The rain and wind have finally gone away (not really) and spring is here. You know what that means: summer is just one season away.
For some, spring is just an extension of winter merely because it will not hit over seventy degrees and that gives them reason to stay indoors and play “Halo: Reach.” For others, spring is when Mother Nature gives the okay to go out and play. Without the drag of the winter weather, here are some top choice spring sports for the casual player.
Ultimate Frisbee: It is sort of like football, except the predisposition to get yourself mangled is significantly lower. All you need is a group of friends who are in good enough shape to run around and a single Frisbee. The best thing about Ultimate Frisbee is that you can literally play it anywhere because every pro Frisbee player knows that obstacles simply make the game more fun. Crowds, chairs, and tables, or even little kids holding fragile bunnies just give the players more of a challenge.
Stickball: There are actually really few differences between stickball and baseball. The rules are relatively the same: hit the ball. Some minor differences most people do not even notice. In baseball, you use a bat. In stickball, you use any type of blunt stick shaped object. In baseball, you throw a MLB certified baseball. In stickball, you throw whatever you want. In baseball, you run from base to base. In stickball, you run and hope you do not get hit by rocks. Stickball, like Ultimate Frisbee, is a game you can play just about anywhere regardless of the objects in your path.
Fishing: You think fishing is not a sport? Then you obviously do not know sports. With the arrival of spring, the rivers and lakes get revitalized and fish simply swarm these bodies of water. Fishing is all about patience and finesse. If you cannot sit through any movie with Anne Hathaway in it, then you are probably not a fisherman. Fishing is also a great way to reconnect with nature in the spirit of Earth Week.
Hiking: Now that the rain is gone, you can finally walk around outdoors. And where better to walk than Mt. St. Helens or Mt. Baker? Walking is a great way to stay in shape. Take note of this health fact: Walking does not work your heart enough for your body to start burning carbohydrates; instead, your body burns pure fat. When you are working your heart when doing strenuous activities like running or biking, you burn carbohydrates, not fat. Breathing in rich, oxygenized forest air is also far better for you than breathing in polluted city air.
Swimming: Aside from Michael Phelps, who actually swims during the winter? Now that the temperature is far above freezing level, it is once again time to blow up those floating turtles and hit the pool. Swimming is by far the healthiest sport because it works all the muscles in your body. Veteran swimmers are usually lean, toned, beautiful people. The best thing about hitting the pool is that you never smell like sweat afterwards — just chemicals.
The basic theme of spring sports is ease. Do something, go outside, be active, and there is no need to work yourself to death. Spring is the time you transition from winter hibernation to summer activity. Spring is also one of those seasons where there are no holidays that associate with stuffing yourself, take advantage of that. Eat right, exercise, and have fun. Happy springtime.