isn’t. Aim for everything or just skip it.

“But sports can be fun,” you persist.

I agree. Especially when you triumph.

I know. I hear you. This isn’t the healthy approach for body or mind. If the most adaptive of the species survive, I’m in trouble, ’cause my attitude hasn’t worked well for me. Or my knees. Or ribs. Or hips, neck or back. And I’m still not world champion of anything.

The last time I was in a binge phase, I was training 30-40 hours a week on the trapeze. It was awesome and nerve-wracking. I had bloody palms, huge shoulders and rope burns and bruises all over my limbs and joints. I’ve never been stronger or more tired. That career ended with some irresponsible spotting leading to a couple bad falls that led to a fractured rib and a dislocated one that will never heal.

That event was the equivalent of running my Ferrari into a brick wall: now I have to get a Volvo and drive the speed limit because I can’t survive another accident. Well, maybe not a Volvo: they’re nice and the little ten-year-old Bostonian Izod-lover in me has a soft spot for them. Let’s say I’ve been downgraded to one of those rolling bubbles at the gym so I don’t hurt myself again. Or more.

So you know what I do just to get back at the universe for not being able to obsessively overcompete? I don’t go to the gym at all. So there. I’m sure someone out there is learning a lesson… Right? RIGHT???


Lately however I’ve cracked. I’ve kind of started working out. Accidentally. And only kind of. Even though I don’t think I’m going to be the get a yellow jersey for it. It’s a big concession.

And it’s not really working out per se. It’s walking. But we live on the side of a giant San Francisco hill, so a straight sprint skyward with a baby and a stroller probably counts as a workout, especially since I haven’t gotten any organized exercise in a while.

And by “organized,” I mean, “doing repetitive things on machines where the weight stays in the same place unless you personally stop and move it.” What I have been doing is disorganized. It involves suddenly lifting or catching or pushing up a slide an ever-growing weight (OK, “child”) which is usually in motion itself and whose bulk usually falls on my muscles at an uncomfortable angle that is not ergonomically healthy, tested or approved by the National Council on Fitness, a very thin blonde celebrity or a inhumanly fit former monk/kickboxer.

I’ve taken on the vertical walk in the mornings because there is an odd hour between breakfast and naptime (our daughter’s, not mine – I’m not that much of a sloth) and there is espresso at the midpoint of the rainbow. It’s too early to be too hot to climb the hills, or for me to be awake and focused on anything including hating that hill or not being the Most Best Hill Climber Ever. The need for coffee carries me upward.

But do you think they have that Best Hill Climber thing? ‘Cause if they do, I should definitely get on that. Or maybe Most Moderate Worker Outer? No. That’s not a thing.

I do have a yellow sweatshirt around here somewhere. Maybe I’ll start wearing that to make myself feel more competitive.

The World Series – It’s All About Me

world_series.jpgThat said, the World Series is the latest worst thing to happen to us re: our delayed move. (We own our new house as of today, but the old owners have until November 30 to move out, sadly for us.)

One of the big down sides to our current place, aside from the size and the outside noise, is the inside noise. We’re on the top floor but, due to some engineering oddity, hear everything that goes on in the apartment below us.

Every alternate tenant has been fine. The problem couple a few years ago was a girl and her 250-lb. boyfriend who owned a local bar and would bring that night’s band back to the apartment at 2AM for an impromptu, drunk jam session. I can’t imagine why we had a problem with that. After he threatened me one night when I complained, our landlady shook their lease at them and they piped down. Kind of. Sometimes. Eventually they moved out, but not before they started a successful company that makes waffle batter in aerosol cans. I don’t like to talk about that.

The couple after that was perfect. She was a yoga instructor and he was a landscape designer. We never heard anything. Ever. I don’t think they spoke to each other. Which worked out well for us but probably contributed to them breaking up a year later and moving out. Remember children: communication matters.

The latest couple introduced themselves to the building by setting up their stereo first thing and moving in to a throbbing beat at ear-shattering volume with their front door open. That spells Trouble, with a capital T, which rhymes with P and stands for “Phuck you.”

They’re friendly and pretty responsive but still a regular noise nuisance. We have a truce that they shut it off at 11PM, which they do 98 times out of 100, but when you’re up three times a night with a baby, sometimes you want to go to bed at 8:30, which you can’t when their thrice-weekly dinner/furniture rearranging parties are in progress.

I’m guessing that they’re in their late 20’s, not malicious or aggressive but doing what people in their late 20’s do, namely being oblivious. R. reminds me regularly that we used to be them, waking our 40-something upstairs neighbor regularly at my old apartment across town. He’s right, of course, but his rightness just makes me a tad more irritated, not less (as true but inconvenient-to-my-present-argument statements often can).

Here’s my point: just because they don’t mean to upset me and little A., just because it’s an intention-less crime, doesn’t make it not a crime, right? Don’t they watch Law & Order? I’m not saying it’s murder noise – it’s manslaughter noise. But you still go to jail for manslaughter, right? Not that they should go to jail. Just their stereo. And maybe all their furniture, which apparently just can’t stay in one place.

Which brings us to the World Series. (See? I get there eventually.) They’re sports fans, these rowdy neighbors of ours. Which relieves us of the necessity of watching any of the World Series games because every time the Giants get a run, the floor heaves with their cheering. Keeps us abreast of the home team’s progress and makes sure no one up here settles in for a quiet evening at home. Which, you know, keeps our civic pride alive. And keeps any nostalgia that might be setting in about our cute little studio apartment firmly at bay. *sigh* That’s a good thing, right? So now I’m just tense about moving to a bigger place and not being settled in in time for a cozy Christmas and I can’t wait to vacate our current place. Maybe we should just rent an RV and park outside our new house until the current tenants (previously the owners) get creeped out and move out more quickly. I think that’d be a lovely way to kick things off with our new neighbors, don’t you?

The World Series

baseball_pants.jpgHere’s what I think about baseball: if you can wear your regular pants belt with your uniform, you might want to re-think whether it’s a serious sport.

I don’t want to diss on baseball too hard though when the Giants are midway through the World Series. They are my current home team, after all, even if I left most of the thin sliver of my heart reserved for “local pride in things I don’t really enjoy” with the Yankees and the Red Sox. Same sliver: Manhattan clam chowder, which is just plain wrong but does have the word “Manhattan” in it.

Let’s just take a moment and be honest, baseball fans: baseball’s really not that interesting. If it were, you wouldn’t need to talk so much about all those stats and put up really good food stands in the parks to keep you occupied, right? I like an afternoon in the sun snacking on sushi and hanging out with friends as much as the next guy but baseball is one slow, slow game. Even the excellent AT&T Park can’t mask the fact that there’s just not that much going on down there on the diamond and that what is going on is moving at a glacial pace. The uniforms look like pajamas and most of the players run like they just lurched out of a Barcalounger. Not to put too fine a point on it, but they look like they’ve been to the gym as recently as I have (let’s not get specific, but “not recently” would be accurate).

All the same, I’d like the Giants to win. I mean, Texas? Really? If 43 is on your side, something must be wrong. So let’s go, Giants.