My Best Sports

As a continuation of improving my life balance, I thought I'd write a post about my best sports.

Last year I thought about joining some type of recreational sports league again for the first time in probably 15 years. Playing sports and games pretty well were always something I enjoyed.

In fact, I would say playing sports are my greatest passion…but only certain types of sports, as you'll soon read.

In my 20s, I would work my computer engineering job during the day and then play a different sport almost every night of the week. I'd have a baseball league one night, play tennis another time, do a basketball league the next evening, etc. It was a lot of fun and I had kind of robbed myself of those days since starting my golf career at 27.

I started to think about bringing rec sports back in to my life again…and I also contemplated what my body was best suited for.

I'm 6'2" and typically weigh 205-230. I have 8-inch long hands and 12.5 EEE feet, and, proportionate to my body height I have a normal wingspan, a long torso, and shorter legs. I have and build strength easily (which makes sense because based on DNA testing I know I have genetic muscle composition commonly found in elite power athletes) and I prefer more shorter explosive types of things cardiovascularly (think sprints vs middle or distance running).

I also have quick hands and good hand eye coordination…and as part of my athleticism, I have really good spatial aptitude. Some day, I will design a hedge maze.

After extensive analysis, I found my avatar profile is basically the typical MLB baseball player. In fact, baseball was my first love and, even though I was cut from my baseball team as a sophomore in high school, I was lucky enough to go on and have a tryout with the Minnesota Twins at the old Metronome in Minneapolis. I'm probably past the days of having baseball be a career, although it could be fun to pick it up again as a hobby.

My body profile is also very close to an NHL defenseman. Hockey was never my thing, though. Although interestingly, my brother is perfectly suited for it, and I'm not surprised he played for Washington University. We are similarly built but he has longer arms than I do, which make him perfect for poking pucks out from the smaller forwards.

I'm also built like an NFL kicker. I think I could've been great at it but my parents thought football was too dangerous and I wasn't allowed to play in high school. I don't have any regrets about that though because I now realize I'm not one for contact sports. Even though the kicker might be the safest position on the field, getting tackled by someone that outweighs me by 100 pounds would've happened at some point and I'm sure I wouldn't like it.

Basketball was probably my 2nd love after baseball as a teenager and in my 20s. I had dreams of playing in the NBA and I was lucky enough to play a bit of NAIA Division II in college. I had a nice vertical leap that was above average for an NBA player, but I wasn't tall enough to do anything other than play point guard in the NBA, which wasn't really my bag. Basketball is also pretty dangerous. I partially tore my ACL in one knee from incidental contact when I was 17, I twisted and probably sprained an ankle from landing on someone's foot, I had tons of jammed fingers, and when I was 29 I got a concussion from someone intentionally elbowing me in the back of the head during a league game. Plus, as I realized in last summer's recreational league, basketball is just too rough for my liking. Playing in that league last summer actually gave me permission to let go of basketball as a passion/hobby/interest.

Powerlifting could make a lot of sense for me going forward. I've never really trained for it, but because of my body type and how quickly I build strength, I'm sure I could do well at it on a world level if I trained consistently for a couple years.

Table tennis could be a fun hobby with my hand quickness and hand-eye coordination. I even took a lesson with a ranked table tennis player last May.

My wife and I bought some very basic tennis racquets from Dick's Sporting Goods last year, which was really fun for me to pick up again. I went on to play in a singles league and got 2nd in my league (I believe out of 20 players). From an avatar standpoint, it would help if I had a wider swing span like my brother, but 6'2" is still long enough.

Unfortunately, while practicing for my league last summer, I got a little bit of tennis elbow from hitting too many serves one day and not stopping when I should've. That simple mistake took me 8 months to recover from and many acupuncture sessions. I've since also learned that my basic racquet had characteristics that contributed to the tennis elbow. So, once I learned that, I got a new custom built one that's geared towards elbow/arm safety and control…and it arrived today! It's a Prince Phantom 93P, 18x20, 4 5/8 grip, and 55 string tension. I'm looking forward to the courts reopening around DC and the spring league starting up again.

Regular golf makes a lot of sense too, particularly since I love nature/outdoors, the spirituality, the practice, the solitude, the sound of the galleries, and the part-time travel so much. Realizing this actually made me appreciate golf much more again. For a long time, I think I was putting too much pressure on myself to perform and make money at it, and it was taking some of the fun out of it…as well as hurting my performance. Going forward, I just need to relax a bit and remember to have fun and that I actually do really like playing, regardless of outcomes.

I haven't tried the World Long Drive Championships since 2007. I had left the sport because it seemed so much about ego. Regular golf suited my personality better in that sense. However, my body is built well for it, so perhaps I could take up training again and maybe bring something different to the sport.

Although I finished 5th at the Speedgolf World Championships and shot the championship record for golf score, I'm not sure I'll ever do speedgolf again. The golf part was fun and doing a casual 3-mile/5K, in which I can still have a conversation while I jog, is fine, but I don't like race-level mid or long distance running. It's torture, haha!

Speaking of running, there's track and field. I did long jump and triple jump junior year in high school. Now that I'm over 40, I'm eligible for the Master's Division in USATF events. Although I'm built for javelin, I'm not sure how easy it would be to find a place to learn and train for that…and I don't know if long jump and triple jump interest me again. But doing the 100m intrigues me. It requires strength and explosiveness and it's over before you know it. Plus, I think doing a weekly sprint could have good health benefits.

So, using some of this stay-at-home order and making some time for all this contemplation has been a definite positive. Coming out of COVID-19, I think I'm going to focus more energy in these areas, whether they be for career, fun, hobbies, recreation, etc.

  • Golf - The vision here is to play tournaments full time on the PGA TOUR. I think a load of 16 tournaments will suite me well. Want to to along for the ride with me? Learn about becoming a financial partner here.
  • Long Drive - I think I might give long drive a go again…but even if I decide not to compete, the extra speed, power, and distance will only help my golf game.
  • Track - 100m - I'm curious to know how well I could do at the USATF Championships in my age group. I've already joined a track club here in DC to start sprinting once a week when the tracks are open again.
  • Powerlifting - Powerlifting training doesn't take much time, I like lifting weighs, and it's only 3 lifts. The squat and deadlift will help with my golf and long drive…and also with coming out of the blocks in track. I'm built great for it, strength is a gift, and participating is a way for me to use and share that gift. So, why not train for a couple years and see where it takes me?
  • Tennis - Tennis is a lot of fun for me. I think playing/practicing once a week would be cool and I bet I could get pretty good. Regardless, simply the fun is enough reason to do it.

Eventually, I may join a baseball or table tennis league too…but for now the above 5 sports will keep me plenty busy!

And since this is about life balance too, I want to leave room for other things in my life as well!