Dear internet… can you help?

Today I have exactly nine months left of my twenties.

On my 18th birthday, someone gave me a notebook, and on each page I wrote one thing I wanted to do before I turned 30. Some trivial, some important.

I’d largely forgotten about this exercise, but as I was moving house a couple of years ago I found the notebook and realised I’d done almost all of the things I’d listed in it.

So I’ve visited Asia and both ends of the Americas, bought an original piece of art, got my degree, gone somewhere I don’t speak the language and where no one speaks English, and so on. Most important of all was ambition number sixteen: fall in love, which I did five-and-a-bit years ago and remain happily so today.

However, three wishes in the book remain unfulfilled. These were:

  • Visit Africa
  • Visit Australia
  • Find a sport I like and do it regularly

Now the first two sound tricky, but if I really wanted to go I could book a plane ticket. No, the latter’s the hard one.

To give you some background, I am entirely blind in my right eye, which means I have pretty bad spacial awareness can’t see anything on my right-hand side. I also have really awful balance, which might be related to my first point, but that could just be me making excuses. Consequently, I am appallingly bad at every sport I’ve ever tried.

I’ve posted this challenge to Feats of Tweet, the new project from Paul Smith, better known as the Twitchiker. Paul wants to harness the goodwill of the Twitter community to help people fulfil their goals and wishes. He’s invited people to Tweet in their wishes, and will select a few to go to the public vote on Monday (it’s a great idea, do check it out if you haven’t already).

My own unfulfilled wish isn’t likely to garner much sympathy when up against desperately-needed transplant organs, and rightly so. So I’m asking you, people on the interwebs; do you do any sport at all? Could an unfit, half-blind not-quite-thirty-year-old join in?

Over the next nine months I must surely be able to find some from of exercise that I’m not totally, depressingly crap at. But what? I’m willing to try pretty much anything. What can you suggest?

11 thoughts on “Dear internet… can you help?

    • Both, I guess. Like a lot of people, I work in an office have a pretty sedentary lifestyle. We all know you need to exercise to keep you fit, but it’s also good for your state of mind to get off your arse and away from your computer now and again.

  1. Hey, how about rowing? You can take a beginners’ course and see how you get on from there. It’s great fun, really social, and the best hangover cure around! Seeing as someone else is steering, and the balancing has more to do with the boat staying afloat rather than your individual balance I think it may just work you know! Let me know how it goes.

    • Now I’d be keen to give rowing a go – I live less than a minute’s walk from the river. But I’m not sure I meet the minimum fitness requirements at the moment. I’ll definitely look into it though.

      Can you suggest anywhere to contact?

      • Hey there. Depends where you live really – but if you’re by the river there are bound to be clubs near you! The ARA should be able to help (http://www.ara-rowing.org/). I think if you were starting a beginners’ course, everyone would be in the same boat (boom boom) so minimum fitness shouldn’t be an issue. That’s always something you can work on anyhow – they’re not just going to chuck you into the boat and expect you to row 10 miles or anything!

  2. Have you considered yoga at all? Not a sport per se, but great exercise and you can’t really be *bad* at it because absolutely everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If you find the right class and teacher for you, you may love it enough to go regularly.

  3. Do not let your disability rule what you should or should not be doing. There are hundreds of sports that you can do with the disability you have.

    But it truly depends on what you want your sport for. Some are intense in regards to fitness, others not so much.

    Also, do not convince yourself that you must get fitter before trying them. That is one of the top reasons why people don’t ever actually start doing a sport, because they perceive that they will not be fit enough – and it will be too hard. If you really want to do the sport, just go for it – the fitness will come with it.

    Sports which aren’t so intense:
    Archery, Shooting, Bowling, Darts… (You should not be impaired with your disability in doing any of those)

    Sports which are intense (which don’t tend to rely on focus on small fast moving object e.g. balls):
    Swimming, martial arts (judo, jyujyutsu, karate, akido, taichi, kungfu), fencing, rowing, sailing, running, skateboarding, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding.

    In fact. Why not try them all? Most clubs give you a free session, go along and find out what you like.

    • Chris: I don’t really think of it as a disability. More an impairment. After all, it doesn’t really stop me doing anything, it just makes me a bit crap at some things.

      I’m banned from getting a pilot’s licence, but I’ve never considered that a major loss.

      Archery and shooting are interesting suggestions. As I’m used to doing things one-eyed anyway I should – in theory – have a small advantage (an advantage soon lost by having to shoot left-handed, but still…).

      I’m determined to try lots of new things over the next few months, so I’ll see if I can give it a shot (if you’ll excuse the pun).

  4. How about horse riding… keeps you fit and is really enjoyable – of course you could also incorporate visiting various pubs into your ride… surely that sounds good!

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