I Stink at Dodgeball

But it's fun!,

A few months ago I stumbled upon the XOSO League. This league plays those games we played in grade school: kickball, dodgeball, and volleyball.

Now, I am one of the most non-athletic people you could ever find. I'm terribly uncoordinated and I have a balance problem. This means I'm a loser at skating and it took forever for me to learn to ride a bike. I still don't dare to let go of the handlebars and go hands free. I would have been one of the last kids chosen for teams but somehow avoided that childhood embarrassment.

At the same time I also had the lucky benefit of not gaining weight until I hit 30. I was able to avoid exercise at all costs. The thing is, it all catches up to you. Boom! Hit 30 and ten extra pounds suddenly appeared. Last week I was instantly depressed when Dr. Oz said I can expect to gain 12-15 pounds just from menopause. Then you start to think about aging and that to age in a healthy way, you need to exercise.

So now I exercise whether I like it or not. And I don't like it. It's become an unfortunate necessity. I might hate it, but at least I've crossed the line so that now I have to workout because my body is in more pain if I don't. My cardio of choice? Spin class.

But I saw the XOSO league and was really wanting to join. After all, kickball and dodgeball don't take great athletic ability. Surely I can handle it. When my friend, Mark, said he wanted to play I said I would join him. We'd both try it out together. There was a new foam dodgeball season starting up that is only going to last five weeks. That seemed harmless enough. If I didn't like it, I would only have to survive five weeks.

Turns out, I like it! We had our first games and my team, the Sactown Smackdown (named by Mark), had a double header. Each match lasts 30 minutes. The teams are coed and they mix up the teams so that you are playing with people from other teams. It makes it more social and less competitive. It's all in good fun.

I was worried when I had read over all the rules. Actually, it turned out to not be that bad. You play as many games as you can within the 30 minute match. My only problem is I can't throw a ball worth a darn. I've got no power and no aim. Most of the time I just dodged and then handed balls to the guys to make the throws. Still, we won a majority of our games.

Afterward everyone headed over to Streets of London. They give a discount to league members if you are wearing your team shirt. The games didn't stop. All of the teams mixed together and started playing a drinking game. It became apparent that any fitness benefit from playing dodgeball was soon negated by the calories ingested via the drinking games. But I really liked how social the league was.

Alan, a new teammate who has played in a couple of XOSO leagues before, told me that the social aspect is what he loves about XOSO. Unlike a softball league where you pretty much bond with your team but not necessarily with opposing teams, the XOSO teams all mix and socialize together.

So after only one night I am very happy with joining the league. I think I might be the oldest one in this season, but age isn't really the issue. It's about getting out, finding a new physical activity that's fun, meeting new people, and not sitting at home on a Wednesday night.