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Home / Articles / Santa Fe Guides / Sweat /  Dodgeball, Shmodge-ball!
sweat-kickball
Get back to your childhood roots for some serious fun and exercise
Molly Bradbury

Dodgeball, Shmodge-ball!

Get back to your childhood roots for some serious fun and exercise

August 27, 2013, 12:00 am
We get it, in-shape people—you’re all amazing, and the rest of us (read, those of us who don’t look at a room full of crying people being screamed at while impossibly gigantic weights are lifted above their heads as a good time)—suck feet. We’re lazy, we’re fat, we’re awful. Yeah, we hate ourselves, alright, and our moms didn’t love us. But on the outside chance that we just don’t want to live our lives exactly like you but still feel like getting out there and being active, what are we to do? We need to at least get enough exercise to justify some little treat on the way home later, ’cause we totally only had a salad for lunch and we deserve a reward. Actually, I’ve got this covered with two suggestions rolled up into one amazing day: kickball and foursquare!

The rules to each are simple, and should certainly be known to everyone. If not, I don’t know what to do for you because it sounds like you had a horrible childhood. Jay kay, lemme help you out.

Kickball: Think baseball but with bigger balls and more kicking. The end.

Foursquare: With your favorite sidewalk chalk and recess ball (those red rubber guys from when you were a kid) in tow, draw four even squares on a concrete surface and place a player in each. Elect a server who will bounce the ball into another square, whereupon this player must bounce the ball into yet another square. Rinse and repeat until a player misses the ball. This player is then “out,” at which point another player will be rotated in.

Easy, right? Right!

In the old days, you could grab your friends (plus a few sneaky beers) and head to someplace like Patrick Smith Park for an impromptu Sunday fun-day. Back then, both of these kingly sports would usually be just waiting for you in the form of the loosely affiliated confederation of ironic sportsters themselves, the Nrrd Core Kickball Squad. I very recently learned that nobody really does this anymore—at least with any sort of frequency or over-arching organizational system—so here’s the new plan, nrrds: make it happen. Somebody call your friends, pick up one of those aforementioned balls from CVS or Walgreens and go nuts.

“But Alex,” you’re probably thinking. “You’re a fat guy who hates fun! Why should we take fitness advice from you?!” Good question. I can see why you would wonder what the associated health benefits of these bitchin’ and totally not irritatingly ironic sports might be. And the answer is that they’re more active/labor intensive than you might think—especially if you’re one of those jerk-ish competitive types who’s a stickler for rules and likes to make your friends make secret pacts stating they’ll never hang around you again. Ring a bell, curlers? Kidding, again. Kickball specifically provides an all-around exertion-a-thon by targeting muscles in most areas of your body. Assuming you can kick a ball super-hard, you’ll be running the bases constantly and, uh, y’know...kicking really hard. If not, there’s always the looming threat that the ball will roll into a nearby acequia, which means running with vigor is a constant for even those lazy out-fielders.

Foursquare admittedly requires less effort, but by cooking up fun new rules, you’ll have more reason to play with gusto. Try doubling each square size for maximum running-around-a-bility, for example. Maybe add a fifth square or tweak something as simple as the minimum height the ball must be bounced before a player makes the next move.

No, this isn’t medical-caliber advice, but kickball and foursquare are still fun ways to get out and get moving. I’d even go so far as to say that if anyone wants to get involved for real, feel free to email me and let’s get some games going. After all, summer is almost over, and if we don’t get outside while we can, it’s going to be a long, lazy winter full of regret.

 

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