“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” - Socrates
I, like many other people it seems on Facebook, enjoyed the TEDex talk by Devon Boorman's . It was refreshing to see someone talk about HEMA from a personal development perspective which I think is a very compelling selling point for HEMA in general. It's also something I could watch with my Wife and discuss themes that we could both relate to.
My perspective was/is slightly different from Devon's but similar. I was physically capable of "sports" and on school "field" days I did quite well and spent several years being gently harassed by various Coaches to attend games. Now I was never top shelf material and I'm pretty sure I was only seen as necessary to make up a full squad. But they could just never get me to show up for games.
Partly this was down to the social side of it. In my experience, team sports at school are not really about ability but largely about social interaction. If you were part of the right social group then you would get the ball, you would "fit in" with the team and from that you would receive attention from the Coach. While I knew a few people who were genuinely gifted at Sports the vast majority I knew were just the friends of those people. I generally wasn't friends with the designated "sporty types" so I didn't really get the opportunity to get into Sports. This was largely choice though on my behalf because I just found them boring. I never wanted to sacrifice the joys of running through the woods with a pretend sword or building immense castles out of straw bales for getting up early on a weekend morning to catch a bus, in school uniform, to stand in the pissing rain in some frozen field somewhere in Scotland to stand around while a bunch of other guys passed the ball to each other.
Fortunately though I never labelled myself as "not sporty" I just labelled myself as "not part of the Sporting Aristocracy." The net result was that when life presented me with an opportunity for physical activity that stimulated my interest I've not been loath to take it. From multi-day wilderness hikes, to rock climbing, kayaking, biking, boxing and when I found a bunch of guys fighting with swords in a car park (exactly like Devon's experience) I took it.