Can the FI crowd shoot a basketball?

Is it lack of skill or personal choice to eschew a good frugal game of hoops?

I’ve noticed a pattern of certain activities common in the financial independence movement.

You can’t generalize completely but lots of the community seems to love biking anywhere and everywhere along with hiking in nature and running.  Weight lifting and strength training seem popular too.  Where’s all the love for the game of basketball?

You don’t need a gym membership to play.  You can just chug on over to the local recreation center to the outdoor court and play in a pickup game.  I’ve read a lot of these websites and never hear a mention about the humble game of hoops.  Is it a lack of coordination and skill or those other great sports are that much better?  You can play 5 on 5 shirts vs. skins and have a tremendous workout.  Just don’t try and play in running shoes.  I did that in my youth and rolling your ankle over in those is a recipe for long term sprain pain.  Even if you can’t find a full court pickup game just going out and shooting around by yourself for 30 minutes is fun and free.  A ball only costs about 20 bucks and lasts a couple of years with regular use and you probably don’t even need to buy one as somebody at the park probably has one right now and is willing to share.

I used to play all the time but had to give it up because the game is a little too rough on the city courts.  I wasn’t used to all the physical play and getting hit with so many elbows so maybe an old man’s rec. league is more my speed these days.  it’s something I enjoy and am skilled enough to play with average players.  At 5’10” on my best day and a little slow I won’t be signing any NBA contract soon but would like to find a way to get back to the game.  Can you dribble and shoot a basketball or do you just prefer other activities?

Some other activities super savers don’t seem to do.

  • Golf:  It was a good day when I put my golf clubs away 4-5 years ago.  I was not a natural like the other “rotation” sports.  Basically it was no fun to go out and not be any good and pay for the privilege.  Where we live you could go out and carry your clubs on a public course for around 20 bucks for a round.  So it wasn’t the cost that eventually turned me off to it, but the fact that it could take up 4 hours or more of your time and the fact that the nearest course were at least a 30 minute drive from my house keeps me on the sidelines.  I even took a lesson or two some years back but the practice ranges are far away too.  Have I ever told you how much I loathe getting in the car to do an activity?  I loathe it quite a bit.  I gave away one set of clubs that  I got for free from my old playing partner but keep a set ($50 used) around in case my very close friends might be getting together to play.  I find it unlikely that I’ll be going out regularly in the future, though.  If I ever find myself living close to a course and range where I can buy a season pass I’ll have to rethink it.  See, I enjoy practicing and improving but not if it means an hour of my time in traffic and laying out bucks at the same time.  I haven’t really missed going out and being terrible.
  • Hunting:  I grew up in a hunting family and learned all the safety aspects of handling firearms and even taught a portion of the hunting safety course in my hometown of Buttcrack, Nowhere.  My old man was a weapons instructor for the prison system and he shot a deer almost every year when I was growing up.  It wasn’t a big production like some have to make with tree stands and thousands of dollars worth of gear and travel, either.  He just put on his blaze-orange jacket and walked to the woods behind the house and sat on a log and hopefully a deer would walk by.  It seems to me like a pretty frugal activity so long as you’re eating whatever you kill, like turkeys or ducks or deer.  I never loved it as running and basketball took up all my interest, but you don’t read much about the nature loving blog writers ever hunting much or fishing for that matter.  Maybe they’re closeted hunters/fishers.  I also never had the desire to gut and clean an animal that I may have shot.  I love the taste of animal but have been perfectly happy with whatever they have at the grocery store.  What about you?  Have you ever tried any of these activities and loved or hated them?
We’re not here to blast anything to kingdom come.  We’re just walking around.

16 Replies to “Can the FI crowd shoot a basketball?”

  1. I have noticed that about activities. Everybody’s “lifting.” I listened to a personal finance podcast where they launched into a discussion of their “rowing.” Took me a second to figure out what that was. I think this crowd is all about having quantifiable statistics. You know they’re tracking their progress down to the gram. You can’t really do that with a team sport. I’ve never been much for sports (the social aspect scares me off) but I’m all about getting outside and walking or biking, and go on and off with doing aerobics and some weights inside.

  2. I played basketball when I was a kid, then everybody else got taller, I didn’t!
    Tried golf a few times and we really don’t like each other.
    Not interested in hunting/fishing. Grocery store is fine for me too!
    I do enjoy squash and tennis even if I don’t play much anymore .My favorite free sport is walking/hiking.

  3. Ha! I’m 6’4″ and can shoot ok from the outside but I’m not a great dribbler. ANd no I can’t dunk. As for golf – hate it. But I do like going to the driving range to let off steam. And I do not hunt but I love fishing!

  4. I love basketball, i just quite frankly suck at it lol. ANYone in this community would probably give me a good thrashing, but i’m a fun sport.

    I tried to go golfing, at Top Golf, an indoor type location, all you have to do is hit the damn ball and i’m even waaay worse at that than basketball lol

    I need help Freddy lol

    1. so long as it’s fun that’s all that matters. golf is one of those things you might want help with from a friend who kinda knows how to describe what to do. i’m not your guy for that but could help with the hoops.

  5. I grew up in Indiana, so Basketball was my religion as a kid. But it’s been several years since I’ve played. I’m 6’5″ but am pretty good from outside, so I’m atypical in that most people would expect me to play post.
    But golf is my game now. I just don’t play as often as I’d like to, because we have two golf seasons in Southwest Florida: too hot and too expensive!

    1. hey, thanks for stopping by. i was hoping my little post would draw out some of the ball sport people. we used to vacation in NC and i found out quickly why the rates went so low after 1pm. it was about 105 in the shade in summer. i was a golf cheapskate.

  6. Golfing is expensive and I can see how it can make you subconsciously increase your lifestyle inflation risk. Also, I sucked at it.

    I like the free “FI style” activities too- hiking and running lol!

  7. Mrs. Thrifty and I went fishing all the time before the girls were born. We still get out with them every now and then, but it’s a little more challenging to carve the time out.

    Not the best at basketball but like to play. I prefer racquetball and running when I get the chance.

    I think there is something to personal finance folks being so quantitatively minded and spending so much time with weights in the gym…

    -Mr. Thrifty

    1. you get a lot of bang for your buck with running and weights, that’s for sure. 20 minutes going pretty hard a few days a week will keep you fit. i haven’t fished since childhood but might have to try it again if we ever move to a more rural area. thanks for visiting.

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