"I mean really, how often do you look at a man's shoes?" - Ellis Boyd Redding

There's not exactly a wealth of magnificence accrued in my 30 years on this planet thus far. I was a rotund child forced into playing rugby against boys in secondary school that were already twice my size. I remember cricket balls hurtling at my face at a hundred miles an hour from a boy that went on to play for the England squad. Sports in school didn't seem all that fair for a chubby funster that would sooner fake asthma than run the 1500m. But maybe that was the point. Maybe they wanted me to do something about it.

All I know is that today, I'm 6ft 4" (193cm), 100kg (yes I tend to mix my metric and imperial), and a shadow of my former (flabby) self. I'm glad I was pushed back in secondary school, because at least 50% of the motivation I have for my current exercise regime comes from wanting to be better than that unusually round little boy that would hide behind a blue inhaler like it was a snorkel allowing me to breathe in my sea of laziness.

I've few sporting achievements to speak of. My highest break in snooker is 32. American Football is a pleasure to watch, but damn it's a hassle to play. I can clean 125kg and snatch a modest 110. I've managed to grab a few belts in kickboxing, and I'm the one most on the floor during my frequent Muay Thai sparring sessions. I compete occasionally in weightlifting. I'm on the fence about powerlifting.

Each month that passes is a month that has me more convinced that exercise, in the form of various sporting endeavors, is one of the vital pillars that holds up the human experience. Martial Arts in particular are as humbling as they are challenging, and sports generally force a person to challenge him or herself each and every time they step onto the court/into the gym/into the ring/into the dojo/onto the mat/onto the course/into the octagon.

That said, I'm passionate enough about certain sports to have more than just a passing word to say about them. That's why I'm here: to browse and contribute to the sporting community in any way possible by weighing in my opinion, regardless of how weighty it is.

Bring on the trumpets