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Topic: Athletes, Were you one?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 11:35 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So, now that we have again failed to determine whether backpacking is a bona fide sport or not, the issues raises another question.  I'm curious as to how many of you were accomplished athletes in high school or college sports.  As for myself, I ran cross country in high school and played soccer in college and enjoyed them both but was never a star at either - somewhere in the middle of the pack I suppose.  I've never really considered myself a genuine athlete. However, I do consider myself somewhat of an accomplished hiker and backpacker. I wonder if there is any sort of correlation between backpacking and athletes one way or another.

Just curious of your opinion.  What say you?


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trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 11:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Acliff and I used to run marathons together...
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 11:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I lettered in chess... does that make me an athlete?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 11:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I played lacrosse for 4 years during Middle School and got better as I went, eventually being a pretty solid defenseman.  I gave the game up in High School as the team didn't cut players and only the very best got field time.

I ran cross country as a Freshman and Sophmore in High School with a few races as varsity my sophmore year.  Since only the top five scores counted, I usually counted as JV, but usually not as varsity.

I wrestled at 105lbs during my Freshman year and was never very good.

I played rugby as an adult and did well enough if once again not setting the world ablaze.  

Oddly enough my greatest success in any athletic endeavor other than hiking has been in fighting/ defensive tactics classes.  It took years to find it, but I seem to have a knack for grappling and kicking people while being able to take a punch pretty well.  Enjoying the hell out of it doesn't hurt either.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 12:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Played football, baseball, and wrestling in high school, was an All-District 3rd baseman my senior year.

I had a 4 year athletic scholarship in college, as a student manager for the football team.

Played many years on a beer league softball team


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 12:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Coulda scholard in swimming in college but wanted to party instead. Played baseball, football, basketball and beer softball still. Pretty good dart player. 3 stars in every Angry Birds level.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 12:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No team sports but I did a lot of marathon type fund raising events, long bike rides for MDA, 24 hour roller skating-a-thons each year of high school. Swimming, not competitively but to train as a lifeguard.  We had a great PE program and lots of equipment, so we had an olympic sized pool and diving well, a gymnasium with a volleyball court above the lobby and a room filled with trampolines then outside tennis courts and a track and field program where I loved running hurdles.

I grew 10 inches in one year and everyone thought I would be great at basketball, and really pushed, but I couldn't even walk without twisting an ankle for a long time.  Playing baseball, they thought I bunted on purpose but I swear I was aiming for the outfield.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 12:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was not a team athelete in high school or college but I've always enjoyed outdoor activities like canoeing/kayaking, skiing, etc. and I love camping.  My parents tell me that I constantly nagged them to go camping, which my mother absolutely hated.

I don't think I view hiking/backpacking as something I'm "good at".  I just think in terms of liking/disliking and being physically fit and able.  I'm getting to the age where *not* having physical issues, like bad knees/back/feet/etc., is more important than being an athelete.  :D

My teenage son is a really good athelete.  Right now, he plays baseball and ultimate frisbee.  He'd play football as well if he were bigger/heavier.  He's also a really good hiker, but if I had to say why, it would be because he doesn't panic and never complains.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 12:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I played football in Jr High School – wrecked my shoulder for life, but it kept me out of the Army

Wrestled in Jr and High School- Finished my career exactly 50/50…wasn’t very good due to the football injury noted above

Took Marksmanship for a PE credit in college- For my ‘Final Exam’ I scored 100 in prone, 92 kneeling and 84 off-hand
Also took Bowling for PE credit in college.  I don’t remember anything from that class except the one pretty young lady that always reported to class in a super short mini-skirt

Following college, I became a world class alcoholic


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 12:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(red dog @ Jan. 23 2013, 12:30 pm)
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Following college, I became a world class alcoholic

I'm glad to see you using what you learned in school to good advantage

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 12:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've always been athletic.

I played football and baseball in high school, but didn't excel at either. My best sport was basketball, but the coach didn't even want to entertain the idea of having someone less than 6'0" on his team. I still hate that bastard to this day. My high school didn't have a lacrosse program, so I played club ball with the local Native Americans.

In college, I picked up hockey (goalie). My school was D-1, and the goalies were from Canada and Europe... so they went home during the summer. I got invited to goaltend for informal summer pick-up games with the players that remainded during the summer... including some future NHL players (Marchant and Conroy). That was fun.

After college, I competed in powerlifting, weightlifting, and strongman competitions. No championships, but a few 2nd and 3rd place finishes at the State level.

I just signed up for my first running competition... the Megatransect... to be held in September. A future goal is to compete in a marathon and lifting competition within the same year. Can't say I've heard of many who compete in both of those arenas.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 1:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I played basketball, baseball, track & cross country in high school.  I played jv basketball in college for 2 years, and continued playing till I was 30.  Since it was mentioned above, I did go to the chess regionals while in high school, but didn't fair well, found it to be an intimidating experience for a first timer.  Now I can barely walk.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 1:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I did many sports when I was young (soccer, baseball, tennis, etc) but ended up being a part of Swim Team and Water polo near the end. Pretty much every sport I tried, I did well in. However, I found I just didn't like competitive sports and ended up pulling out of all of them except for the Water polo at the end. They lost their "fun factor" when it became more about winning than playing. Hiking, strangely enough I found to be the same in Boyscouts. I didn't enjoy it much at all. When I got out of Boyscouts is when I found myself really enjoying the outdoors the most. The freedom of getting to pick my destination, pace, and go anywhere I wanted to is when I really found my passion for it. After learning how to navigate to a point of confidence during day or night off-trail in different terrain has kept me passionate about it and I doubt I could ever lose interest in it at this point.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 1:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not a HS or college team sports athelete.  Envy those that have.   In those days as a thin 5'6", simply too small to compete.  But then the fact one has not been a participant in organized or team sports, does not preclude unusual atheletic abilities.

Grew up in California caucasion suburban grade schools playing all the usual sports enthusiastically, especially baseball.  Often the fastest runner in the class though the shortest.   Also like all we neighborhood kids was very much an outdoor enthusiast from a young age growing up near many creeks, woodlands, and undeveloped natural lands.  As a younger kid climbed countless oak trees like a monkey.    Ironically the years between ages of 15 and 25 years old were when I was least atheletic simply because, we moved to more urban core cities where school sports were just for local elites and  a war with chaotic times dominated lives in that age.  

Since early 20s became a backpacker and since late 20s have been an enthusiastic skier, both of which contribute to long term atheletic abilities. Use it or lose it goes a long ways over a lifetime.  Thus even in my older age, there are few twentysomethings that can do some of the things I can do skiing or carry a heavy backpack smoothly efficiently over difficult terrain like talus.   And I am not alone.  Most accomplished climbers and surfers are exceptional atheletes though almost none became such through organized sports.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 1:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Played soccer three years and ran track one when in HS.  I sucked at it all.  Last in every single race but one (in which I beat one rather plump girl).  I figured it out many years later--I needed longer distances, as I have little speed but lots of endurance.  

In my 30s I took up running again and was surprisingly good at it.  In small 5 and 10-k races I could finish in the top 5 in my age group, often in the top 3 (though usually a big gap between the first two and me).  After I screwed my hips up around age 40, I've gone in more for non-competitive things like the Centuries I've started riding.  I just want to be fit and active, though I enjoyed racing especially while I was getting stronger and faster (had that 1/2 marathon not pushed my bad mechanics over the edge, I'd be running marathons now, I suspect).

So I was a klutzy non-athlete in HS who turned out for sports anyway, and became a much better athlete as an adult.  Though I'm still sort of a klutz.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 1:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ran track & field in high-school and college, but was a sprinter:  55m/200m indoors, 100m/200m outdoors.  Ran competitive times but not quite at a level to try and continue after college.  I always wondered how I would have done if I had tried playing football, but at 5'7" and 150lbs it was probably best I didn't - might not have had a track & field career either.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 1:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dabbled in various sports in childhood, but by high school settled on Football and Wrestling.  I wasn't big enough to make an extraordinary linebacker, but I made a good wrestler, doing it 9 months of the year through high school and eventually qualifying with the Iowa team in the Freestyle/Greco-Roman regional tournament, but failed to make Nationals.  Didn't continue either in college, which I'm okay with.

I'm convinced my wrestling background helps my off-trail bushwhacking style of backpacking (knowing how to fall well, lol), so it's served me well. :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 2:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Jan. 23 2013, 8:35 am)
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I wonder if there is any sort of correlation between backpacking and athletes one way or another.

Just curious of your opinion.  What say you?

Maybe... people who acquire a liking for outdoor activities may continue engaging in them as they age -- perhaps at a more leisurely pace.

But maybe not.  Growing up, I was completely un-athletic.  Playing softball in high school, all the outfielders pulled back toward the diamond whenever a girl -- or Ben -- came up to bat!  Coordination and strength aside, I just never liked the outdoors.

It was only at age 43 that I started backpacking -- never did even a day hike prior.  I am still not athletic, but I am much more active than I used to be...  Hiked up Mt. Whitney three times thus far, and I was pretty happy hiking the last 4 km up to Everest Base Camp (17.5k) and not feeling winded at all.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 2:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No real team/school sports being young (skinny/small) for my grade level.  Distance running (guess I was a trailrunner before trail running was official), then martial arts to balance the running.

I've reversed the skinniness rather well, I must say.


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(BoraBora @ Jan. 23 2013, 1:40 pm)
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I always wondered how I would have done if I had tried playing football, but at 5'7" and 150lbs it was probably best I didn't - might not have had a track & field career either.

That was me in HS, except I only weighed in at 120. You didn't miss anything. In general, it just hurt. My football career highlight was tackling Dorsey Levens a couple times (he went on to play for the GB Packers). Sure I ended up flat on my back in vast amounts of pain, and some will say he merely tripped over me, but I say I tackled him dammit.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 3:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was more athletic than athlete. I spent enough time in school sports to develop the skills and learn a few tricks. The sports included football, basketball, softball, track, wrestling, and swimming.

But I liked the academic contests that took us school students out of town also. So ultimately — unable to do both — I preferred them. I recall math and physics contests, etc. with up to 50 regional schools present. I placed in the upper three often enough to keep me going back.

Also interfering with organized sports were my summer jobs, which might involve hiking long miles through some of the largest unfenced lands of Wyoming. Every other night we camped out. I've never had so many bag nights before or since — in areas at that time probably more primitive than some of our wilderness areas today. (See photos of "Wyoming Steppes" below for comparison.)

But inevitably there were pass-over football games, sand-lot softball, etc. And some of my companions were fairly proficient in sports. So I picked up a little extra practice here and there. By the way, I was always first pick in pass-over football. People knew I could catch anything. :D

When we found ourselves in college, sport gave way to backpacking.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 3:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In HS I played baseball and wrestled.  I played several intramural sports in college including ice hockey, football, badminton, handball, racketball, and gymnastics.  Post college I have raced bicycles, participated in triathlons, and ran in road a trai races.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 4:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Competed?  Yes, in many sports.
Accomplished?  Not so much.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 4:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Jan. 23 2013, 8:35 am)
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I wonder if there is any sort of correlation between backpacking and athletes one way or another.

Depends on what kind of athlete, perhaps.  

The stereotypical "jocks" who were athletes for the social prestige or the competition...probably not too many of those went on to be backpackers.  

Athletes who were in it for the personal challenge - I could definitely see them being backpackers.

I was not an athlete in school because I was not coordinated at all, and could not care less about competing with other people.  I ran cross-country for a while, but got bored with it.  

However, when I am hiking for the exercise (as opposed to hiking trips for a break from life, or for natural exploration, or for fun with friends, etc), I am quite physically motivated...possibly could even be called "athletic" in that case.

My girlfriend marvels at this.  She observes me being a totally lazy slob most of the time, and singularly unmotivated to do other types of exercise.....but when we hike together, to paraphrase her, "good lord you're an animal when you get out there!!"     :D
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(orygawn @ Jan. 23 2013, 1:39 pm)
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My girlfriend marvels at this.  She observes me being a totally lazy slob most of the time, and singularly unmotivated to do other types of exercise.....but when we hike together, to paraphrase her, "good lord you're an animal when you get out there!!"

Fantasizing again?   :D

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(Ben2World @ Jan. 23 2013, 1:40 pm)
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(orygawn @ Jan. 23 2013, 1:39 pm)
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My girlfriend marvels at this.  She observes me being a totally lazy slob most of the time, and singularly unmotivated to do other types of exercise.....but when we hike together, to paraphrase her, "good lord you're an animal when you get out there!!"

Fantasizing again?   :D

My girlfriend has five personality settings, bub.  Including flattery.

Try not to be jealous.   :cool:
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 5:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Football, Basketball and track in high school, made all-conference and all-area in all three. At just about 6'2" I was on the shorter side for hoops, and weighing 180 a little tall and light for a college running back.  Still UW, northwestern (the dregs of Big 10 football at the time) and most the Illinois and Michigan "directional" schools recruited me for football as well as the state schools here in the land of cheese and USC (South Carolina) and for hoops.  Coach Foster was recruiting a teammate and happened to be in town on the night I played the best game of my junior year. I was later able to convince him that my size and suspect ball handling would not make for a good fit.

Alas, I tore an ACL halfway through senior year and settled on a D3 college where I ran track and played midfield on the lacrosse team. I was the perfect size to knock the crap out of those tiny prep schooler's who thought they know what was up.

Don't miss it much, but every so often I wake up after dreaming about running fast and jumping high.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 5:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This thread needs a soundtrack. :cool:



<~~~ Pulls a Rumi ~~~


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 5:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Too scrawny/underdeveloped to do anything in high school.  In later years I did triathlons and a bunch of 10Ks and stuff, as well as a marathon (with insufficient training).

I'd scan a triathlon pic and post it, but my wife always makes fun of it (aka ME).  Besides, I don't look anything like that now.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 5:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Band Geek.

While I was never a jock, I always was an athletic supporter.
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