Looking Out To Sea

Sports as idle pastimes

We recently spent some holiday time in France with Kirsten, Oliver and other friends in their house. A whole week away from my usual physical routines of cycling, capoeira and grappling. We did a bit of casual cycling in Paris with a tour guide but it was strictly low-speed sight-seeing rather than exercise.

Some of the others in the house went out running and for the first time I was jealous of running. I’m never jealous of running because I don’t enjoy it but this time I wanted the activity, I wanted the camaraderie and I wanted the accessibility of it all.

Cycling can be done solo; some may say it’s best done solo though sharing a view at the top of a hill or a pint at the bottom is surely better than doing the same alone. Grappling obviously requires a (willing?) partner and a bit of soft ground though not necessarily much else. But if you suggest to most people whether they want to have a friendly wrestling match they would probably think you’re cracked.

Finally there’s capoeira, a pastime that has even been called vadiação, bumming around. But if you don’t have a bateria and a group of friends and so on you’ll still need another person who wants to play. That’s probably less likely than finding someone who wants to wrestle with you because most people who grew up with a sibling have at least wrestled before. Nobody knows what capoeira is all about. Bumming around is harder than it seems.

This is why I am jealous of running. A solo sport that you can do in groups and doesn’t need more equipment than what you’re standing in.