Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.
I guess that depends on the definition of “sports”.
If by “sports” you mean what people commonly know as professional basketball, football, soccer, baseball, etc., then I can say that I was never really much of a fan.
As much as I always wanted to be, and tried to be, I just simply never could find any interest in those kinds of sports, even if it was just watching.
I realize the influence of professional sports in America is a big thing. At least 60% of Americans would consider themselves sports fans. As a part of the minority, there was always this uncomfortable need to try and fit in, at least that’s how I used to think. But now that I’m older and more mature, the idea of just being yourself and engaging in things that I find personally interesting has set in more.
But I always remembered feeling a little left out whenever a conversation entered the topic of sports. Discussing the faults of a team’s previous play, pondering the decisions of certain player’s actions, yelling at the TV when the score of one’s supporting team was down by however many points—all these things are just so trivial and uninteresting to me.
This is not to say that I have total disregard for professional sports. In fact, I wholeheartedly support individuals and teams that actively participate in it. There have been many inspiring success stories about how some athletes started from the bottom and made their way to the top. In a world where there is still an unfortunate amount of negative influence, these stories of motivation and dedication give inspiration to those who have nothing but dreams of a better life.
Going back to the main topic though, I since realized I have this common pattern of apathy towards mostly professional team sports.
“Extreme sports”, sometimes spelled as “xtreme”, on the other hand is quite a different story. Mention almost anything related to these kinds of sports and you will find that I have quite the opposite attitude.
One of my first memories of being inspired by extreme sports was probably when I was in elementary school. There used to be a wide open dirt area located near a grocery store by my house and this area was made into a kind of BMX dirt course. I always used to see BMX riders jump off the ramps and do amazing tricks and I knew when I saw that, I wanted to do it too.
And so throughout my younger years I did everything from BMX dirt, BMX street, inline skating, snowboarding, but what really inspired me the most was skateboarding. Skateboarding was probably the one extreme sport that defined a large part of my life and even though I don’t skate anymore, I still have my board and hopefully one day I’ll have time to ride again (maybe when my son is old enough to ride it someday). There are actually some tricks that I am fully confident I can still do even after all these years of not being on a skateboard.
I would say I picked it up during junior high school and it stayed with me all the way through my university years.
The thing about skateboarding is that it’s expressive. The tricks you do and how you skate is an expression of one’s self. You look at the surrounding environment and choose how to navigate it the way you want. There are no rules to how someone can skate any given area. In fact, it’s the very authenticity and originality that is appreciated and praised in skateboarding culture. The same is true with nearly all extreme sports.
I think a lot of the appeal for me has to do with the fact that these are solo sports—sports that depend purely on individual and creative skill. These sports empower an individual to express oneself freely no matter what it is—skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, BMX, etc. The creative potential and possibilities for expression within these sports are endless.
What’s more is that each extreme sport has its own kind of unique culture. This was something that I was really drawn to. The positive vibes and energy coming from individuals who shared the same passion in these sub-cultures defined a lot of who I am and what I believe in. There was always this large community of people with a kind of “I teach you, you teach me” mentality that I always thought was fantastic.
To briefly go over some other large extreme sport influences that have come into my life also include bodybuilding/weightlifting, crossfit and dance. Now in regards to both the former and latter, as to whether they are considered sports is debatable, but I still wanted to throw them out there because I believe they share the similar themes of creativity and expression found in other extreme sport.
Dance—breaking in particular—was and still is one of the longest lasting passions I discovered in my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it at least once. It’s actually my dream that one day, whenever I “make it”, I would have my very own dance floor/studio as an “office”. But I digress…
It seems like I am a “sports” fan after all.
This is part of an effort to improve as a writer and to get myself writing more. So as not to focus so much on perfection and formatting, when responding to these prompts, I use more of a stream-of-conscious style of writing. One of my goals is to become faster at getting my ideas out of my head and onto a physical platform, while keeping in mind to gradually build up my skill at doing so in a more fluid and concise manner. These prompts come from the ebook: 365 Days of Writing Prompts by The Daily Post at WordPress.com