I must confess, this introspection was caused by following a self-reference made on Halfway There by Zeno, and following another self-reference therein.
I've come to the conclusion that my attention to sports in anyway has been mostly an effort to fit in. Some of it was fun, once in a while, but I could just never take it seriously. I can't get rabid about it, and I certainly can't fathom the amount of money spent on the subject (I also doubt the tenuous contention that sports stadia bring worth-while income to a university.). It's supposed to be a game, to help you unwind. But it never seems to be the case.
I recall many summers being on park-and-rec teams and being berated for not trying hard enough. After a while, I became aware of the mixed message being pushed by the middle-aged men coaching these teams: have fun, but win. Good sportsmanship was a buzzword peddled to forestall fights. It was around this time that I convinced my mother that organized sports weren't my bag: my mind was far sharper than my body. There's a post in there somewhere about my mother pushing sports, and my father being resistant to the idea; signal to self: post about that.
It was also around that time that I ran into someone I would consider the first real friend I had. His suggestion, being an asportual individual himself, was that we take the weight training offered by park-and-rec. Sure, some of the guys from the actual school-tied sports teams showed up from time to time; but these were guys that were actually dedicated to the art form within the sport and trying to maximize that, not the vainglory sought by most on the team. I spent the entire summer learning that I liked exercise when the only measure I had was against myself. I improved what was then my declining health, and we just basically shot the shit all the time.
Over time my opinion wavered back and forth, but I think I've finally settled into the idea that far too much time and money is expended on sport. Especially sports of the individualistic variety. A while back, before I did some unspecified, unidentifiable damage to my knee, I went wall/rock-climbing three or four times a week, while it was free at the local wall with a friend of mine. No disrespect to said friend, but he seemed to want to get into far more depth than I was. He still casually tries to get me to go to the more expensive, but more elaborate, climbing gym. But, the thought of paying for what I could do for free, and was doing just for exercise and enjoyment, bothered me. It immediately conjured the mental imagine of summers spent in grassy outfields catching the occasional fly ball (up to a certain age, it's fairly rare for kids to hit a baseball hard enough to make outfield the important thing it is in more advanced settings). And I balked. And my knee mysteriously balked on me, and has done so from time to time over the last year or so, but that's something different.
Coming back to my original link-set at the top of this post, I think about my current unattachedness, especially in light of the fact that I've not had a meaningful romantic relationship with a woman in approximately two years (not for lack of attempts). I am fairly certain I am not asexual: I don't knee-jerk like your stereotypical construction worker, but I do double takes when lovely women pass (I'm not going to go into my definition of lovely). I've had intimate emotional/physical relationships with women; I respond on an emotional and physical in a way that one could consider typically male.
But lately, I've felt less of this. Perhaps as I get older I get more selective by learning from failed relationships (failures are excellent learning tools). And perhaps the fact that the pool I have for immediate selection has dwindled (even though, techinically, the pool is much wider than before) has something to do with it. I don't run into fellow unattached women at work; my field is still heavily dominated by men. Nor do I feel the need to go to the usual locations where folks get together: if I want a drink with friends, I'm having a drink with friends, I am not puffing up my plumage for selection.
Perhaps this is just all in my mind. I don't know. I also think my mind might be warped outside of the norm anyway. I will have more on that later. It was a fairly interesting revelation when it struck me a few weeks ago, and I am still chewing on the ramifications.
6 months ago