Adventure Sports

2013 Honey Badger Holiday Party

The much heralded Honey Badgers franchise had their 2nd annual holiday party. Invites went out to current and past Honey Badgers greats. It’s a very exciting time.

The turn out was pretty solid, around 10 people or so. Unfortunately we did have a bunch of last minute declines, but realistically as we get older that no longer surprises me. People just seem to have more things going on.

Once again hosting veteran Fierce served as the generous host and did another fantastic job. This year we decided to hold a tournament of holiday themed games. I made a scoreboard all by myself with no help, and we would use that to keep official score of the various game’s outcomes.

Here were some of the amazing games that we played:

  • Cotton Ball Race
  • Toothpick Marshmallow Towers (the only failure)
  • Jingle in the Trunk
  • Merry Fishmas
  • Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa (rock, paper, scissors)
  • Holiday Song Lyrics
  • Sudoku
  • Christmas Ball

I was very glad to see just how much fun everyone had participating. We had some very impressive and fun moments. Congrats to Caitlin and Dustin on their team victory! It was a true Christmas miracle!

The was also a gift exchange, where you could trade, open, or draw a swap from a hat. I’m not sure I can fully explain it as I’m not sure I fully understood it, but it worked and everyone walked away happy. There were high heels of lotion, a strange baby from San Diego, and countless other amazing goodness. Another Christmas miracle for all!

Another very fun and successful Honey Badger Holiday Party!



Dodgeball Fall 2013 Opener

Few things get me as excited as opening week of an SJSL sport. It’s like the first day of school, when you are bombarded with catching up with so many friends who you haven’t seen in a while. Lots of handshakes, how’ve you beens, and nods going around.

This season was particularly exciting for me as we had a lot of new free agents assigned to the team. I kept practicing their names and did my best to stalk them online beforehand (that sounds so much worse now that I read it) so that I had an idea of what they looked like and I could give them a proper greeting to the team. So I was eager to meet that and hoping that they would be a good fit for the team.

It turns out that they were all pretty great and team first players. Couldn’t of really asked for a better new bunch. They fit right in and brought our team much needed youth to our squad. Their energy and enthusiasm is a much needed addition to our seasoned vets (and I’m getting pretty old and gray).

We got beaten pretty handily against a very strong That’s What She Said team, but as the night went on you could see great improvement on our side, and we were able to win several of the later matches. I was really impressed with how our girls played against a very strong girl team, keeping those throws low and making some catches. I think on most nights that will win us a good amount of matches.

Our guys were very solid too. While we don’t have any extremely strong arms on the court, we made up with it with some smart throws and good teamwork. We really did a pretty great job playing together, especially considering all the new guys on the team.

Honey Badger of the Week Kevin had one of his better games I’d ever seen him play. Not only did he play great and went for catches, he also really stepped it up as a leader on the team! Constantly pointing out tactics to our new guys, he really made us all play better.

Very excited with our new energetic squad and can’t wait to see how the season unfolds.


SJSL Summer 2013 Kickball All-Star Game

This summer the SJSL kickball league decided to have their first ever all-star game. What a great idea! Each team had to nominate a male and female player to represent their respective team in the game.

Being so amazingly awesome the Honey Badgers insisted that I would be our guy on the team. I truly believe that we have several guys on our team more deserving to play this season than myself, but they really went out of their way to select me and there was no way I could back out of this one. What a bunch of amazing teammates!

Choosing a girl was a bit tougher. Both Irena and Caitlin have had an excellent season for the Badgers in contrasting ways. One dominating with offense and the other with defense. Ultimately we went with Irena, but either way we were sending a great representative. They are both pretty terrific and I’m so glad to have them on my team.

The league also chose me to act as captain for our respective division. Yes, apparently I’m kinda a big deal in the SJSL. If only my entire life were so! An autograph session will be held shortly of course.

So the first order of business was to learn everyone’s name and where they were comfortable playing. I knew everyone’s face, but to finally get a name to place was great. We’ve played so many intense games against these guys over the years it was nice to be with them for a change. I was really impressed with how team first everyone was.

The game itself was very fun. We dug ourselves a really deep hole getting off to a rough start in the field. It was obvious we weren’t yet comfortable playing with everyone just yet.

I have to admit I was pretty nervous the first inning. I had hardly played in the field most of the season, letting my guys play and also resting my elbow. So playing right field with no substitutes did have me a little nervous to start. I did drop one I really should have caught in the first, but after that I settled down and things went well.

Irena was amazing and had one of if not her finest overall games! She really made us look good and came up with some big kicks in some big situations. Mike was dominant at third, pretty much single handedly getting us out of a few jams with some great plays.

While we had some excellent plays, we also had too many sloppy ones too. But that kinda comes with playing with different people. I do have to say that that a few of our opponents girls had some amazing kicks getting behind out outfielders. One of the girls really shocked us with her range, she did not look like she would be launching balls that far.

I didn’t feel comfortable telling people too much of what to do, as they’re all pretty great and it’s an all-star game, so I tried to lead by example. So I decided to run, and run a lot. Covering the infield on every play, helping out at 2nd, being the cut off man, and sprinting on the bases each and every time. I’m not sure if it worked or not, but I do know that I was drenched with sweat and completely exhausted by the end of the game.

Sadly despite a pretty amazing comeback, we would go on to lost the all-star game to a very solid team. They did a great job out there and just made more solid plays on the night.

It was a really great experience and I’m so glad my team was so generous to select me to play. It was great to see all the Honey Badgers who turned out to cheer us on. I’ve got some pretty amazing teammates.

Adventure Sports

Indoor Climbing

Recently I’ve been really into Ninja Warrior and trying to incorporate some new training techniques into my workouts that I see the contestants doing on TV. Since a ton of the people who advance were climbers, I really wanted to give it a shot.

Did a little bit of and found that there was a pretty cool looking indoor climbing spot in South Jersey, Elite Climbing. This was exactly what I was hoping to find, but didn’t expect to find in the area. They offered a pretty reasonable beginners session, so it seemed ideal for me.

Now I just needed to find someone to climb with. So, I went with Fierce. I figured if she wasn’t up for it, then probably no one else that I knew would be. She confirmed immediately and planning a day to go was the first priority.

Decided to go right from work on a Thursday which happened to be Students/Educators night. So much to our surprise it would only cost us $15 for lessons and a full day pass. Oh and we also got a 50% off for the next visit. Quite the amazing deal!

I have to admit I was a bit nervous during the lessons. I’m notoriously a big cry baby with heights, and I was feeling soooooo tired that day having gotten very little sleep the day before and leaving directly from work. My robot like routine was interrupted and I was feeling it a bit.

Of course, I had to climb first. The first attempt was only half way up the wall, then I had to let go and we lowered down. Letting go of the wall and trusting that you won’t crash to the ground took a little bit of courage. But once you’re dangling there for a bit, you trust the apparatus and your partner for the rest of the night.

My first couple of climbs I did pretty well, making it to the top with not too much effort. We easily did some 5.6, climbs, then moved on to some 5.7’s and I think we even did a few 5.8’s in there too!

But after an hour or so, I just ran out of steam. I was just plain tired and my fatigue had completely caught up with me. It was so apparent that all I could do was laugh at it and take numerous falls about half way up the wall as to when I would run out of my now limited stamina.

We would go on to climb for a little over 2 and a half hours! It was really awesome and I’m so glad that I was able to try it out. It is something that I will surely do again!


Kickball Spring 2013 Regular Season

One of my personal favorite things the past few years has been playing kickball in the SJSL. It’s made my Tuesday nights a lot of fun and something I always look forward to (barring the tearing of elbow ligaments of course).

This season we had a lot of new faces to the team, as well as the most players we’ve ever had to manage on a roster. This would prove to be a challenge, especially early on in the season. It’s difficult to ease in so many new faces while also keeping the veterans happy that we are fielding a competitive team as well.

I have to admit that at the end of week 3 I was a bit concerned. Many of our vetereans were concerned that we weren’t the same team that we had been in the past, and I was starting to believe that as well. I had confidence that we could figure out a way to maximize everyone’s talent and field a strong team that was still having fun as well.

Having 14 people on a roster made it very difficult for everyone to get comfortable as there was constant rotations and we weren’t getting many at bats, some games I only got 2! So first I worked on finding fielding combinations that could maximize our existing talent and slowly ease in our new people without putting too much pressure on them to perform. In time we found a couple of combinations that did work, and they really worked mostly because of the unselfishness of our players in being willing to sit more than they’d like to let a teammate get a shot at playing too.

Over the past few weeks we have been an elite fielding team and it’s great to being back at that level.

Our batting order was pretty tough to figure out too. I really wanted to bunch our better kickers as much as possible at the top, especially since we weren’t getting many at bats any more. This was easy to figure out, but that left a big void in the bottom of our lineup.

I tried to mix up some speed in the bottom and hope that our new girls could keep the ball on the ground and an aggressive base runner could take advantage and pretty much execute hit and runs all the time. For a couple of weeks it was looking like no run production would be had from the bottom, but at the end of the season it finally clicked and the hit and run approach at the bottom began to pay off in a big way.

While this hasn’t been the easiest team to manage and win with in kickball, figuring it out and getting it to work has been very rewarding. We have finished the regular season with a very impressive 6-2 record and were in every game we played in. More importantly we found ways to win the close ones and really ran the bases well as a team (to the frustration of other teams at times).

A great regular season with a great bunch of players, and looking forward to the playoffs next week.

Adventure Sports

Flyers vs Devils

My friends thought it would be a fine idea to get everyone to hang out by going to a hockey game. I believe it was Kevin’s idea, and glad that he came up with it. It’s tough to get everyone together now, so any attempt is most welcomed.

Well my naive self figured, sure that’s a great idea because a hockey ticket could only be $20, right? Well I found out that I was most wrong on this assumption of the current rates for a hockey game. Despite having a moral stand on paying money to see a grown man play a sport while my lazy self is seated, I would find out that I would be $140 the poorer for attending.

For that price I surely thought I would if not be allowed to play, to at least touch the ice. However alas, it was not the case and I could only sit and watch.

And act like a fool during the whole game, since I’m really not into hockey at all. My favorite thing to do was to start “Jared Chants” throughout the game. Such as, “Let’s go Jared!”, a simple “Jared” and even an occasional “Jared you suck!”

Apparently no one on the ice was named Jared, so I probably seemed that much more a fool. Oh well, it did entertain the Shepherd a few rows ahead of me.

It was also discussing hockey with Tim and Wes. I mean, there was just so much hockey to be had! Hockey was everywhere!

I did wind up stealing an ice cream cone accidentally. I swear it had nothing to do with revenge for the ticket price, I truly thought that it was paid for as I walked away. It was cookies and cream in a waffle cone, and very delicious.

We did wind up hanging out a bit afterwards in the cold parking lot even though a warm refuge just feet away. It was nice to get to see everyone and chat a bit. It is amazing just how old everyone is getting, yet how little we have all changed over the years as well.

Perhaps the most amazing event of the night was when Alex started his car for us in the parking lot while he was using the restroom in the Spectrum. This used of technology truly impressed us all, some more than others.