In conjunction with OutsideTelevision.com
It’s spring. It’s time to emerge from winter. It’s time, for me, to stop wearing long underwear. This is hard, because I have been wearing the same pair all winter long. One pair. It’s been easier this way. This wooly bottom/top combination has swathed me while I swung at ice in Montana, Wyoming, Ouray, Michigan, New Hampshire and Vail, throughout a dozen journeys to ice climb this winter.
But on Monday I am headed to a tropical island with daytime highs in the 90’s. I keep putting those long-underwear into my luggage, right by my second bikini, and keep taking them out. This—not the rope, quickdraws, or bolts—will be what gets me flagged as a suspicious suspect in customs. It’s time to move on.
I am a grudging participant in the multi-sport revolution. I live in Boulder, and my opposition is thus poorly chosen. Boulderites switch deftly between a morning ski, an afternoon mountain bike, and an evening climb of the flatiron by headlamp. Over the past six years of living here I have learned that I am good for a two-fer, but that the trifecta continues to allude me. It’s therefore time for new rules.
1: Rollerblading is a sport.
2. Hula hooping counts.
Work with me. Wait—hold on. I just hula hooped. It’s 7 am and I’ve already got one sport down.
I’ve always secretly thought that the tri-sport addicts were ostentatious athletes in need of showcasing their talents on a revolving basis. But now I’m starting to understand that we might add a sport to be bad at a sport. The good part about this rational is also that the more you do it, the more tired you are, and the more chances you thus have for mediocrity at more sports, and thus you have more and more motivation to get better.
This is why this spring, I am embracing the multi-sport lifestyle. In part I am doing this because I got too good at packing for ice climbing, and it seems that my clutch pair of long underwear are permanently forged in the shape of my body. Something needs to shake loose. So I will travel to sport climb and then come back and slide into the wool to go and ski in Canada’s Adamants when I return. I will change my cadence and see if I can keep up. Maybe this is why we have seasons—why the sun, wind and precipitation force us to make different decisions throughout the year. We can cheat the system by hopping on a plane and chasing the sameness in our lives. But eventually we will get a window seat and fly over snowy mountains when we’re pursuing summer’s permanence, or sunny beaches when we’re hot on winter’s tail. Eventually we will want to try our hand at it all. But to do this, we sometimes have to be willing to try more than one at a time.
I’m making the move, but maybe not how you’d expect. The long underwear are not island-bound. I’ve taken them out to make room for the hula-hoop. I’ve got climbing and hula-hooping, guaranteed in the next week. I just need my third sport. Right now, I’m betting on salsa dancing.
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