recreational sports

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What Am I Going To Do With My Time!? Part 3: Go Play Outside

By aidanbc

Bump, set, spike

The Canucks season has come to, by almost anyone’s expectations, a premature end. How should Canucks fans fill the evening hours in the weeks and months to come? The barely pseudonymous aidanbc examines this in a three-part SmugNation investigation: “What Am I Going To Do With My Time!?” In Part 1: Moar Spoarts! he suggested you get behind Vancouver’s other three pro sports teams. In Part 2: Give it Away he thought you should find a way to give back to your community. In the thrilling conclusion, he urges you to get off the grandstands and into the game.

I’m not particularly fond of gyms. Not that I have anything against them, I just find it difficult to find athletic inspiration in their dank, dim, constantly-buzzing confines.  Unfortunately, the dank, dim winters that characterize our coast don’t leave too many attractive workout options until springtime, whereupon we are invariably kept busy by the Canucks in the playoffs find ourselves with all kinds of free time on our hands. And is trading in watching sports for playing them such a bad thing? Of course not, fatso.

Now, if I just left this blog post at “go play outdoors”, we’d have two problems: I’d have written an unacceptably short post, and you’d probably get run over in the Rona parking lot or something, so let me offer some more specific guidance in how to make the most of your outside time.

For the Love of the Game

My first recommendation is that you play an actual sport. Maybe it’s just me, but I run a lot harder when chasing a frisbee (I’m sorry, I said actual sport didn’t I…) soccer ball than when I’m chasing a split time. Recreational sports are great for the camaraderie, the thrill of competition, and the consumption of adult beverages that invariably occurs, either during or after, depending on your team.

Most of my rec sports experience has been through university intramurals, or just plain old pickup games, so I when I recommend the following leagues, it’s simply as a Googler, but why wouldn’t you want to let me Google that for you?

For Vancouverites, the City of Vancouver website has a decent rundown of leagues and tournaments, though it’s from 2010, so some of the info is out of date. From sports to apparently competitive social events, Urban Rec seems to have quite a few offerings. Registration is now open.

For those of us in Smugtoria, the Victoria Sports and Social Club offers “Recess for Adults”. The Spring/Summer leagues have already begun play, but the club’s website indicates that registration is still available with a phone call to the office.

So head out there and get your sport on. You have so much to gain: fitness, fun, friends, and maybe even a little bit of humility. After you spend a summer muffing perfect sets into the volleyball net, maybe you’ll be a bit more forgiving of a season full of Mason Raymond crest-shots.

Be The Best At Exercising

For those of you who don’t like team sports, the West Coast is a great place to try to be the best at exercising. Vancouver’s Sea Wall and Victoria’s Dallas Road stretch offer some great fair weather running and cycling routes. The Vancouver Sun Run and the Times Colonist 10K are both in the rearview mirror, but that just means you have more time to prepare for falls events, like the Victoria Marathon and Half, and the 9.5 km James Cunningham Seawall Race in Vancouver, both in October (October!? You’ll be down to 4 minute kms with all this prep time!)

Running not your thing? How would you like to ride your bike the length of the Sea to Sky Highwy without having to share elbow room with Longhorn-bound Escalades? The September 8th Whistler Gran Fondo might just be for you. But at 122km in length, and that whole “cycling from sea-level to sky-level” thing, it’s probably a good time to grease up the gears, invite Lu over to get your PSIs up, and get those legs moving. You never know, you might just bump into the legendary Trevor Linden.

Pick it up

You don’t need to join a league or sign up for an event to get active this summer. Your city no doubt has its share of tennis courts and sports fields. When that perfect blue blazer of a day hits (spoiler alert: look out the window RIGHT NOW), call up your buds, grab some pops, and work off the disappointment of yet another Canucks early exit. Blow off enough steam, and you should be well primed to start it all over again in October.

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