Wanna work off a few pounds? Gotta burn off some work-related frustration? Just need to get out?
Participatory recreational opportunities abound in the city and county; if you're eager to get physical, there are plenty of options.
Let's start with sporting clubs. If you've got the need for speed --- on ice --- try the Rochester Speedskating Club (www.rochesterspeedskating.org). And if you feel like poking someone in the chest with a long metal doohickey, there's the Rochester Fencing Club (654-6047, www.rochesterfencing.com).
To rough people up (and get roughed up), give the Rochester Aardvarks Rugby Football Club (251-4427, www.rochesteraardvarks.com) a try. Or get your Irish on with Rochester's Gaelic football team, Rochester Erin's Isle (224-6706, www.rochestererinsisle.org).
Maybe you were inspired by the Turin Olympics and have an itch to play bocce on ice. If so, check out the Rochester Curling Club (www.rochestercurling.org, 235-8246). There's also the Rochester Nordic Ski Club (www.rochesternordic.org).
Like getting lost in the wilderness and then finding your way out? The Rochester Orienteering Club can be found at roc.us.orienteering.org. Or maybe pedaling makes you happy --- check out the Genesee Valley Cycling Club (www.gvcc.11net.com/index.html) or the Rochester Bicycling Club (www.rochesterbicyclingclub.com). For information about bike shops, clubs, and cycling events, try www.bikerochester.com.
If you're a real fitness fanatic and you enjoy running, swimming, and biking really far, then barfing, there are other triathletes here, too (www.rochestertriathletes.com). But if you would rather stick to pounding the pavement, go to the RochesterRunning Page (www.robertstech.com/run.htm) for info on local races, clubs, and other running opportunities.
The GeneseeValley chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (www.gvc-adk.org) can hook you up with opportunities in backpacking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in the Adirondacks.
Maybe you don't need other people for a good workout; you just need a place to start. The Rochester area is loaded with recreationalfacilities for the public. You can start with one of the 20 parks operated by MonroeCounty. To check out the various locations or for more info, go to www.monroecounty.gov/org8.asp or call 256-4950.
If you like getting wet, the WebsterAquaticCenter at 875 Ridge Road in Webster (670-1082) has an Olympic-size swimming pool, one- and three-foot diving platforms, and balcony seating for 875. There's also the public pool at the GeneseeValleyPark complex at 131 Elmwood Avenue (428-7888).
And right next door is the GeneseeWaterwaysCenter, 149 Elmwood Avenue, where there's a ton of opportunities to row, kayak, canoe, and bike. Go to www.geneseewaterways.org or call 328-3960 for more info.
For town of Perinton residents, there's the Perinton Community/Aquatic Center, 1350 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, 223-5050, www.perinton.org/community.cfm. The facility has a pool, a track, cardio equipment, a gym, and weight training.
For the fishermen and women out there, the Rochester area offers plenty of places to drop your line, many of them provided by our own Great Lake, Ontario. For information and forums on local fishing opportunities, check out www.rochesterbassmasters.com and www.lakeontariounited.com/forum.
Do you prefer your water frozen? Check out any one of the many ice arenas if you play hockey or just enjoy strapping on the skates for fun. The biggest is probably the ESL Sports Centre, 2700 Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Road (424-4625, www.eslsportscentre.com). It's got four ice rinks and plays host to more than two dozen adult and youth hockey tournaments a year.
Other area ice arenas include: Lakeshore Hockey Arena in the Greece/Charlotte area (865-2800, lakeshorehockeyarena.com); Webster Ice Arena (787-3530); Thomas Creek Ice Arena in Fairport (223-2160, www.tcice.com); Genesee Valley Ice Rink at the Genesee Valley Park complex (428-7889); Scottsville Ice Arena (889-1810, www.scottsvilleicearena.com); and Skating Institute of Rochester in Corn Hill (325-2218, www.skatinginstituteofrochester.com).
More worried about your handicap than hockey? The Rochester area features dozens of public and private nine- and 18-hole golf courses. In fact, there's too many to mention. But you can check them all out at www.rochestergolflinks.com or at www.golfrochesterguide.net.
If you can't decide which pastime to pursue, at the Sportspark of New York, 525 Ballantine Road (889-1320, www.sportspark.net), you can join leagues in flag football, softball, sand volleyball, and soccer. The 40-acre facility features two batting cages, seven ballfields, two football/soccer fields, and two volleyball stations.
There's also the RochesterSportsGarden at 1460 East Henrietta Road (427-2240, www.rocsportsgarden.com), which features leagues and facilities for basketball, table tennis, and indoor soccer, as well as batting cages.
And let's not forget about the ubiquitous YMCA, which has nine locations in MonroeCounty and one in Victor, as well as three youth camps. The local Ys feature aquatics, health and fitness training, senior activities, and all kinds of sports leagues. Call 546-5500 or check out www.rochesterymca.org.
There are all sorts of other municipal-run sports leagues in the area. To find out about such programs, contact your local town or city hall parks and rec department. The City of Rochester Parks Bureau can be reached at 428-6770 or through www.ci.rochester.ny.us/prhs/index.cfm.