Welcome to Hurley to Rise

Posted by on June 16, 2009 in Hurling in America, My effort, The basics of hurling

So you’re probably wondering what in the world this blog is about. The title, “Hurley to Rise,” certainly isn’t the clearest to American audiences.

The name, in part, is a nod to how I want to change my life. I want to “rise” above my current lifestyle of TV-watching, Web-surfing and general laziness and get in shape. I want to pull myself together and be more fit and feel good about myself.

The other part — the “hurley” part — is a little more obtuse, and I’ll do my best to explain.

“What the heck is a ‘Hurley?’ I can guess you’re asking. Most Americans only know ‘Hurley’ as a character on ‘Lost.’ Others might wonder if I’m referring to Elizabeth Hurley, the lovely British actress best known as Hugh Grant’s ex.Hurling equipment -- Hurley and sliotar

But those aren’t the hurleys that I’m talking about. I’m talking about the stick used by hurler.

Still not helping? Well, before I go any further, let me state that being a hurler, at least in this instance, has nothing to do with tossing your cookies after a long night at the bar.

A hurler is a person who plays the sport of hurling.

Yep, I know, offering the name “hurling” is no big help either. That’s because, except for a few organizations in the U.S.’s biggest cities, hurling is a sport that’s unknown to most of America.

But fly across the pond to Ireland, and you’ll soon find a game that’s got fans as rabid as the NFL and players as tough as anyone in the NHL.

In short: Hurling is a traditional gaelic field game, where two teams of 15 fight to smack a baseball-sized ball into two possible scoring stations. Most people describe it as a mix of lacrosse, hockey and baseball.

That description does the game no justice though. It’s exciting. It’s exhilarating.

And I want to get in on the action.

Take a peek at the YouTube video below for an idea of what I’m talking about.

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Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

That’s what I thought after I watched this video, and several others peppered throughout the ocean that is YouTube.

And then, I thought, “Gee, I bet I could learn to play that game.”

It was a crazy idea because I’m no athlete. I’m a pretty sedentary guy. I’m just an Average Joe office worker who’s biggest physical activity is mowing the lawn.

But with “Hurley to Rise,” I want to change that.

My goal here is three-fold:

  1. – Learn how to play hurling.
  2. – Get in shape in order to do so.
  3. – Learn more about hurling, its 3,000 year history and help (in my own little way) introduce it to America.

I have no idea how well I’ll do, but keep watching this blog for text and video updates on my efforts.

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