Like many Americans, I only recently learned about the sport of Hurling and Gaelic Football. And, like most Americans who decide to take the leap and hit the pitch, they fall in love with everything about the sports. Deep down, I know I’m not the only novice who can’t resist the urge to share with friends and co-workers about it (if I am, I apologize to the many people I have potentially annoyed!)
At the risk of receiving strong reactions to “limiting” my reasons for hurling in a confining 10-item list, I hope it will encourage others to add to it. While everyone’s reasons are different (bribed, bored, or even blackmailed!!) more of our friends and neighbors need to hear WHY we do what we do, so to encourage them to embrace it as well, even as a supporter and fan. In no particular order….
Helps with enunciation. No. Hurling, not curling. It does become a great starting point to discuss the sport.
Become an historian. I immediately did as much research as I could as soon as I heard about it.
Tradition and culture. It’s a great feeling to participate in something that is so rooted in Ireland’s history and culture.
Cheaper than a gym membership. My first time on the pitch confirmed that I have been imagining the level of fitness I was in. This is where nostalgia falls short.
Spending time with your children. It’s been a wonderful thing to take the hurls outside and play with the boys. Needless to say, we’re all running more since our accuracy is still developing!
New relationships. I’ve noticed that hurling has created friendships with people I otherwise would never have met in the course of everyday life.
Helps maintain sobriety. (Or can at least prevent public drunkenness) If you can no longer say “sliotar” correctly, then you’ve probably had enough.
Travel. It’s been great driving to other parts of the region to participate in games, or see my children play. Who can pass up trips to Boston and San Francisco?!
Dedication and flexibility. While playing has not required an intense commitment, there is a certain level of dedication to the team and practice. On the other hand, I’m earning to lighten up a bit since most hurling events start later than “scheduled”.
Hella Fun!! This is where the new guy, like me, was sold. If you play with guys who have recently picked up the sport, they’ll guide you through the trials of learning the roll lift and getting past the “odd” grip hurlers have. If you can find a club with down-to-earth guys who help you learn, then that’s the club you want!
As I finished the list, more came to mind, but we’ll keep it like it is. I welcome additions to the list! Hit the pitch!