Steinberg: Plenty to do nearby

There may be a more gorgeous, beautiful combination of water, views and city than our little glistening isle, but for during a recent afternoon, Newport Beach is heaven.

Newport might contain, as does Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach, as physically active a group of people as exist anywhere.

Recently I left 24 Hour Fitness on Lakeshore in Irvine, which was humming with activity on a weekend. Patrons were actively involved in spin sessions on bicycles, playing squash, scaling surrogate mountainsides, lifting weights and using every form of aerobic workout equipment. Young kids were playing some form of league basketball on one court and adults engaged in a pickup game on the other. The pool was filled with swimmers doing laps.

I drove to my new office on Pacific Coast Highway. It was hard to navigate the streets because of the number of colorfully dressed biking groups packing the bike lanes in large packs.

Individual bikers, including some old-fashioned "bicycles built for two" shared the streets and sidewalks with skateboarders darting in and out. And, there were joggers of every age and physical description running alongside people out for walks.

In the distance was the ocean with its legendary surfers wearing wet suits in large numbers. Closer to shore, people were catching waves with every conceivable device, and boogie boarders skimmed along. Volleyball games were being played and there was the ubiquitous Frisbee tosses.

We even have physically fit dogs.

Young people are being taught how to be Junior Lifeguards.

My office has floor-to-ceiling glass and hangs over the bay looking across at the peninsula. Every activity possible to do on water is being performed simultaneously. In addition to the larger boats filled with revelers and the more compact boats that attempt to dodge them, the water is dotted with more physical adventurers. Kayakers row their way along. Paddle boaters kick up the water. And a series of longboards are navigated by erect paddlers. There is even a gondolier navigating a young couple pretending as if they're in Venice.

This space is often reserved for the world of professional and collegiate sports. But we might live in the athletically active capitol of the universe. That sign on the 73 with a circle through a corpulent person sitting on a couch eating ice cream seems to have an impact.

LEIGH STEINBERG is a renowned sports agent, author, advocate, speaker and humanitarian. His column appears weekly. Follow Leigh on Twitter @steinbergsports.

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