Some people are specialists, they grow one passion and hardly consider other activities as interesting. They might get a little enthused for a while, but in the long run they stick to their “onepassionpreference”. Those people are lucky! The opposite approach is the one of the multisporter.Being a multisporter can be considered as both a curse and a blessing. Let´s take a closer look at the concept.
40 years ago people were seldom seen as multisporters, partly because the opportunities to engage in different activities were limited. Limited due to the fact that many of the typical multisportactivities were in its early years, or even not invented at the time. This caused lack of access to the necessary tools, knowledge, -and in some cases, the physical facilities to take part in certain sports. The fact that the community of enthusiastic people involved in narrow sports, were small, and you had to know someone to get introduced to the sport, was also a limiting factor. This goes for activities like rock climbing, Seakayaking, Telemark/randonee´ skiing, and Mountain biking, just to mention a few examples.
Today the access to a large variety of activities make it relatively easy to be acomplished in multiple sports. You can learn from the web, share information and passion, even if you live in remote places. The requiered equipment is cheaper, and can be purchased from the web if you have no local retailer.
There are however some pros and cons in the multisporter aproach:
- Financially: it simply cost more money to have several rigs of equipment, and replacing things that brakes or wears out. Some activities are packed with amazing amounts of equipment, and have the same “must have” effect on grown men as a bowl of candy would have on a four year old. The rational man can however buy used, or last years equipment way cheaper than this years hype. Being rational can be a necessity in strained economic times, and it builds character. If you find these last sentences disturbing, it is likely that you would benefit from implementing the very same sentences in to your way of thinking. Yes!, I know it´s hard.
- Skills: It is very hard to be at peak level in several sports at a time. The more the different activities differ from each other, the less you can benefit from one activity to another, skillwise. Bouldering and roadcycling share very few capacity requirements, so no matter how much you ride your bike, you will not become a better boulderer. You might have to settle for the fact that some of those that do one activity most of the time, will have the edge when it comes to performance. However, careful planing and periodization is the best antidote to mediocrity in all your prefered sports. It is possible to be at a high level in multiple sports. Think and act smart!
- Time: We all have 24hours of time to our disposal every day, and that is a good thing. The time that each of us can, with good consciense, spend on playlike activities, are however limited. It is to a large part dictated by other and more important responsibilities, like family and work. Your time expenditure on each sport sums up to a total, and might cause frustration if you have the wrong attitude or expectations. You must be happy with the time/performancelevel equation, or you are better off with quitting some activity. You can´t do it all.
- Storage: It might not be the biggest issue, but it can be a challenge…..for your spouse. I have allways had this dream of a Batmancave kind of equipment storage. The fingerprint reqognition locks and touchscreen openers to all the various cabinets for my toys. Everything superbly organized and stored in an oxygenfree environment. Well, my actual storagespace is the exact opposite. The effort spent on making a practical system for all your toys, is a huge timesaver
Now the pros:
- Physical balance: Our body greatly benefits from exercising different systems. If you are a specialist with thousands of hours dedicated to one activity,you might end up in a state of physical imbalance…Have you seen the difference in some tennisplayers underarms? Variety is a true and tested way of avoiding injuries, keeping your body in a balanced physical state.
- No boredom: Many people lack mental stamina to keep doing the same activity week after week, year after year. A multisporter can experience one of lifes essential spices…..variation. To use different skills and mental strategies, keeps things fresh and is often a motivational road to success. In a way you rediscover different activities, as you go into a season or a period of activity change.
- Enriching: Knowledge and skills in a variety of activities is maybe the biggest joy for the multisporter. To be able to elaborate on different activities in relation to each other, letting associations to other activities come to you, can be very enriching. It lets you have a wider viewpoint on things. More experiences, knowledge and variety of skills, is a good thing for sure. There is in a way a bigger potential for experiencing epic moments more often.
- More feet to stand on: Another benefit for the multisporter, is the robustness of having more than one activity to lean on. Peoples lives change, we move to new locations by the demands of family or work. Our health and physical capabilities change for most of us with age. This can cause you to be unable to take part in one activity like you used to. When you are a multisporter, you often get new opportunities from the same changes. You can evolv your skills and continue to live an active life, even if you are no longer able to take part in one of your passions as circumstance change.
Even if it sometimes is a bit time, equipment, and skillwise ovewhelming, the multisportaproach is a privileged place to be. To have multiple ways to take pleasure in the opportunities this great planet gives us, can be very satisfying. It is a way to experience richness and selfconfidence in several areas of physical demand. So keep things balanced, enjoy the essence of every activity, and allways remember to be gratefull for the lifecircumstances that lets you be one of earths lucky multisporters.