The “A-G-E” DiagnosisOct 08, 2021
By: Karyssa Shaw
You are never too old to play recreational sports!
How many of you stopped playing sports because “you’re too old”? Ever catch yourself saying “I’m too old for this crap!” or feeling like everything is tightening up on you as you run? I’m not going to lie, I definitely felt like I fit that mold when I started playing in a co-ed softball league this summer. I’m 27 but I felt like I was 67! My back ached, I was out of breath after running around the bases only once, my hamstrings were sore, everything hurt! But that didn’t stop me.
Growing up, softball was my absolute favorite sport. I started with t-ball when I was about 4 or 5 years old and then continued playing all the way through high school. I played for town leagues, school teams, and even travel leagues. I once traveled all the way to Montreal, Canada for a softball tournament when I was 15! Softball was my calling. If I could go back in time and play in college I would. The only reason I didn’t was because I was a commuter student, so having a job and making money were more important to me than sports at that time. But man, did I wish I could do it all over again and play for my college team. Since that wasn’t the case, before this summer, I hadn’t played a game of softball in close to 10 years!! You could probably guess where that left me on the “I’m in shape” front!
Of course I was in shape. But being physically capable is not the same as being prepared to run the bases, sprint for short fly balls, slide into bases, or make diving catches. Like I said, it had been 10 years. I really wasn’t all that sure my body would be ready for it. But I put my doubts aside and I played for this co-ed league for 4 months over the summer, and I am so glad I did. I mean, yeah, I was for sure sore after my first few games but it was worth it. I had my mojo back. I mean I’m not nearly as fast as I was in high school running the bases but that doesn’t take away from the fun. I made sure to stretch before every game. I warmed up playing catch with another team mate. I got my practice swings in. And most importantly, I stayed hydrated. As long as you prepare well enough, you will do just fine!
I met so many wonderful people, and to be quite honest, I was one of the younger ones on the team! The oldest teammate was in his 50’s and the youngest was 23. There were more people over the age of 30 than there were younger. So if we’re going off of this statement alone, you’re not too old for recreational sports! There are leagues out there that are specifically for people over 50. So there is really no excuse to not play. Not into softball or baseball? Look into rugby or basketball! There are adult soccer leagues too. There is something for everyone.
Moral of the story, just because you think you’re too old for certain things, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go. You will be surprised what your body can do once you’re back in it. It’s like muscle memory. Although, I don’t think I could go back to gymnastics. That’s a whole different animal!
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