With the outdoor sports all in hibernation and soccer pickup, volleyball and dodgeball waiting in the wings for first-week play, only the swimmers and wrestlers are vying for attention in early January. But there’s some other stuff to talk about too.
PGN is celebrating 40 years of publication this year and, no, I haven’t been here since the beginning (it just feels like it!). Many, many athletic organizations have emerged in the past 40 years. And many have celebrated milestone anniversaries over the past couple of years.
My question for you: How has your sports organization benefitted or been impacted by PGN? It’s an open-ended question so feel free to let me know what you think about the paper and its association with LGBTQ sports groups in the city. Photos, clippings, relationship meet-ups and whatever else you can think of are fair game. Email me below.
In between the start of the next round of indoor play across the many LGBTQ sport options, perhaps you or someone you know is one of the many referred to in the gyms as a “resoluter,” who pack the gyms from early January until the tapering off around Super Bowl and then give up before spring even, well, springs. I was one once, but this year I have to keep my mind on the goal and stick to it.
One of the best ways to get exercise is with a friend. And a good way to make new friends can be through exercise in the form of sport.
If you swim, consider joining the Fins for one of their sessions. There’s a mix of people and skills, and the first visit is free to check out; Philadelphiafins.org.
Did you enjoy wrestling in high school? At least some aspects of it? Check out the Spartans on a Saturday on Chestnut Street; Spartanswrestling.com.
Have you played recreational soccer or would you like to give it a try? The Falcons are always looking for players for their pick-up games during the winter months; Falcons-soccer.org.
On warmer Saturdays around 9:15 a.m. you might find the Frontrunners in front of Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row ready for a run up Kelly Drive and back before going to brunch. And running at your own pace means you might still have your solitude for a half-mile, or you can meet some striking runner before or after. On Facebook search Philadelphia Frontrunners.
If you’re like me and prefer an indoor cardio workout, some weights or something else, don’t go it alone all the time. A workout buddy increases both of your chances of following through on your personal commitments through mutual support and encouragement. I’m trying to get myself rescheduled to mornings but it’s not working out too well just yet, so maybe I should take my own advice.
Whatever you do this season — whether you’re dodging balls, taking someone down, diving into the deep end or putting miles on the sneakers — the important thing is to get it done. Get out and play.
Something to learn
In the meantime, I know it’s quite early to think about it (unless you’re saving $2 a week for plane tickets) but Gay Games 10 in 2018 in Paris already has some information up on its website, paris2018.com. Fortunately, the site is available in French, English and Chinese, and since you’re reading this you’re good to go.
I found an interesting sport that the French are introducing to the rest of us. It’s called pétanque, which in English is pétanque, so it’s easy to remember. Sometimes it is referred to simply as boules. I don’t know what the Chinese call it.
Pétanque is a game similar to English lawn bowling or Italian bocce. There’s a target ball called a cochonnet (literally, piglet) made of wood tossed out first and then each of the three players on the team has two hollow metal balls to toss alternately.
With darts and billiards out this time as my go-to sports, considering my athleticism, I’m keen on giving this a try. If anyone has information on playing spots, equipment and such, I’m all ears. In any case, if I buy a set to try out, we’ll need a third for a team.
• Philadelphia Falcons (falcons-soccer.org) indoor-pickup schedule for the winter at the Guerin Rec Center, 2201 S. 16th St., is 8-9:45 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays through January, and 8-9:45 p.m. Tuesdays and 1-4 p.m. Saturdays in February and March. Your first time is free, so get out and play!
• Philadelphia Fins Aquatics Club is paddling towards the annual Postal Swim Jan. 31 at Friends Select School on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Looking is free, but you can also donate in the name of your favorite Finner. It helps them raise money for the organization and a nonprofit named each year. On Facebook, search FINS.