I have been sober for seven years now. There have been a lot of different things that have made this possible, and playing some kind of sport has been a major part of my ongoing sobriety. I was already a personal trainer when I got out of rehab, so I had the good fortune to return to a healthy work environment that gave me much-needed structure.
My love for high-level training was never an issue, but the truth was, I could't train like that all year round, or even all week. So what to do? Sports. Think about how much fun sports were when you were a kid - whether they be individual or team sports. I'm sure some of the greatest memories of your life will pop in your head - dodge ball, kick ball, tee ball, swimming, bicycling, hand ball. I'm sure a few sour memories will sneak in there as well, but that's life and should not turn you off from the benefits and fun of sports.
If you are someone who does not have fond memories of sports from your youth, I'm truly sorry. Sports were designed to celebrate the body, develop friendships amongst your peers, and entertain both participants and spectators. Sports were meant to be a positive experience. But here is the greatest thing: you can still play sports and as an adult, and you can do so on your own terms. Just because you're an adult now and you aren't part of some formal or professional league, doesn't mean you can't still play. Here is a list of sports I have participated in (some more successfully then others) since I've been sober:
Most of these don't have leagues to go with them, but I mention them because I want you to see that there is always something to get into. And more importantly, sports run the gamut from the peace and tranquility of group yoga to the high-intensity, personalized adrenaline rush of powerlifting. Finding a group or league to join these days is very easy. You just do what you're doing right now, sit in front of the computer or your phone and google it!
Here is how I found my baseball league: I typed "mens adult baseball league in los angeles." I was shocked to see all the options and information that came back at me. I was even able to choose between metal or wood bat leagues. Then you just reach out and make contact. They want you to. If there is no league involved or no league in your area for the sport you want to get involved with, get a friend involved. Before I joined my adult baseball league, I spent hours just playing catch with my sister (who's pretty good!) until I felt confident enough to join the league.
But I gotta tell ya, I had just as much fun, if not more, playing with my sister than in the league. We can all feel young again by engaging in sports activities. It's such a wonderful gift that's right there ready for you experience. All you have to do is give it a try. And, if the first sport doesn't feel right for whatever reason, try another. I'll often play one obsessively till I don't want to play any more, thats when I know it's time to move on the next one. And I almost always end up coming back around again to my favorites - I have my own 'seasons. Which brings me to my last point, seasons and weather change.
Don't give up if you live in a climate with difficult weather. Most areas that do so have a multitude of options for things like indoor basketball, soccer, or swimming - not to mention things like ice hockey for cold climates. Whatever sports activity you engage in, remember to have fun at the end of the day. Otherwise, you'll just go back to sitting on the couch and missing out!
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