Saturday, November 08, 2008

Things I've never done

For a long time, I haven't tried anything new in the realms of physical activity. In fact, lately it's been cycling and nothing but. I'm not always so unadventurous; when I was little I didn't think anything of trying new sports. In the summer holidays, we used to take short courses at the local college for games teachers. I remember modern dance, trampolining and canoeing. Somehow those were always more fun than the actual games lessons at school.

I also took ski-ing lessons on the dry ski slope in Edinburgh each summer from age 13to 15. Unfortunately, I failed Parallel 1 the year I was 15, and that was it for me and ski-ing. It's more fun being an absolute beginner in some ways: if you're bad at it, well, you're only starting and you have the potential to be much better!

When I started university, I decided to join the women's football team. And I had a lot of fun, even though I wasn't very good. Later on, I took up running and weightlifting and found I liked them, though I wasn't expecting to enjoy either.

However, there are still quite a few activities I'd like to try which I haven't:

Fencing. I have fancied this one since I was at school, but the fencing club clashed with Highland Dancing, to which I was already committed since my best friend did it. I have failed to take it up since out of a conviction that I will be awful at it, since I'm not at all coordinated, but I'm beginning to think this is a silly reason not to do it.

Squash. I don't know if I would prefer it to badminton or tennis, but I'd like to try it. I used to play tennis quite a lot in summer, and I still play badminton when I get a chance. I'm a lot better at badminton. The first time J ever picked up a tennis racket, he beat me (although he had a sore arm later).

Climbing. I don't really have a desire to do this in the great outdoors, on a natural rock face. But I would like to have a go on the shiny new climbing wall at my old gym. Actually, I did once go on a climbing wall before, when I was ten and in Guides, but I found it very hard to get higher than a couple of metres, because the hand- and foot-holds were spaced for adults and were too far apart. This must have been before my growth spurt. I suspect that I might have to work on my upper body strength before this is much of a goer, though.

I hear a lot of people talking about how much they love kickboxing and martial arts, and in some ways they sound fun, but I have a feeling that I'm too much of a wuss!


ariandalen said...

Why not try belly dancing? Granted, I'm highly biased, but especially tribal style belly dancing. It takes more work than a lot of people realize, it increases self esteem, you really don't have to show any more skin than you feel comfortable, and it's a good workout. You will also tone different muscles than cycling, but the cycling and weight work will complement belly dancing.

Granted, if it doesn't make you go, "Hmmm," maybe you shouldn't try belly dancing. :)

--V said...

Belly dancing is a lot of fun. I've been going to classes off and on for years, and I love it. I have no intention of ever performing, but it doesn't matter. It does all the things ariandalen says it does, and (for me anyway) it makes you more aware of how your body works. I feel more graceful now.

I've been learning cabaret style, but the teachers I've had so far all have definite leanings toward the tribal side of things as well.

Rosemary said...

Climbing is fun! you actually do a lot of pushing with your legs, rather than pulling with your arms. I work with two very keen climbers, and they got a bunch of us to go give it a try.

K said...

I have to say I've never pictured myself belly dancing - but if it makes you more graceful maybe it would be good for me! After being very, very bad at ballet as a small girl, I tend to gravitate to activities where grace is not the first consideration...

I suppose it should be obvious you need leg strength to climb - though presumably you've still got to hold on!