Play (kick)ball!

It’s Thursday. Which means I am staring out my office window cursing the clouds and forbidding them to open up and pour down rain. Because Thursday, my friends, is kickball day.

Myself, Jeremy, and a handful of our friends all signed up for the WAKA (World Adult Kickball Association) league in Raleigh this Spring. While the idea of getting a bunch of full-grown, post-grad adults together to play quasi-competitive kickball may seem silly, whoever started WAKA is actually a genius (it has leagues operating in literally every US state). The concept gives those full-grown, post-grad adults a chance to meet new people in a setting that is, for the most part, not at all awkward. And I think that the number of twenty to thirty year old’s who move to a new city after college and have to struggle to re-establish a friend base is much higher than people would suspect. The most genius part of the idea is that all the teams go to a bar after Thursday games to enjoy drink and food specials. Not only does this detail give us the excuse to drink on a weekday but it also allows us to feel less like we are elementary school children in gym class (this, I believe, is the last time I had EVER played kickball until now) and more like we are grown men and women gathering for a friendly game and some alcoholic beverages. And being a crowd of tremendous overachievers, pretty much every team also takes it upon themselves to enjoy adult beverages before the game… and during the game… as opposed to just afterward.

Now that I have gone into detail I am sure that most people are thinking that this sounds like the most unhealthy thing I could possibly do on a Thursday night. You might be right. I am positive that I consume more beer calories during a game then I burn running bases (granted I get on base at all). But consider this…

I read an article a few months ago (I don’t remember where or I would share it) that discussed the amount of time we spend each day in a sedentary state.  I like to think of myself as an active individual. I love being active and feel that my body is most at ease when it is doing something – anything. But regardless of the fact that I am healthy and generally prefer to be active, speaking in terms of percentage of my living hours I am really a sedentary person. I wake up in the morning and make breakfast, exercise, come home, walk the dog, shower, leave the house. So far so good, but that accounts for all of about 3 hours max. Starting at about 8:30 AM I SIT in my car and commute to work, where I SIT at my desk for 8 hours or more, then SIT in my car for the commute home. I come home and make dinner (hallelujah at least I’m standing for half an hour) then SIT down to eat. Then I relax for the remainder of the evening until I finally LAY down to fall asleep. I deserve to relax in my free time and see no problem with taking it easy after a long day at work but that does not change the fact that SITTING on the couch watching some TV or LAYING in bed with a good book is sedentary all the same. There are 24 hours in a day, and on a day like that I am on my feet for maybe 5 of them, and that’s being generous. So for nearly 80 percent of the hours in any given day, I am sitting on my butt or laying on my back. I don’t blame myself, of course. This is just an unfortunate norm that is often times unavoidable in our society. But the bottom line is that it is unhealthy. Our bodies aren’t meant to be sitting all day long; our blood doesn’t circulate properly, most people (like me) have horrible posture that cripples their spine, hips, and muscles, and short of fidgeting and moving our fingers across a keyboard not a single calorie gets burned in the process.  It may not be our fault, but we should be doing everything in our power to mitigate it.

My point (you were wondering if I had one) in taking that long-winded tangent is that I am trying to take small steps to combat my new life behind a desk. I have been searching for low commitment – and therefore low stress – activities that are enjoyable but most importantly get me on my feet for a few hours. Which brings me back around to Thursday night kickball. Interesting how the little things we do that seem to bare no relation to health and fitness actually do.

Coincidentally, as I am typing this, the rain has started pouring from those god-forsaken clouds outside my window and I have just received an email informing me that kickball games are cancelled this evening. Thanks a lot mother nature, you just ruined my Thursday!

Team photo. Now that's some high quality professional kickball talent.

My friend's puppy, Moose, rocking our team colors.


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