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Jose Rincon

Dr. Bopp
SPM 5016- Life Without Sports
Nov. 30, 2016

Life without sports. Not quite as fun as the Mannequin Challenge or the latest

#DanceChallenge. Imagine you grew up your whole life consuming sport to an extent. Through

television, in gym class, with friends or siblings, heck even at work. You were usually picked

within the first 5 children in gym games since first grade. Kids seemed to gravitate toward your

physical abilities of speed, agility and stamina. Things like that create an internalization of sport

values over time. You build a reputation for being and identifying as athletic. It essentially

becomes an aspect of who you are and why sports become important to you, because youre

good at it. This is the situation many boys and girls experience here in the US. Individuals who

are athletic are praised. And those who are not, follow sports religiously to show support and

socially fit in. You grow and watch tons of NFL games. Take in countless NBA rivalries and

Finals series. Athletic performers become icons in society, playing a game. Flash forward to

many years later and suddenly, try to cut that aspect of your life off. ESPN, my major source of

sports news growing up, has now turned into a vast chain of college conference networks. Sports

has become a cultural phenome. It is nearly inevitable to avoid exposure to sport in some form.

Try shutting out sports for 72 hours, my task this fall, and see what happens. Welcome to life

without sports.

My personal conquest to live life without sports or sport consumption began on October 10th, the

perfect way to start a Monday, an already dreadful day itself. My running time ran from about

9am on the 10th of October until about 9am on Thursday, October 13th. First thing on my mind

that Monday morning was breakfast, which consisted of 3 eggs, a banana, a cup of milk and 12

ounces of water. The second thing on my mind, was not watching or reading anything relating to
sports. My usual routine includes enjoying breakfast with either tuning in to the Food Network,

Cartoon Network or recapping on sporting events on ESPN. On Mondays, I usually pick ESPN 9

out 10 times, so this morning I had to be extra conscientious about not to flipping on that

channel. I picked cartoons, some old Scooby-Doo reruns were playing that brought back some

nostalgia. But just thinking about not thinking about wanting to consume sports was immediately

annoying off the back. Already, I thought this social experiment/task was going to be a total drag.

As I finished up my breakfast, Scooby-Doo had found the perpetrator behind the civil war ghosts

in New Orleans. A lot of thoughts that I never considered before the sport ban began to surface.

Things like, is weight training considered sport like? Is watching basketball games on the courts

leading up to the gym taboo as well? Should I just ignore everyone (more than I already do) to

make sure I dont break this class mandated commitment? I systematically dispatched my own

answers and began heading over to the gym because thats something that is second nature to me

and integral in life. Prior to my workout, I usually warm up by shooting some baskets as I had a

torn pectoral tendon repaired a few months back and that helps ease up the tightness. I had to

find a new manner to warm-up. I picked an elliptical, which was quite boring, as a substitute and

did my usual routine. Id be lying if I didnt mention how badly I wanted to shoot a few baskets

or play soccer and practice some freestyle juggling tricks. I was on the borderline of thinking

how miserable I was going to be if these types of feelings kept reoccurring. I headed back home

spent the rest of the day watching HBO shows and reading for class assigned readings. I

managed to get through Monday without sports with a lot of thoughts to consider. The next day

was a lot smoother. Keeping sports was a lot easier to manage. Very smooth in fact, that I even

surprised myself a bit. Just 24 hours ago, I was dreading the task of no sports. The rapid rebound

was welcomed and eye-opening too. It began the conversation as to how important sports are to
me. If such a drastic change can happen in 24 hours, imagine what would happen in a month of

not following sports. Would it feel as if sports have meant nothing of grand importance all this

time? Was my passion for sports a mere reflection of how society feels about them? But I had to

love sports. I majored in exercise science back at Syracuse University and loved every course

offered by my program. It was a question that I eventually got the answer to. My daily routine of

breakfast on Tuesday was much like it was the previous day, but without all the Debby-downer

thoughts. Consuming sports evidently was not an impossible task, but the desire to partake in

sports was still present. I still wanted to shoot the soccer ball or practice some freestyle futbol

moves. Again, the remainder of my day was composed of reading for my psychology course and

watching a bunch of shows on HBO. And eating lots of food and contemplating all the teachings

sport sociology class has shed light on and begin formulating what role sports play in my life.

The last day was nothing eventful. I had sports marketing, so learning about consumer values

and value creation kept me busy and inattentive to sports. It was finally Thursday and my so-

called punishment had finally ended with a few conclusions drawn about sports.

The experiment served as a type of self-discovery exercise for me personally. I learned that what

attract me to sports isnt necessarily what draws in many others. Given my background, Im quite

intrigued exercise science and processes. This has led me to understand that human performance

is what I enjoy about sports. The coordination of body parts, the types of ongoing muscular

contractions, biomechanics of sprinting, etc. are the fascinating aspects of sports for me and how

they contribute to amazing plays across the board. Aside from the first day, staying away from

sports was not too difficult as expected from a fan point of view. But walking by soccer fields did

give rise to the want to participate in some soccer. Play a pick-up game or shoot some shots on

goals. It was a bit hard to not want to park my car and pull out my soccer ball from the trunk
(yeah, I have a soccer ball in my cars trunk). But HBO did a fine job of keeping me entertained

on movies and comedy shows like entourage. Reading also kept my mind at bay along with

longer than usual time spent on meal prep. With the extra time (that was there all along, but

sports hid it), I had the liberty prepare more complicated food recipes. Video games were the last

component of my leisure time. It put things into perspective about how there are much worse

things to go without. For example, not having a phone is much worse. At some point between

October 13th and today, my phone died prior to heading out of my apartment so I made the

decision to leave it home. That itself was by far much more annoying than all three days of life

without sports combined. I missed emails, text messages and funny memes my siblings tagged

me in which was not cool at all. Guess millennials do have lives revolving around technology.

Technology in one day, put constraints on my typical interaction with others, something sports

did not do. This made me consider other fields I could be involved in if sports did not work out.

Ive been a pragmatic thinker all my life and decent when it comes to math and personal

finances, so I could see myself being a financial advisor (a career I consider upon graduation

from Syracuse University). Physical therapy based on orthopedic therapy. Architecture, I took a

few drafting courses in high school that I enjoyed due to my love for drawing and sketching.

Lastly, pursuing automotive engineering. Ive always loved cars and draw and I saw it as a good

combination of math, designing and cars. Life without sports was insightful and a task I can do

without much repercussions anymore.