I am the typical example of a couch potato, in Germany we probably say "couch potato". I spend a lot of time within my own four walls, a large part of it sitting at the computer, another part in a reading chair, in front of the TV or at the dining table.
Accordingly, my doctor is only - shall we say - partially satisfied with my external appearance. The Bochum cabaret artist Jochen Malmsheimer lives by the motto: "When good things become more, I can't find anything wrong with them...." and thus indulges his figure, but of course means what the bathroom scales indicate - namely increasingly more - in the truest sense of the word.
That's how it is with me, too. I am too small for my weight. You could also say: I'm too heavy. And although I don't often step on the scale, I notice this regularly without having to look in the mirror. For example, when I reach into my closet. My shirts are all made in the "comfort-fit" style. Malicious tongues say: one-man tent style.
Well, it's not quite that bad yet, as good friends (and that's why they are such) keep telling me. I'm not round as a ball, but I'm not slim either. And that's why I often get ridicule when people ask me if I do sports. Those who ask this question often mean it as a rhetorical question in view of my body measurements.
But I still answer: Yes, I do play a sport. And - yes - I am clearly talking about golf. It's not uncommon for me to hear that golf is just a walk with a heeled Porsche, that the path across the courses is nothing more than a casual stroll, and that the only thing that might be required is a little effort to move the cart with the golf bag.
But that's just the way people talk who have either never held a golf club before or those who lack any ambition when it comes to golf (in which case you don't even have to go on the course).
Of course, for me golf is first and foremost relaxation, and that's why I play the sport. But it also gets me off the couch and forces me to use my feet (a golf cart is a nice invention, but I prefer to walk from shot to shot). Ultimately, however, the compulsion is nothing negative, because golf is also really fun.
So for me, playing this sport is a win-win situation: the head feels good and the body gets the exercise that the family doctor at the last visit again attached so much importance to, that he so emphatically recommended, even admonished.
For critics, the fact that I tend to have a paunch despite golf is proof enough that golf is not a sport. But this proof is not valid, because you can do any sport and not be slim, you just have to eat and drink the right (or wrong) things after sport.
If you are an amateur athlete who is mentally on the borderline of competitive sports, you will reach for isotonic drinks or pure water after the effort and for energy bars or steamed vegetables if you want a little more.
I, on the other hand, I admit it, prefer a good beer (or two) and a schnitzel with fries. It may also be a currywurst. And of course, that more than makes up for the calories consumed in the hours before.
Or let's put it another way: Without golf, I'd probably be round as a ball and wouldn't be able to climb any more stairs, but without beer and schnitzel with fries, I'd probably be almost slim. Because golf is sport - and that's what friends and acquaintances have confirmed to me after they played 18 holes with me for the first time as newcomers.
Golf is strenuous, sweaty, and gets into your arms and legs. The more clearly you aim to improve your game, the more energy you put into it. In the beginning, into strength, because technique is lacking, later, with technique, into concentration and thinking about how and with what you will execute the next stroke.
And you mustn't forget that you also cover some miles. If you play - as I do - mostly on the outskirts of the Ruhr area, it happens on the plain. But when I complete a course in my former home, the Sauerland, I'm constantly going up and down. And consume even more calories.
Ultimately, you can list all this and still not be able to dissuade the non-golfer from the fact that, in his opinion, golf is just as much a sport as chess - just not at all. Therefore, in conclusion, my tip from experience: Don't try to convince your counterpart with words. Instead, take him (or her) on an 18-hole round and let your guest push the trolley. Afterwards you can discuss the question whether sport or not in a whole new way. My word for it.
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