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High Maintenance Hobbies?
Old 10-03-2017, 12:42 PM   #1
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High Maintenance Hobbies?

I enjoy reading about all of the hobbies that people are enjoying in their retirement. I've been thinking, a very dangerous thing DW tells me, that I have some hobbies that I would characterize as "high maintenance". If I don't participate in them regularly, they cease to be fun because I can't perform at a level that I find pleasurable. On the other hand, the need to "practice" can sometimes make the hobby feel more like a job.

Take golf, for instance, ten years ago I was ready to give up the game because I was only playing 8-10 times per year and couldn't break 80 because the skills couldn't be kept up. Golf is just a lot more fun for me if I'm shooting 75 than if I'm shooting 85.

Similarly, playing a musical instrument is a lot more fun when the output sounds like music. But that requires (for me) significant time with the instrument. A month away and I notice a deterioration in skills.

On the other hand, reading and cooking don't seem to require the same commitment to skill maintenance. Photography maybe falls somewhere in between.

Do any of you have "high maintenance" hobbies?
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:49 PM   #2
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Tennis, running, hiking. All high maintenance.

One of my favorite hobbies is being with my granddaughter. Shes still little and forgets who her Papa is if Im not around enough. So guess thats high maintenance as well.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:55 PM   #3
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Sure, running, especially doing marathons and ultras, requires a big training commitment. I can finish a marathon on minimal training if I don't mind walking a lot of it and don't care about my time, but if I want to meet my own goals I need to put in a lot of effort. I'm talking about running more than just for general fitness. Luckily I enjoy running, both alone and socially.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:57 PM   #4
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I have been trying to write a novel. Some writers can work at it for 10 minutes a day, leave it to tend to their day j*bs and families. I can't.

It takes me an hour of staring at the blank page before I gain any traction. Once I have some momentum, the prose flows. However, one interruption and the hour clock starts again.

So I would call writing fiction high maintenance. I either have to devote a huge block of time to it or nothing gets written.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:58 PM   #5
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Tennis, running, hiking. All high maintenance.

One of my favorite hobbies is being with my granddaughter. Shes still little and forgets who her Papa is if Im not around enough. So guess thats high maintenance as well.
Running is sorta high maintenance for me. I used to fly to other states to run Half Marathons. I can't run that distance anymore due to back and knee problems, but that was originally one of planned ongoing post-ER activities. Cost would have made it high maintenance.
Like the other responders, I am addicted to my physical activities. I'm still in recovery from a recent illness, and have no stamina right now. The non-activity is driving me crazy!
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:01 PM   #6
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I'm an amateur musician in a few bands. I consider myself "decent" but I play with a few people that are at the semi-pro level. They hear things in music that I sometimes didn't even know existed, lol. I can't take a month off as it would be noticeable...my regular practice is more about working on feel, timing, and goove as I already know how to play the songs.

I sometimes flirt with breaking 80 at "normal" difficulty golf courses, but I never practice, and in fact, don't even hit the putting green before a round. My score varies from 79 to 99 depending on the day. I accept my limitations in golf because I just can't be bothered to put in the practice to get better.
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:13 PM   #7
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Sports car racing, which I abandoned after 15 years but before retirement. Flying light airplane, typically $100-150/hour cost. I have commercial and instrument pilot ratings. Target shooting; my favorite pistol (out of about six) cost me $2000. Most of the rest were half or a little less than that. All three are high maintenance to maintain proficiency.

Do I win?
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:16 PM   #8
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Writing - I write by hand a lot (letters, journals, etc...). If I stop for a while, I get writers's block. And my wrist stiffens a bit, which affects the quality of my handwriting. So I try to write every day.

Hiking, speaking 3 languages fluently, and singing also require "maintenance".
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Music Lover View Post
I'm an amateur musician in a few bands. I consider myself "decent" but I play with a few people that are at the semi-pro level. They hear things in music that I sometimes didn't even know existed, lol. I can't take a month off as it would be noticeable...my regular practice is more about working on feel, timing, and goove as I already know how to play the songs.

I sometimes flirt with breaking 80 at "normal" difficulty golf courses, but I never practice, and in fact, don't even hit the putting green before a round. My score varies from 79 to 99 depending on the day. I accept my limitations in golf because I just can't be bothered to put in the practice to get better.
Very interesting to hear your comments about music. You play music that you know, but need to work on feel. In my situation, the next gig always involves new (to me) pieces of music. So I need to practice to keep up my technique (also feel, but I really need to feed off of the other players for that), because I never know to what degree the new pieces are going to push the boundaries of what my technique can deliver.

Your attitude toward golf is like my attitude toward tennis - I've got what I've got and I try to have fun with it.
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:45 PM   #10
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Depends on what high maintenance is. Cost, time, effort, skills, etc? From my POV, my two highest mtce hobbies are collectable cars and target shooting. Car's take a lot of time, money and skills. Target shooting takes far less time and money but needs a lot of regular practice to maintain my skill level (which isn't that good IMO). My other hobbies required very little on-going mtce.
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:54 PM   #11
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Boy do I ever have 'high maintenance' hobbies. Probably the biggest driving factor to get FIRE'd in the first place was to make time for them.

Where to start?

Kite surfing - as you progress you either go for the 'freestyle' path where you do high jumps and weird rotating and inverting moves or you go the surfing route. I chose the surfing route, but now I'm chasing ocean swell, wind, and waves in all kinds of hard to reach places. Planning to head to Baja next week in case anyone wants to join me on a bone jarring drive to a place with absolutely no services - not even fresh water - but nice big mushy waves with a perfect side offshore wind..

Paragliding - this is one of those sports where you have to keep your skills in check or the consequences can be fatal. There is a lot of driving around getting to a launch and then waiting - sometimes hours - for the 'just right' conditions to launch. If you're not that good - like me - then you land early and end up driving all over the boonies to pick up your XC buddies who are trying to break personal distance records. Retrievals easily go well into the early morning hours and talk about 'high maintenance' on your poor recovery vehicle.

Mountain biking - not really a 'high maintenance' hobby, but if you are a competitive type and hate to see your peers who are also aging and getting fatter blast past you up the hills then you need to make a habit of keeping up the weekly milage.

This is getting long, nordic skate skiing and backcountry skiing also have a fair bit of maintenance requirements as well.

Having said all of that, if 'practice' ever felt like having job (heaven forbid!), I would drop the hobby like hot rock. Which is what I did with rock climbing years ago. There are just too many fun and challenging things to do out there to not have fun doing them.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:02 PM   #12
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Paragliding - this is one of those sports where you have to keep your skills in check or the consequences can be fatal. There is a lot of driving around getting to a launch and then waiting - sometimes hours - for the 'just right' conditions to launch. If you're not that good - like me - then you land early and end up driving all over the boonies to pick up your XC buddies who are trying to break personal distance records. Retrievals easily go well into the early morning hours and talk about 'high maintenance' on your poor recovery vehicle.
Go to Switzerland especially the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Conditions always seem perfect there and the scenery is not bad either.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:04 PM   #13
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Very interesting to hear your comments about music. You play music that you know, but need to work on feel. In my situation, the next gig always involves new (to me) pieces of music. So I need to practice to keep up my technique (also feel, but I really need to feed off of the other players for that), because I never know to what degree the new pieces are going to push the boundaries of what my technique can deliver.

Your attitude toward golf is like my attitude toward tennis - I've got what I've got and I try to have fun with it.
I used to think of music strictly as notes, chords, technique, etc. Then one of my bands got a keyboard player who is very good...he's a master of theory and has the chops to back up local elite vocalists as a solo pianist. He learned our 40 song set list in a couple weeks and then (with our blessing and encouragement) he started having us work on the feel. At first I was a deer in the headlights..."what do you mean I'm playing it too straight", or "it has no groove"? I had no idea what he meant, and of course, no idea how to fix what I was doing wrong. It took a lot of work on my part but now (at least at times) I'm able to move from strictly playing notes to making music.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:12 PM   #14
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I used to think of music strictly as notes, chords, technique, etc. Then one of my bands got a keyboard player who is very good...he's a master of theory and has the chops to back up local elite vocalists as a solo pianist. He learned our 40 song set list in a couple weeks and then (with our blessing and encouragement) he started having us work on the feel. At first I was a deer in the headlights..."what do you mean I'm playing it too straight", or "it has no groove"? I had no idea what he meant, and of course, no idea how to fix what I was doing wrong. It took a lot of work on my part but now (at least at times) I'm able to move from strictly playing notes to making music.
Oh boy, does this sound familiar! I play with people who studied baroque flute in conservatory and their interpretive insights are incredible (as is their technique). The best thing for me is to just play with them - I can do much better mimicking them in context than I can trying to figure it out on my own. Funny how the same conversations come up in very different musical contexts. "Too straight" has definitely been directed at my playing.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:41 PM   #15
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Go to Switzerland especially the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Conditions always seem perfect there and the scenery is not bad either.
Yep! Have not been to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, but imagine it's great like so many other sweet flying sites in Europe. Was watching other pilots with great envy at Lake Annecy, France. The other super fun thing to do in the Alps is Via Ferrata. All the fun of rock climbing without the heavy rack and sketchy pro placement. There is a lot to love about Europe..
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:17 PM   #16
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Owning and flying an airplane. We joked around the airport that modifications/maintenance/etc. is talked about in the terms of "AMUs"...a single AMU is $1,000...so modification X might set you back 9 or 10 AMUs.

I enjoyed owning an airplane, but it was expensive and I am glad to not have that expense anymore.
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:25 PM   #17
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Flying.... There's a saying:
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:27 PM   #18
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Flying.... There's a saying:
Very true, or as I don't tell my wife...

"If it flies, floats, or fornicates, then it's cheaper to rent."
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:30 PM   #19
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Golf and sailing, both high maintenance IME.
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:04 PM   #20
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