Minimalism (or at least talk of minimalism) seems back in fashion now. Probably everyone has heard of Marie Kondo’s wildly popular book on decluttering one’s house (and life). We are advised to keep only those things that “spark joy”. In other words, it’s out with this:
and in with this:
But what about sports or physical activities? Should we embrace minimalism in our physical regimens? Or variety as the spice of fitness life? Is less really more, or is more more?
I’ve recently taken on 3 additional sports/activities to my movement regimen. Last year I restarted kayaking, and have really enjoyed it. In January I joined a yoga studio and have been going once or twice a week. And after impulsively doing two recreational scuba dives in Australia, I decided to get certified in scuba, so am taking a course now (to be completed in Puerto Rico in a week).
Of course this is fun, but it is making my schedule much more crowded, giving me less down time, and causing me to think: what am I doing here? How may different kinds of activities do I want to juggle in my life? If it feels like juggling, should I be doing it?
I decided to put together a list of the pros of each position in the hopes that it might help at last clarify the conflicts within us (or at least me ).
Less is more pros
1) Lighter–with fewer sports, there’s less to think about, and less gear to haul around, store and maintain.
2) Potentially cheaper — it could mean fewer expenditures on a variety of lessons, memberships, and gear.
3) Simpler– workout schedules are less complex and hectic, with fewer logistical struggles (e.g. Collecting, packing, loading and hauling a variety of gear around– is anyone sensing a theme here?)
4) More focused– Time can be devoted to immersing yourself in a few favored sports or activities. And you can really master the maintenance and repair of all that gear.
More is more pros
1) Thrilling– the exhilaration of trying a new sport, with new sensations and feelings (even new sorenesses) can be stimulating. And there’s all that new gear to play with.
2) Social—it’s a chance to meet people whose passions are the sport/activity you’re dabbling in (this is my favorite feature).
3) Motivating—because you’re participating in a variety of sports, if you’re having a tough time with one of them, you have the others for helping boost self-confidence or relaxation.
4) Knowledge-conferring (pardon the philosopher talk)—doing sports/activities that use different systems, muscles, skills, and talents can tell you a lot about what your body is like and what your body likes.
Well, at the end of composing those lists, I now think I’ll keep to more is more. But it’s worth revisiting from time to time to see what I am liking doing, what is causing too much stress, and what I can lay aside (including boxing up gear and storing it in my basement). For now.
What about you, readers? Are you going through a more-is-more or a less-is-more period? How are you feeling about it?