Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Olympic skills you can use in Tucson

Who says athletes are the only ones who need to be athletic? There are plenty of
Olympic skills Tucsonans can apply to everyday life. A sampling:

Wrestling — You’ll need to know plenty of reversals and grapples in order to get the bartender’s attention for drinks at popular bars, especially on Fourth Ave. after Arizona Wildcats football games.

Swimming — So what if it’s Monsoon season? You’ve got your favorite shortcut home from work and there’s no reason to let a flooded wash alter your path. Strap on a Speedo suit and practice your butterfly.

Table Tennis — You won’t need a paddle to take on Tucson’s speed dating scene (although some people are into that sort of thing), but the back-forth-back-forth agility of a Forrest Gumpian athlete is needed to survive the quick give-and-takes that can lead to rejections or a romantic relationship that can last as long as a month.

Baseball — Next year the Tucson Sidewinders will be the Reno... Somethings. Spring Training may be hot on its heels on the way out, and that leaves us with a wide open Tucson Electric Park and nothing going on inside. So why not round up your 17 closest buddies, hop the gates and play two?

Badminton — It’s not uncommon to find avian roadkill along our city’s streets, so do your civic duty and help out fellow drivers a favor by knocking those birdies off to the side.

Hurdles — Our city’s parks tend to be laden with trash and muddy potholes. Sprint through the grass and hop over the obstacles lest you lose precious seconds and fall out of medal contention.

Triathlon — Tucson is known as a haven for bike riders, so take a leisurely stroll down one of our many scenic boulevards. The problem is the weather is so hot you’ll surely need to go for a brisk swim afterward to cool down. Because of the city’s high bike theft (particularly in the University area), your vehicle may have been stolen during your swim, so hightail it and catch that thief!

Fencing — Secure a seat on that cantankerous, bickering City Council of ours.

Real-life swordplay is frowned upon in favor of the verbal variety. Bonus points if you dare to take on the city manager.

Weightlifting — Hoist the downed palo verde tree (felled by a violent dust storm) that’s blocking your front door. Don’t forget the hand wraps

Field hockey — Because we have no iced-over ponds here, yet sporting goods stores still sell hockey sticks. So we can do the next best thing.

Handball — With our slumping economy and growing unemployment rate, being able to afford a racquetball racquet may be out of the question. So use a ball-hitting device the IRS can’t take away.

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