Saturday, July 18, 2009

Farbs and Hardcores

Posted By on Sat, Jul 18, 2009 at 2:36 PM

The first time I came across the word "farb" was in Tony Horwitz's book "Confederates in the Attic" about Civil War reenactors. Hardcore reenactors make their own clothes, sleep in the mud, and march barefoot. Farbs buy their clothes, sleep in tents from Wal-Mart, and eat store-bought food.

Farb can be a noun or a verb, and it can apply to any human enterprise including sports.

Farbs buy all the latest equipment and clothing from head to toe. You can see them on bikes, golf courses, tennis courts, in trout streams, and at workouts. To "farb" is not the same as quitting or wimping out. Farbs just don't try very hard and are there to be seen as much as anything. Hardcores don't care how they look. Every piece of equipment has a reason. And they work themselves like animals.

If you're trying to get good at a new sport you don't want to be either one. A farb will be easily spotted even if not called a farb. Being hardcore can hurt you. Your body isn't ready in days or even weeks for some levels of activity. A pulled hamstring, torn calf muscle, or torn meniscus puts you down for a week or more if it requires surgery.

At the River Workout Saturday, instructor Stacy Chick went easy on us. She mixed jogging with crunches, agility drills, jumping rope, hula hoops, lunges, and the dreaded squats. If this is your thing, you can sign up for ten classes, but be warned that the weather will probably be a lot hotter and more humid than it was today.

Four Flyer employees got through it with no damage. No farbs in the group, and three women with definite hardcore potential.

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