BlackRaven, I understand how hard it is to step out of your comfort zone with sports - it can seem so competitive and intimidating.
I have attended beginner’s clinics for various sports, offered by the parks and recreation department, community services, or different groups who are trying to recruit new members, usually at a low cost or for free. I had not played tennis since gym class in high school, when they had the students do 6 week units of different sports (I’m 62 now, it’s been awhile!). I moved to another town about twenty minutes away after my divorce, and I got really lucky - a friend talked me into taking the short intro lessons through parks and rec. I loved it, and the coach told me about an over-55 women’s team that was looking for new players. It was way out of my comfort zone to join a team, but I think I was so hungry for connection (but at the same time adverse to dating, and even to men for a long time…), and desperate to feel that I was good at something, that I was willing to give it a try.
There’s an aquatic center at a river in my area that’s run by the local university - they offer kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddle board lessons. A couple friends and I took the beginner class, we each fell into the water several times but it was a lot of fun. The equipment/watercraft can be rented at the aquatic center so I haven’t invested in anything yet. Pickleball is extremely popular in my community - a group of players formed a local pickleball club that offers clinics for a nominal fee. I took the beginner’s clinic and was hooked! That sport is growing like crazy, and if you can play ping pong/table tennis you’d probably do great at it.
I’ve also looked into the various Meetup groups in my area but haven’t tried any yet. There are a lot of options for sports or so many other interests.
It’s been a lot of fun taking clinics with other people who are trying out a new sport, usually they are nervous also! So far I’ve never felt totally out of place or that I didn’t belong there. It can also help to get a friend to sign up with you, so you don’t walk in alone that first time. I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly you get comfortable, and whether you enjoy it and continue or not, you’ve done something new and maybe made some new friends.
Something that has been really helpful for me (once I got through the initial shock of the first d-day, then the tsunami of revelations of what the ex had been doing), is reminding myself often that I’ve survived the most horrific, devastating relationship experience I could imagine, so no matter how I do in trying a new sport or anything else, even if I fail miserably, even if I make a fool of myself, I'll be ok.
[This message edited by MakeMineReal at 9:11 PM, Wednesday, March 16th]