I don’t believe in bucket lists. I don’t. Life is so very short. We have to make hard choices. We can’t do everything. Enjoy the choices you’ve made. Don’t go on a quest to tick off all the boxes. It’s futile. We can’t visit all the places, read all the books, love all the people, or play all the sports.
What does this mean in the context of sport? There are hard choices to be made about breadth versus specialization. You can’t be very good at one sport and play lots of them.
An aside, as a parent, I was shocked at how early the push to specialization comes. If your kid has athletic talent these are choices you’ll be confronted with early as coaches call and make their pitch. Year round hockey? Football camp in winter? Rugby trips starting in March break, interrupting basketball season?
Me, I’ve settled for not being seriously good at one sport. I like to play and to dabble and do lots of different things. But even for me, I can’t do everything. There isn’t time. I’ve written here before about things I’m saving for old age. That’s one way of winnowing my list. Television and cruises, for example. They can wait along with Tai Chi, lawn bowling, walking as exercise, and aquafit classes.
Other sports, I’m sad to say, are part of the past. They’re the me that might have been had I discovered my physicality earlier in life. Here I think of roller derby and rugby. And yes of course, midlife me could still play low contact versions of those sports. But it’s not low contact that interests me. It’s all the contact, all the speed and I worry about injury.
But there are sports I want to try that can’t wait till old age but whose time is not yet past. They require a certain level of strength and fitness I’m not sure I’ll have at 80 but that I think that I do have for another decade or so.
One sport on that list was rowing. I took up Masters rowing a few years ago and loved it. But the schedule was challenging. It didn’t fit with my work commitments. And I hated letting teammates down. I’m not rowing now.
Last year I went downhill skiing for the first time. That’s definitely on my list to do again.
Also, colleagues at my new university curl. I’d like to try that. Such a Canadian sport.
Speed skating! Whee! Zoom! I love adrenaline and self propelled speed. I’ve often heard track riding compared to speed skating and I hear it’s never too late to learn.
And there are lessons near my new hometown.
Finally, Susan has me thinking about horse riding and the Icelandic horses. I see an intro lesson there in my future too.
I love trying new things.
How about you? What sports that you haven’t tried are on your wish list?