I know for most men sports is a big part of their life and most conversations revolve around what is happening in the world of baseball, football, soccer, basketball, golf etc. Sports however just don’t seem to interest me and never have done. There have been certain times where I feel alienated from other guys and our culture in general because sport just means nothing to me. I have other interests that I prefer to take up my time; coding and computers get me excited, angry, energized and passionate just like some men feel with sports. I don’t feel like I should pretend to be interested and waste my time watching sports just to fit in.
Not to mention talking sports, I can’t even get myself to exercise or do anything sports related.
Growing Up in a Sports-Oriented Society
Sports are a very prominent institution in our culture and especially where I grew up. Almost every other male in my high school played in a sports team of some sort and it was all everyone ever talked about. My dad was never really in to any sports other than hiking and fishing, so he never influenced me in that way. At school I hated gym class but I would just try and get through it as best I could until it was over. Spending time with other kids at school was a bit uncomfortable for me because 90% of the conversation was about who was picked for the team and who beat who in the game last night. I didn’t really get bullied but I was definitely a ‘nerd’, I would prefer to study and use the school computers than run around the football field looking all macho.
My Friends and Family
With my parents, the fact that I prefer to talk about anything other than sports is fine as sports is not really a part of their life either and we can find much more interesting subjects to talk about. With my friends, it did used to be a problem but those closest to me have similar interests so we usually spend our time talking about new software, technology and programming. I do have a few guys that are old friends that love sports, mainly soccer and baseball. When we meet up they try to avoid the topic as they know it bores me, but a lot of the time they can’t help themselves and I totally understand so don’t hold it against them. It is their passion just like coding is mine, so I just let them get on with it, smiling and nodding until the subject is changed.
Meeting New People
The toughest time for me is when I meet new people and talking to strangers. Most people would assume that all young men like myself would be really into some kind of sport, and they start asking me all kinds of questions about teams and people I have no idea about. I find it slightly awkward and embarrassing and just have to tell them that I don’t really follow any sports, my interests are more with gadgets, technology and software. When I tell people my passion is coding most of them look at me with a frown that means they have no idea what I am talking about, so I try to fluff it up a bit and make it sound a bit more general. In these situations I do feel a bit embarrassed and think maybe I should have more interest in sports like most other men in the country, but then later I think to myself no, I am proud of who I am and what I do.