Didn’t have to hit the gym after all

I was teaching a sport Monday. I was learning that same sport 15 minutes earlier.

I normally abhor a split shift at work, but on this particular Monday I had a honey-do at the hardware store.

Also on my schedule:

• Meet these guys I don’t know for a game of ultimate Frisbee;

• Go to the gym if they don’t show up, or ask about this “spike ball” game if they do arrive;

• Run a wall or two in either case.

I’ve already lost you, but I’ll get you back up to speed.

For people unfamiliar with the area, running a wall is lingo at Clovis’ Leon Williams Stadium. It means to run up and down the flight of stairs that makes up the football team’s home bleachers. It’s not quite the same as the stairs leading up to the press box at Greyhound Stadium (it’s 94, I’ve counted), but it’s quite a workout if you plan to run multiple walls.

The guys did show up. OK, just one guy. We tossed around the Frisbee for a while, shared some of the locations where we could find a good game. Then, once things were comfortable, I said, “What’s this spike ball?”

You’ll know more if we end up doing a story on a local tournament, but it involved a grapefruit-sized inflated ball and a trampoline-type contraption in the center. There are plenty of conditions for the four-player game, but you basically have to hit the ball off of the net, and you get a point if your opponent(s) can’t return it before it hits the ground.

Pretty soon, we’d gathered two more people. Then I was teaching the game. I’m not sure if I was having more fun playing or spreading knowledge.

Then two more people came. The one guy and I went back to the Frisbee, and talked some more. No, this insidious rumor about eastern New Mexico isn’t true. Yes, that one is pretty true. No, there’s no local Wizard of Oz keeping Buffalo Wild Wings out of town.

I did end up running a few walls. OK, I ended up jogging a few walls. OK, I ended up limping a few walls while questioning my sanity and holding back tears.

I thought, “Why did somebody bother inventing spikeball when other sports already existed?” But then I wondered, why did James Naismith invent basketball when there were already a few indoor sports to teach kids? Why did somebody decide the steps at Leon Williams worked better than the track for running? Why did my friends and I invent locker hockey during a glorious two months of high school?

The answer is simple: It fills a need. For me, I needed to get in a workout before I knocked out the honey-do list (OK, so it was technically a, “Do this if you have time, and I’m not your honey” list), and I got it with spikeball, Frisbee and the walls. I didn’t have to hit the gym after all, and I got to share some knowledge.

Not a bad list. I’ll consider this split shift a win, or maybe a spike.

Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson


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