Like many females I have an ambivalent attitude towards sports that goes like this: (1) Okay sports, (2) Sports to watch for fun, (3) No clue about these sports, (4) No-no sports.
Jogging, running, walking and gyms: Many New Yorkers go jogging or head for a gym after work. I don’t. Why? One reason is that I’ve known a number of dedicated joggers who run on Manhattan’s streets and end up with injuries. One jogger who went to her gym at 7 am daily, jogged after work and ran half-marathons, ended up not doing any of this for six months under orders from her doctor. However, I do a lot of brisk walking because that’s a form of exercise I enjoy.
Swimming: I truly believe this is the best sport of all because it uses the entire body. I took a two-semester Life Saving course at Hunter College one year and I felt terrific. I know someone who goes regularly to the YWCA and swims. She loves it. I don’t do this, but it’s on my bucket list.
Swimming exercises the entire body and feels great
Volleyball, badminton, tennis and grass hockey: I played volleyball in high school and really loved it. Getting on the court and smashing that ball into a spot I knew would help us win was a great feeling. Badminton was okay but not as much fun. My parents gave me a tennis racquet for Christmas but the local court was too far away. We also played grass (or field) hockey at my school and that terrified me. Teen-age girls can be little monsters chasing a ball with a stick. I thought I’d lose an eye.
Grass (or field) hockey requires lots of energy and a brave heart
SPORTS TO WATCH FOR FUN
Baseball, football, basketball and hockey: I don’t have a favorite team like guys do, “Hey, how about those Yanks yesterday?” However, I did get very interested when the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series since 1945. And I do know enough about baseball to really enjoy watching. Of course, when the 2017 NFL Super Bowl went into overtime and the New England Patriots won that was, hands down, the thrill of a lifetime. As far as hockey and basketball are concerned I have minimal interest. Except when I get involved in the March Madness office pool. That’s another story.
NO CLUE ABOUT THESE SPORTS
Soccer (played by everyone but us): As I understand it, the whole world plays soccer, but it has never caught on in this country. In 1975 when Pelé, the famous Brazilian footballer, came here it was thought that soccer would finally catch on big-time in the U.S. – but it hasn’t. From watching this sport on TV I think I know why. Americans simply don’t have the patience to wait 30 minutes for a goal to be scored.
Cricket and polo: Another sport that baffles me is cricket. It just looks awkward as they run and throw the ball at the same time. I have seen exactly one polo match in my life and it was an interesting experience. We went to the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island in June 2011 and saw Nacho Figueras and his Black Watch team play. It struck me much the same way as playing grass hockey did: lose an eye or worse.
The Brits love their cricket
Polo champion Figueras and his wife Delfina outside their new stable. They have four children. Photo: Courtesy of Architectural Digest
This includes all boxing and wrestling matches. I realize that boxing requires a lot of discipline (I once interviewed a nonprofessional boxer and I was amazed that he trained seven days a week while working full-time as a graphic designer) but I still have no interest in watching a match on TV or in real life.
MAY WE SUGGEST…
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UPDATE: The May 2017 issue of Architectural Digest reports that Figueras (long ranked among the top players worldwide) has just built a stable for his 44 world-class polo ponies. It is located in the Argentinean city of General Rodriguez, a 45-minute drive outside of Buenos Aires.
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