Friday, May 7, 2010

Top 3 Thursday - Outdoor Activities

This week's rendition of "Top 3 Thursday" brings us our favorite outdoor activities. This is going to be a very tough list for me to narrow down. I've lived in a small town all my life where most of our activities growing up and even now involve being outside. I suppose I'll take a swing at it, though. Without further ado...

Baseball/"Old Man" Softball From the time I was strong enough to hold a bat, until I got too old to play little league, I was on one of the city's baseball teams. Before I started working nights, I was on any given team in our industrial softball league. Basically all the plants and mills in the area form teams and play against one another. I have no clue what my fascination with baseball is. All the men in my family before me played football, excluding my grandfather, who played both baseball and football. My father played running back for Long Beach Polytechnical High School in California when he was in school. My grandfather played for Carroll High School in Ozark. To me there is just something about strapping on cleats and putting on the glove that makes me feel at ease. I mean, the last year I was able to play "little league" I batted .346 with 29HR and 86 RBI. I still, to my knowledge, hold the single season city record for home runs (39) in any age group. Its one of those things that I've always been good at. I sometimes find myself watching collegiate games on television for the sole purpose of hearing the ping of the aluminum bats when they make contact. Maybe one day I can kick around that tell-tale orange dirt again, and hear my mother complain about me getting dirt and grass stains on my white pants.

Fishing Its almost a given that this be on the list. I live less than a mile from one of the most renowned lakes in the world for bass fishing. The same grandfather that played football and baseball has also fished with BASS (Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society). For those that don't know, those guys are the best of the best. Those are the guys that get paid $10,000 for catching the highest weight total in a 3-day event. They get paid to fish. I gotta get in on that. I can't even recall the first fish I caught. I remember vividly the first time I hooked a largemouth. I was 7 years old and my grandfather had to help me reel it in. It weighed in at just over 4lbs. What got me hooked - pun intended - on largemouth was the fact that that fish jumped completely out of the water while I was fighting him. Its one of the best fights in all of fishing when you snag a big one. While I mainly fish for largemouth, I'll go for anything. Catfish, bream, crappie, you name it. I can catch it. If only time at work passed by as quickly as it does when you have a line in the water....

Riding 4-Wheelers Again, I live in a small town. In South Alabama. Don't judge me. I've been riding ATVs since I was big enough to climb up on one. Some people like to go out and act a fool by jumping dirt mounds and "crawling" over fallen timber and rocks. Me? No. I just like to crank up the Honda Rancher, find a dirt road, and ride. A few weekends ago I joined 2 friends of mine on a ride. If my memory serves me correctly we rode almost 60 miles - just riding. You can take in a bunch when you're cruising along at 30mph. *Note to self* Need to do that again soon. Anyway. Perhaps the best part of this is how cheap it is. I didn't even use a gallon of gas on the venture. And my entire Saturday consisted of me being in the outdoors on a sunny April weekend. Can't ask for much better than that.

Stay classy...

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