xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Literally 'kicking off' the New Year

I

enjoy the holidays as much as the next person — the family time, the food, the festivities — but I don't particularly enjoy the general lethargy that often goes along with it.

Think furniture, football, food . . . and cabin fever!

Advertisement

I've often dreamed of what it would be like to live in Australia and celebrate Christmas in the summertime, with a "barbie on the beach" instead of a turkey in the oven, or head to a tropical island and have a Jimmy Buffett-style Christmas in the Caribbean.

But Mother Nature was especially kind this holiday season, treating us to several sunny days with temperatures that crept into the 50s. There was plenty of opportunity for long walks, running and a few bike rides.

Advertisement

I even got to take my kayak out for a short paddle. And, one of my daughters spent nearly every day of the break on her new inline skates, her favorite Christmas gift.

The milder weather must have upped the overall energy level because even the extended family get-togethers were more lively than usual. Card games like Back Alley or Hearts, or board game such as Chinese Checkers or Outburst are typically the norm, and this year was no exception.

However, these standard family games were supplemented with rowdy hands of Spoons and several energetic, competitive rounds of pingpong. And not just your ordinary middle school version of pingpong, but "ultimate" pingpong, which can best be described as the chaotic version of the game, where four players circle around the table, serving and returning until they miss and are eliminated.

Eventually there are only two players left, resulting in the tricky feat of serving to yourself. It was totally insane and definitely required the high-twitch muscle fibers to be engaged. After a few games of ultimate ping pong, I no longer felt guilty about my slice of pumpkin pie.

But kickball was the biggest surprise guest of the holiday. When my mother purchased a glow-in-the-dark kickball for my nephew, I never imagined I'd be among those kicking it.

On New Year's Day, no less. The first day of the new year was sunny and reasonably warm and rather than a champagne hangover, I think most of the adults were still reeling from an ultimate ping pong hangover, our metabolisms and heart rates still revving.

Growing up, I remember larger families joking about having enough siblings to field their own basketball team. In my family, it was just my brother and me, so we had enough to field a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, Connect Four, or Pong on the Atari. But my brother and I each ended up having three children of our own so now our small, immediate family of four has grown to twelve. And we can field a lot of games with that many people. So outside to the cul-de-sac we went — kids, parents and grandparents all —t o play kickball on New Year's Day, which is probably the most fun I've ever had on the first day of a New Year.

If the saying is true — that the way you spend New Year's is the way you'll spend the rest of the year — then I'm in for a totally awesome year!

Sherri Leimkuhler is the Times' fitness writer. Her column appears every other Sunday. Reach her at 410-857-7896 or sports@carrollcountytimes.com.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement