I used to watch pro sports, religiously, back to back; hours on end. I was one of those walking ESPN adverts, every pro sport, every pro league I knew what was going on. Well over 50 jerseys in my closet. Going to the stadium every other week was my main activity during college. With my first paycheck, first thing I did was upgrade my cable and order the biggest sports package possible. I kept this up for years, but then it just dried up.
This sounds real bad now, but back then my mood depended entirely on the result of a game. I was letting X number of guys on a pitch determine my mood for the week. Complete strangers that did not know me, that in reality I did not know. And that’s a sucky way to live week to week.
“We won, they lost,” a common mantra amongst fanatics; that I participated in all too often. I remember celebrating championships, honking all over the place, painting car windows with shoe polish. Acting as if I had done some grand part in obtaining said championship. On the other hand sulking for days and a pissy attitude if an “important” game or championship was lost.
So what changed?
It was a mixture of things, first ticket prices went through the roof and my preferred teams were in a constant state of rebuilding. So that took a little of the magic out of things. I also was in a not so grand financial moment so extra spending was cut back.
Most importantly and reflecting upon things, I started doing. I have constantly played all throughout this time sports in amateur leagues. Still, I can say that buying my first COSTCO bike and starting mountain biking. That it became my main go to, doing activity. I no longer had time to sit around watching sports, I was busy planning rides and getting out on the trail. Going on long epic rides and trips that kept me out all day. Playing in amateur sports leagues is an hour activity once or twice a week. Bikes, have become a daily activity, wrenching, reading, riding, planning.
It just got to the point where I suddenly started losing interest in watching sports.
I was out there riding, and it felt so much better that just sitting there watching someone else run around. It also got to the point where I was done with the fan bickering that comes with team sports, I just don’t see that with the MTB riding. We all may have a favorite rider, but are super stoked for whoever wins. Still, UCI XC, UCI DH and EWS just like soccer, hockey, baseball, and the rest; I’ll just catch the highlights on youtube when I have a chance and life goes on.
I did not watch “my” team win it’s 12th championship, I was busy on a date with my fiancé. The NFL draft came and went and I didn’t see it to see how “my” team chose. I don’t know half the players on any roster and I just check the scores on my phone and if they won, I may check out a replay. Stopped caring about standings and rankings and not really concerned with them.
It’s nice and liberating not being on a couch all day, and yeah mountain biking can be a suffer fest from time to time. But hey I’m out there riding and there’s no way that’s a bad thing.
Do things, even if they’re not great or awesome; it’s better than vicariously watching someone else and wishing you were there.