Friday, July 26, 2013

The Amateurs

I am currently reading “The Amateurs” by David Halberstam.  So far it is a very well written book about a group of rowers.  One thing that has struck me during the read is how devoted people can be to sport.  The choice of where to live is contingent on the proximity and quality of training facilities and access to coaches.

My choice of where to live is contingent on my employment.  However, I should pursue local sports more seriously.  For example, it makes more sense to ski than scuba dive.  Colorado also offers high quality kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, hiking, mountaineering, hunting and fishing. 

Most endurance sports are universal and one can find a strong running, bicycling, swimming communities anywhere in the world.  Similarly leisure activities such as golf and tennis are equally universal.

If you look hard enough you can find a niche community in most sports.  Denver has a rowing club as well as two scuba diving clubs, despite being land locked.

The world is also getting smaller and most travel destination offer an opportunity to participate in activities you may not find close to home.  For example, my sister is going to be in Europe and is going to take surfing lessons.  I completed a scuba certification while on vacation in Cabos San Lucas.

One theme of rowers is that they move from eights, quads and doubles to individual sculling because it is easier to train alone than it is to find solid training partners and organize a schedule.  As I am typing this, I have come to realize there is a sculling club on a reservoir about 45 minutes from my house.

As I think about activities to get my kids involved with, I will always defer to activities they express an interest in.  Barring that, I will lean towards age appropriate activities that take advantage of local facilities and coaches.  Ideally I would like them to be involved in sports that they can participate in not only during high school and college, but preferably lifelong activities.  Gymnastics and dance do not necessarily fit this model, but swimming and tennis certainly do.  All of them do generate a fitness and confidence base.  Of course, it would be pretty awesome for the two of them to do the doubles skull.  

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