Ted Talks: Hobby Shopping

By Ted Spiker

Typically, I like to make decisions thoughtfully and quickly. I don’t hesitate over simple choices (tonight it shall be merlot!), I try to use a mix of logic and emotion to come to conclusions, and I don’t like to linger in the purgatory of indecision.

Right now, though, I’m stewing, I’m stalling, and I could use a little help.

With my twin sons having graduated college last year, it feels like a monumental end to a major period of my life, but it also feels like a fitting point to reevaluate what changes I want. I’ve been thinking about trying a new hobby/sport/ activity, but the only problem is I can’t decide what I want to invest in, though I know I can approach it the way I do buffets—try everything.



HISTORY: I’ve made three attempts
(one time semi-successfully).

PROS: What can beat hanging out in the ocean?
Fun, no pressure to perform, and I’m intrigued by the spiritual aspect of it all.

CONS: Big boy got no balance



HISTORY: None. I’ve toyed with tennis, and I used to play racquetball in college.

PROS: Competitive without the pounding of other sports, and it feels sorta right—it’s active and scratches a competitive itch without all the injuries I get from pickup hoops.

CONS: What. Have. I. Become?


Mountain Biking

HISTORY: I did a lot in my 20s, but very little since
moving to Florida in 2001.

PROS: You’re in nature, you work hard, and you more than earn your post-ride triple-decker corned beef sandwiches.

CONS: Still haunted by the time I broke my seat mid-ride. (See: too many triple-decker corned beef sandwiches.)



HISTORY: I spent a good number of years dabbling
in races (running, obstacle, triathlons), and I’ve been thinking about picking it up again.

PROS: Familiar territory.

CONS: Familiar territory.


HISTORY: None, unless you count elementary
school judo. And watching Cobra Kai.

PROS: Seems like a challenging and rewarding way
to work your body and mind.

CONS: I can see myself earning a black belt in pulled hamstrings.


Activities Not Making My Finalist List:

GOLF: Is the time worth it? GOLF: Is the expense worth it? GOLF: Is the long learning curve worth it?

WATER POLO: Is having to appear in public in a Speedo worth it?


  • Want to weigh in and let me know about your experience in one of these sports or another one? Tweet me at @ProfSpiker or email me at ProfSpiker@gmail.com. If I don’t answer immediately, it’s because I’m out trying to choose my new pickleball racquet.
  • Did you know… January is National Hobby Month!


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