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Your Body: A Girls' Guide Book Cover
Gurl Thang …the girls' guide
Find the perfect sport for you! Talk To Me: What do you think of the book? The Book: Sneak Peek Sports/Fitness: Quiz plus 101 Sports, Skate Dancing, and more Health: Quiz plus Healthy Tips Girl-to-Girl:  Secrets Shared, Tomboy contest

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Sports are the best way to feel awesome about your body. Trying out different sports is a lot like trying on clothes; you may have to try on several until you've found the one that fits just right.

QUIZ: Discovering Your Sports Rhythm

For each question, please check the one response that best fits how you feel about sports.

1) If you're indoors for a period of time, you:

a) Feel cozy and happy to be protected from the outside elements
b) Feel cooped up and run for the door
c) Don't even notice, you're simply concentrating on whatever you're doing in the moment

2) Being out in the snow and the cold makes you:

a) Want to run inside immediately, dry off, and warm up
b) Want to put your gloves on and play around
c) Shiver and tolerate the cold

3) When you're in a swimming pool you:

a) Flap and flail your arms around, swallow water and call for help
b) Swim around like a fish at home
c) Paddle around for a little while and soon, you're ready for the next day's activity

4) When you're listening to the radio and a dance tune comes on you:

a) Change the station
b) Get up off your seat and shake your booty
c) Barely notice

5) If you're playing a sport or exercising and you sweat, you:

a) Feel totally gross and embarrassed, and run to the shower as quickly as you possibly can
b) Enjoy knowing that you're body's getting a workout and your face is glowing
c) Don't pay any attention to the sweat.

6) If you're playing a sport and another player dives for the ball, bumping into you accidentally, you think:

a) "Hey, shove off-give me some space"
b) "All right, now we're getting into the game-let's go!"
c) "I'm glad I didn't fall over"

7) When you're playing an athletic game that has a ton of rules you think to yourself:

a) "Give me a break; I'm just trying to have some fun here"
b) "Send on the rules-I'll figure them out and master them in no time"
c) "Rules, schmules, who cares either way, let's play"

8) You're playing on a team and whether you win or lose depends on your teammates and they're depending on you, you:

a) Wish you didn't feel so much pressure to play your best
b) Feel excited to be part of group trying to achieve a goal together
c) Are focused on the task at hand-getting the ball where it needs to go

9) You're playing a ball sport and as you're watching the ball fly towards you, you think:

a) "This ball, man. Why can't it stay in one place-it's so annoying"
b) "I love the challenge of nailing this ball"
c) "I wonder what I got on my history test"

10) You're about to compete against a girl of similar ability and you:

a) Feel like running away as fast as you can
b) Can't wait for the match to begin
c) Are just happy being able to play what you enjoy

Scoring the Quiz:

To map out your sports rhythm, match your answers to the 10-question quiz to the following 10-point checklist. If you answered "a" to an item, then write "a" for the question. If you answered "b," write "b". And if you answered "c," then leave that item blank.

  1. a) Indoors b) Outdoors
  2. a) Out of the snow b) In the snow
  3. a) Out of the water b) In the water
  4. a) In the quiet zone b) Moving to music
  5. a) Dry as a sunny sky b) Into high action sweat
  6. a) In your own space b) In physical contact with others
  7. a) Free from rules b) Being guided by plenty of rules
  8. a) An individual player b) On a team
  9. a) Not chasing a ball around b) Having a ball with a ball
  10. a) Only pushing your own limits b) Competing against others

In Your Body: The Girls’ Guide:

“Chapter 4: Have a Blast—Find Your Personal Sports Groove” helps you bust through the awkward phase of sports and dress to sweat. “Chapter 5: Competition—Go for It” makes the case for why striving to win is good for you.

List of 101 Sports: From In-Line Skating, To Swing Dancing, Soccer, and Surfing

Check off the sports that fit your preferences and give them a try.

Keep in mind that some sports can be tailored to fit your needs. For instance, martial arts can be high contact sport or no contact; bowling can be an individual or team sport; hockey can be indoors or outdoors, on ice or on a field.

FACTOID: What's the fastest self-propelled sport? Speed ice-skating; they go up to 35 miles per hour.

1. Acrobatics: Like circus performers, you can fly on the trapeze and walk on the tightrope
2. Aerobics: Move to music, using a step, hip-hop dance, or just jumps
3. Archery: Shooting an arrow toward a target builds muscle and hand-eye coordination
4. Backpacking: Trekking out into the middle of nowhere to camp under the stars.
5. Badminton: Hit a birdie (light plastic cone) using a racquet back and forth over a net
6. Baseball: Girls can play softball or baseball; there's even a professional women's baseball league
7. Basketball: One of my personal favorites-passing, dribbling, going for the shot
8. Beach volleyball: You can dive for the ball with all your might and land safely on sand.
9. Bicycling: Alone, with a friend, or on a team; for sport, transportation, or across a country
10. Billiards (pool): Fun, but you don't sweat, unless you're in an un-air-conditioned pool hall in summer.
11. Bocce Ball: Teams try to toss their balls closest to the small center ball, like bowling on the grass.
12. Boogie-Boarding: Surfing the waves on your stomach on a small board.
13. Bowling: Getting a strike-what a feeling! Try the rock 'n' bowl joints and bowl to the beat.

FACTOID: Bowling was invented 7,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. The alleys were similar to the ones used today.

14. Boxing: There are professional female boxers-one-two-three punch, jab, block.
15. Canoeing: This sport you can take anywhere in the world and explore the back territory.
16. Canopying: Up in the treetops with the monkeys exploring the rainforests of the world.
17. Capoeira: A Brazilian martial art that blends dance, music, acrobatics, and fighting.
18. Cheerleading: Gymnastics plus dance, and your own band. Boys cheerlead too.
19. Cricket: Like baseball, except the ball is pitched with a roll and hit with a paddle.
20. Croquet: Using a mallet (big wooden hammer) to whack a ball through a series of hoops.
21. Cross-Country Skiing: Hiking through the snowy woods with skis on your feet-you glide.
22. Dancing: There's ballet, jazz, modern, tap, swing, salsa, folk, country, belly dancing, African, flamenco, and more.
23. Darts: There are teams and rules to this game; it's not just dart throwing mayhem.
24. Dodge Ball: Throwing a light ball to hit people on the other team; they hurl it back at you
25. Downhill Skiing: From sliding down the bunny hill to zipping down a mountain
26. Diving: Diving combines gymnastics and swimming.
27. Fencing: Using lances as weapons is outdated, but mock fighting is not.
28. Field Hockey: This high action sport can be played on ice, pavement, or grass.
29. Figure Skating: Dancing and performing amazing feats on ice skates, like in the Olympics.
30. Fishing: Fish from a boat; fish in a stream; catching a big one is everyone's dream.
31. Football: Go for the tackle. Girls can play contact sports too! Or play touch-to no tackling allowed!
32. Golf: While getting the ball in the little hole on the beautiful green golf course, resist golf cart — walk.
33. Gymnastics: Tumbling, the balance beam, the uneven or parallel bars, and more. (If you do a summersault or cartwheel right now, that counts too.)

FACTOID: Cheerleading used to be the height of girls' athletic achievement. Now, females have their own sports teams and by law, must also have their own squad of cheerleaders to spur them onto victory. Guys can be cheerleaders too.

34. Hackey Sack: A circle of people keeps a small beanbag in the air using everything but their hands
35. Handball: All you need is a wall, a little rubber-ball, and an opponent.
36. Hang Gliding: Soaring off a cliff while maneuvering a big flying machine.
37. Hiking: Walking through the woods, up a mountain, along a stream, or through the desert (bring a map, a friend, a compass, and enough water to get you there and back).
38. Horseback Riding: Whether jumping, racing, or just riding, this sport can be thrilling.
39. Horseshoe Pitching: Tossing a horseshoe so that it falls around a stick.
40. Inline Skating: Play basketball on blades, dance, and even go down mountains.
41. Inner-Tubing: You climb inside a tube that looks like a tire and off you go down the river.
42. Juggling: Practice outdoors, and put out a hat, you just might earn some extra spending money.
43. Jumping Rope: Want a real challenge-try Double Dutch: two ropes going in different directions.
44. Kayaking: Tiny boats that fit you just right and require the use of a two-headed oar.
45. Kickball: It's like baseball, except the ball is much softer and bigger and you kick it.
46. Kickboxing: A combination of martial arts and boxing.
47. Lacrosse: Like soccer, except with sticks that have small nets to catch a small ball.

FACTOID: American Indians invented the game of lacrosse.

48. Luge: Serious high-speed sledding in a track with a team; look for it in the Olympics.
49. Marching Band: Play an instrument while you exercise. Why not? And get a cool uniform.
50. Martial Arts: Many styles to choose from: There's Aikido, Judo, Karate, Kung fu, Alejandro, Tai Chi, and more. There's fluid motion, hard kicks, combat, no combat.
51. Miniature Golf: Want the most challenging courses? Try the ones with moving parts.
52. Mountain Climbing: On a mountain face or an indoor wall, skills, equipment, and partners are a must.
53. Orienteering: With teammates, you use a compass and map to find your way around the wilderness
54. Ping Pong (table tennis): This can be a serious sport-they hold international championships.
55. Polo: Hockey played on horseback.
56. Power Walking: Walking with vigor, as if you're perpetually late for a class, yet with proper form.
57. Racquetball: hitting a small ball with a racquet so that it ricochets off of all four walls of the court.
58. Rock Climbing: Mountain climbing on a smaller scale, using special shoes but little equipment.
59. Rodeo Riding: Roping cows while on horseback is just one of the many challenges.
60. Roller Derby: You race other skaters; elbowing is allowed.
61. Rowing: Row in a boat with a team; the trick is to be in synch (but not to sink).
62. Rugby: This combination of soccer and football is a real tension releaser.
63. Running: You can run alone, with a friend, with a group, or race in marathons.
64. Sailing: For leisure or in a race; your own little boat or a larger boat with a team.
65. Scuba Diving: Become certified to dive down deep into the ocean and swim with the fishes.
66. Shuffleboard: Using a long stick, you shove a puck down a board to land on numbers.
67. Skateboarding: Think of all the tricks you could do.

FACTOID: Skateboarding classes at school? It's happening in Russia. Since bicycles are expensive and take up a lot of storage space, school instructors taught kids how to ride so that they could skateboard to and from school everyday.

68. Skydiving: Jumping out of planes. Please remember your parachute.
69. Sledding: Whether you're on a tray or a Flexible Flyer, a hill full of snow provides the fun.
70. Snorkeling: Using fins, a snorkel, and goggles to sneak a peek at the underworld.
71. Snowboarding: Surfing down a snowy mountain.
72. Snowshoeing: Hiking with special foot gear so that you can walk on top of the snow.
73. Soccer: Yeah for the U.S. Women's Team 1999 World Cup winners!
74. Softball: Baseball, but with a larger and softer ball.
75. Speed Skating: Racing on ice skates against the clock-like roller derby but no elbowing allowed.
76. Spelunking: Exploring caves-pretty wild. Cool word too. Try using this one in a conversation.
77. Squash: Like racquetball except the ball has a deader bounce and you only use three of the walls.
78. Step Squad: Like cheerleading but with a lot of stomping and hand clapping.
79. Stilt walking: There are groups of stilt walkers; look for them dressed up in parades.
80. Stunt Biking: This very small bike enables you to do tricks, including spins and pop-a-wheelies.
81. Stunt Kite Flying: Make a stunt kite do figure-eights in the air.

FACTOID: Kite flying as a big-league sport with a national championship? In Thailand, kite competitions have teams, official rules, and umpires. Teams of up to 20 men control the kites during the fighting competition.

82. Surfing: Girls surf too. Grab a board and a wet suit, take a lesson, and head for the ocean.
83. Swimming: Whether you crawl, butterfly, breast or backstroke, swimming is healthy.
84. Tether Ball: Like volleyball, except the ball is tethered to a rope that's tied to a pole.
85. Tennis: This is the sport that helped the world take women athletes seriously.
86. Track and Field: There's sprinting, cross country, long jump, high jump, and more...
87. Triathlon: Running, bicycling, and swimming all in one race.
88. Ultimate Frisbee: A fast-paced game of frisbee, played with teams, like a mix of soccer and football.
89. Unicycling: This sport will get you a lot of attention; everybody will want to know how you do it.
90. Volleyball: This professional sport involves a team effort to get the ball over the net.
91. Waterpolo: Like soccer, except you're in water and use your hands.
92. Water Ballet (synchronized swimming): Rent an old Esther Williams movie; you'll get the gist.
93. Water-skiing: Being pulled by a boat as you glide on top of the water using skis.
94. Weightlifting: Tone your muscles. To be safe, get a personal trainer designs a regimen just for you.
95. Wheelchair Racing: This is just one of many sports in the Paralympic Games for disabled athletes.
96. Whiffle Ball: Baseball, but with a plastic ball and bat
97. White-Water Rafting: Hold on as you go down the river rapids!

FACTOID: There are official competitions for most sports, including yo-yo'ing. In the LumberJill World championship, wood chopping, sawing, and tree falling.

98. Windsurfing: Gliding over a lake on a surfboard with a sail attached.
99. Wrestling: Not the free-for-all it appears to be; there are rules and techniques.
100. Yoga: Relaxing stretches and special breathing that can make you as flexible as a pretzel.
101. Make Your Own Sport: By combining two existing sports or creating one from scratch. Let me know what you come up with. I know somebody who put wheels on cross country skis and glides through the park in summer. Another friend invented soccer on in-line skates and promotes the sport all over the country. You too might start a national craze.

If you have a physical disability there is no reason why you can't participate in athletics and even make sports your life's goal. Every year disabled athletes from all over the world compete in the Paralympics. Wheelchair racing, the long jump, and mono-skiing are just a few of the sports involved.

Sports Videos: Roller-Dancing and more

Janis RollerdancingDid I talk enough about roller-dancing in my book, or what? Click the picture to take a peek and, please turn up your stereo so I have music to dance to.

Janis BasketballIn the book, I promise you can see me shoot some hoops. While I may get the ball in the basket, my form needs work, and clearly, I need sneakers.


Check Out These Web sites

Curious about what's happening in professional women's sports? Click to find a list of links.

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