All posts tagged: Sport

My Best Sports Moment Ever: That Kickball Homerun 35 Years Ago

In 1977 at Hiestand Elementary School in York, Pa. (Photo: TueNight) The daily recess kickball game told you pretty much everything you needed know about the pecking order at our tiny school. The little kids stuck to the swings and slides on the grass; the fourth-graders were allowed to play the fifth- and sixth-graders in a parking lot kickball game. There were just 16 of us in the fourth-grade class versus twice as many older kids. None of them particularly liked me, the new girl. I had bushy hair and an annoying habit of showing off my vocabulary. One day at lunch the kids formed a circle around me and demanded I recite big words. I probably deserved it. I had never played kickball before. The game made enough sense, but I was not what you would consider “sporty.”  The whole sequence of running up to a rolling red rubber ball, calibrating your speed just so to get a good “smack!” and kicking the ball beyond your opponents’ reach confounded me. In the outfield, I …

(Not) Born To Run: Why I Finally Stopped Running

I always wanted to be a runner. That’s why I invested in good running shoes and a heart monitor and an iPod Nano. I read Born to Run, the bestselling book about the greatest distance runners in the world. I bought summer-weight leggings and cold-weather pants, lightweight gloves and a thick pair for winter mornings. I even got a runner’s beanie. I’m not sure why or when this notion of being a runner got lodged in my head, but my yearning to be athletic dates back to childhood. When I think about the girls I admired in grade school and at summer camp, they were athletes. They were the girls who could dive into the lake like a dolphin or do back handsprings across the gym floor. I wasn’t completely uncoordinated or chosen last for teams, and I had other strengths, especially in the classroom. But there was something about their natural athleticism, physical confidence and innate competence that made me feel inadequate and envious. It’s easy to tell who’s good at sports just by looking. …

Why Running is the Sport That Makes Me Feel Like “Me”

When the great geneticist in the sky hands you a pair of legs like mine, you gotta put ’em to work. But how? No, I never played basketball. Nor volleyball. There were no long jump and hurdles for me. I tried those and failed miserably. Just because you’re tall doesn’t mean you can fly. Or play well with others. But, as I emerged on the other side of my awkward teens, I laced up some sneaks and started to think I might have found a decent use for my lanky sticks: running. “Teamwork” could be a team of one, I didn’t have to be that coordinated (good, because I’m not) and I didn’t have to have much gear money at all. All I had to do was run. It felt good, too. The muscles in my legs got stronger. I felt in command of my body, which is something I never felt in my adolescence. And my mind got to dream and wander while I felt increasingly accomplished. Cool. I started running for real when I …

Workout Style That Doesn’t Scream “Hey, I’m Working Out!”

We know. There are plenty of cool sports clothes, accessories and gear out there to make you look cute while working out (slimming yoga pants, sexy sports bras, killer running shoes, etc). Gone are the days when uncomfortable leotards and clingy tights were the only options to exercise in. So yes, we are quite blessed. But no matter how sporty-chic these items may be — and even if they’re made by the most high-end and hip of sportswear brands — they all still obviously say: “I’m on my way to exercise!” The following five sportswear items, on the other hand, can be worn as regular pieces of clothing. No one will know that you’re on your way to a work out, and some of them are so cute, you might just want to add them to your regular wardrobe. Biking in Style Riding your bike in a skirt? No way. But yes, way—Iva Jean has made it possible with their Reveal Skirt, $160, which is anything but revealing. The straight, tailored skirt is designed with …

Nature Or Nurture? Two Books On What it Takes to Win

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein might sound like a book about competitors like Usain Bolt and Serena Williams — but a closer read reveals that what Epstein has learned about extreme fitness can tell you a lot about your own athletic prowess. That’s because Epstein goes beyond the idea of genetic blessing and examines what kinds of training — physical and mental — support the natural gifts some athletes gain before birth. In other words, he asks, how do nature and nurture combine to create athletes so heart-stoppingly excellent that they seem like extraterrestrials? Epstein finds answers in places you might expect, like softball fields and golf courses, but he also learns from chess tournaments, virtuoso violinists and Antarctic field experiments. But what I found most scintillating in this deeply researched and engagingly written book was how many different forms of “extraordinary” there are on this earth. We all know big names like Phelps, Williams, Hamm, Jordan and others, but we shouldn’t forget that athletic excellence runs …

I Joined a Rollerderby Team at 46

(Photo courtesy Shelly Rabuse) Here’s the thing: Most weekdays I’m a website designer, jewelry crafter and mom with a 13-year-old daughter and a husband who works in finance. And while I live in the suburbs of Philly, I’m not your typical 46-year-old suburban mom. On weekends I like to “jam,” throw “whips” and “booty block.” And by jam, I don’t mean canning up strawberries. This kind of jamming. I’m a brand new member of the Penn Jersey Roller Derby team. How did I get here? My history of roller derby goes something like this: Philadelphia Warrior: One Saturday afternoon, when I was 14-years-old-ish, I happened to be watching roller derby on a black-and-white TV in my room. My dad came in, flipped out and told me “you aren’t supposed to be watching that junk.” Remember, in the ’70s, women’s roller derby was more like pro-wrestling with women really slugging each other. Some of the same people in those leagues — like the Philadelphia Warriors — are now our coaches. It wasn’t like I had any …

Gym #FAIL: Athletic Moments We’d Rather Forget

Gonna fly now? Teresa and Margit in 1984, gym dance class, Philadelphia. We all have those moments in our athletic careers that we’d like to forget — from that unintended split-fall on the balance beam (ouch!), to the remedial gym class we had to take to graduate college, to yesterday’s yogic fart (also known as “zen wind”). It happens. Here are some of our own memorable Gym #FAILS that we’re still trying to forget. The Cat Ate My Gymsuit In middle school, I discovered a foolproof way to skip gym without technically skipping gym. After our gym teacher took attendance, we were split into groups and either sent to a smaller gym or outside to do something horrible involving cheap plastic balls in varying states of deflation. Those few minutes of chaos created the perfect opportunity for me to slip undetected into the dusty, mustard-colored locker room and spend an hour doing homework (nerd alert!), and read various “advanced” (read: sex-inclusive) Judy Blume books. Did I feel like I was missing out or did I …

Margit’s Note: We’ve Got Game

Ah, gym class. The girl driving down the court for the reverse layup. The girl smoking clove cigarettes behind the bleachers. You might have been one or the other, or a combination of both. We have a love/hate relationship with sports, after all. We love to run, we hate to run, we love the game, we’d rather be reading a book. But thank god we have the option. Here at TueNight HQ we’ve been talking a lot about Title IX — the landmark civil rights law that allowed for (among other things) girls to get a fair shake in athletics. Enacted in 1972, it’s about as old as we are. And many of us — and our children, nieces, sisters — have directly benefitted from it. So this week we’re looking at the subject of Sport, a word that connotes frivolity and leisure as much as it does competition. We like to think we’re good sports. Bethanne Patrick gives us two books that offer what it takes to win in Front to Backlist. We have two stories …