Sports & fitness isn’t about buying stuff, it’s about doing stuff! In this post I talk about how to simplify your fitness life by engaging and investing in the one(s) you enjoy the most, taking good care of your gear, and freeing yourself from the corporate ideals of what sport should be. Create your own ideals and lighten your fitness footprint!
IDEA 1: Do what you love!
Do you love snowboarding? Are you an avid golfer? What activities and sports are your favourite and really bring the most enjoyment and improved quality to your life? These are the things that you should keep doing. Get rid of everything else and give your gear to someone who will actually use it. What’s the point of having sports equipment collecting dust in your attic or garage when it could be used and enjoyed by somebody? I encourage you to clean out your old gear and sell it, trade it, or give it away.
IDEA 2: Take care of what you have
Get the highest quality (note, this doesn’t necessarily mean most expensive) gear that you can afford and treat it with the utmost respect. That means cleaning and storing it properly every time you use it, performing regular maintenance and upgrades as needed, and protecting it. Whether it’s a bike or a surfboard, you will get much more use out of your equipment if you take good care of it. This principle also applies to smaller ticket items. It’s as simple as untying your shoelaces before taking off your running shoes and hanging your yoga pants to dry rather than throwing them in the dryer. If you take better care of your stuff, you won’t have to replace it as often. This is not just a better use of our planet’s resources, it’s a better use of your financial resources too!
IDEA 3: Forget about the hype
So you decided you want to be a triathlete or a bowler or maybe a skateboarder. So what do you do? You go to the store and you get all the stuff that “magically transforms” you into the fit prototype of your choice. The problem is that an expensive bike doesn’t make a novice triathlete a better cyclist and an awesome surfboard doesn’t teach someone how to ride a wave any more than wearing a yellow jersey makes you the winner of the Tour de France. Better equipment can help but it’s important to focus more on the doing and learning than the acquiring and ego fluffing.
Some of the greatest athletes of our time came from next to nothing. Serena and Venus Williams learned tennis from their dad who learned everything he knew about the game from a book. They didn’t have fancy tennis clothes or brand new rackets when they started out. Some of the best basketball players in the NBA grew up playing in neighbourhood courts where the play stopped at the sound of bullets instead of whistles. Then there’s Steve Prefontaine who from an upbringing of poverty became one of the best runners America ever saw. Do you think it really matters if you are drinking Sprite or wearing Nike shorts? I’m not saying that quality isn’t important or that gear isn’t necessary, rather I invite you to spend more time doing fitness than buying stuff to promote your ego’s identity as a triathlete or yogi or runner or whatever else you do. As a wise person once said, “Who you are is far louder than who you say you are.”