/ Being a multi-discpliner

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Chay - on 18 Nov 2012
Hi All,

For many years I've been really frustrated sportingly, due to participating in many disciplines I've always come up pretty average. This frustrates me because I'm a very competitive individual. When I know i'm under-achieving, i don't enjoy the sport I'm doing, that's just the way I am.

I'm looking to hear from people that have had similar problems. Should I bite the bullet and stop cycling or climbing in order to prioritize and be happy and better at a single discipline? How did it work out for you?

I don't want answers such as: "forget about being good and enjoy it", I am the way I am and keen to hear from similar minded people.

Thanks, GB.
lanky_suction1 on 18 Nov 2012 - whois?
In reply to GingerBread22:

I'm not going to tell you what to do, as you have specifically asked not to be told!

However, in my experience I just grew up a bit and started enjoying what I was doing when I was doing it ;-)
grumpyoldjanner - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:

Am in the same boat. Going to be cutting down on the climbing next year (not that I've managed much this year!) so that I can focus on my running. Time to stop bumbling along and start a structured training program in the hope of shaving lots of time of my half-marathon PB.
Dave Perry - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:

Been there, done it, felt it....... I guess I just got more relaxed about it in the end. The answer is within your head - not ours.

Over the years my interests or main 'sport' has changed slowly and although it's taken some getting used to as I slowly realise I'm starting to get better at one thing at the expense of another, it is as Lanky says just a part of growing older.

Timmd on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:Do the one you enjoy most I guess? Chris Hoy gave up rowing to focus on track cycling, and has commented on sometimes missing it.

Don't suppose there's anything to stop you changing you mind and doing both again, if you won't regret having focussed on one for a bit.
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:

Do activities in cycles. eg decide to focus on rock climbing goals for six months say while keeping biking on the backburner as cross-training with fitness ticking over, then switch for next period and so on.

LakesWinter on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22: What do you want to get better at? What goals would you like to achieve? I have goals and then I look at how to achieve them and keep plugging away until I do.
misterb - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:
it depends how much time you can put aside to train doesn't it ? if you can set aside 6-8 hrs a week to train for each discipline you should be able to be competitive at 2 sports i would have thought . if you have a job which lets you recover physically then its achievable but it means training smart.obviously if you put the whole 12-16 hrs of training time into 1 sport you would expect to make more progress in that discipline.
i find that i don't have enough available energy to run more than 25-30 miles a week without it impacting on my climbing but this still means i can train quite hard for 10k for longer distances leaves me jaded and without that edge that you need when climbing hard.
wbo - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22: I packed in climbing and concentrated on running for 10 years approx. I felt I could achieve more, plus living in London meant I had an excellent running scene locally and didn't need to spend a large amount of time travelling.

I would do it. I would make sure to pick something you are pretty sure you're good at - you will be annoyed if you make a ton of sacrifice and are still a punter.
Neil Williams - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to grumpyoldjanner:

If that's how you work, that makes sense.

Personally, I'm happy being average at sport and doing a wider variety of it rather than obsessing about one thing. But I'm well aware that there are different approaches to such things, so it's a case of "do what you're happy with", really.

Rollo - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:

I had/have the same problem. Bike racing, triathlon, climbing.

I ended up focussing on the one that I could control the best, triathlon. I got a good as I could with the time I was willing to sacrifice. Then I got bored.

Now I've decided to try giving climbing a proper crack but living in London it is very frustrating (being weather dependent).

If you're going to be jack of all trades I find that doing some big experiences is what makes it work for me so that the enjoyment is not in necessarily being amazing but achieveing something that you feel is "impressive" or at least fun!

e.g. whilst being a boring triathlete althouhg I didn't climbing much and wasn't good at that (frustrating) I got my outdoor adventure fix by ski-touring up Mont Blanc one year and doing the Haute Route next year, making the most of my fitness.

Now I'm climbing more, I get my cycling kicks by occaisionally going MTBing where I'm not very good but have loads of fun!

Good luck
Rollo - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Rollo:

One last thought: if you get even slightly good at something, you quickly realise the commitment and sacrifice it takes to get truly good at it. I often have the feeling inside me that I want to be truly good but I know that I have more fun spreading myself wider and more thinly.
Jim Hamilton - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:

If you are "pretty average" at the moment are you going to able to get "good" even if you concentrate on one sport ? In which case perhaps choose something like climbing where there's more to it than just ticking grades, rather than say running which is all about times and competition.
Chay - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22: Thanks everyone, for the thoughts/opinions/advice, it's really useful to hear from people that have had similar thoughts and feelings.

I'm studying a short Access to medicine course, soon to be at Medical School(location depends on offers) so with one thing or another, I am and will continue to be pretty busy- Being a medical student is a little unlike other courses, it takes a lot of extra time. Hence, I only really have the time to be half decent and one thing. I sort of already know that focusing on one thing would make for a happier and more fulfilling sporting/personal life, it's just the thought of cutting out a big part of my life (Even if it's not always making me happy)is difficult and a little daunting.

It's then the choice of which to cut out;

Climbing has been a huge part of my life, it's given me wonderful experiences, showed me brilliant places and I've met great people through it. However due to a few injuries, I find it more difficult to be decent. I've ruptured my ACL twice meaning I have a pretty rubbish knee, also climbing is a lot more dependent on the weather and conditions, travelling and partners.

Cycling, I do really enjoy- It started as a keep fit measure, but as with anything with me, it was apparent that I became pretty competitive. The good aspects are: It protects my rubbish knee, less dependent on location/weather/partners etc, it's easier to be competitive and measure improvements within yourself.

It makes sense to put climbing on the back burner, but that's easier said than done. It's just a big choice to make..

Chay - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Jim Hamilton: Yes: I could be a fairly decent road cyclist given commitment.

Another important point here: Given equal dedication, I'd be a much better cyclist than climber.
Neil Williams - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:

Depends if that matters to you. If I was in that position I would be thinking "which do I enjoy more", not "which am I going to get best at". But it depends where you derive your enjoyment in sport from, this isn't the same for everyone.

wbo - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22: If you think you're going to be strapped for time I suspect cycling is not the sport for you. Most cyclists I know who are any good log a lot of time, and you're not going to get away with 'quality over quantity'
Chay - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to wbo: That's the thing though, I'd have time to train, I could also easily cycle to and from lectures (as I often do now). I understand what time it takes to be a decent cyclist, I have the time to be decent at one thing but not two.
Rollo - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:

Switch it round another way; see who at uni likes cycling and who likes climbing, what the clubs are like and go with the best one!

If you are competetive go with one where the club does competitions. If you want adventure go climbing.

Although I've had some pretty awesome days climbing (on a bike!) in the Alps and Pyrenees
butteredfrog - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to GingerBread22:

I'm in the camp of which do you enjoy more?

Climbing for me, includes travel to foreign lands, the friendships, the fear, the exilaration, the beauty of your surroundings, the lost in the moment focus to get that crucial bit of gear in before the "elvis leg" takes over, warm sun, spindrift, alpine starts, warm sunny evening rock, the pub, the tall tales, etc..................

Road cycling is, well peddling down a road innit!

Cheers Adam

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