Why should one pick a sport?
Lots of jobs today do not allow for the kind of physical labour that existed in the past generations. The monotony and lack of physical work can take a toll on the mental and physical health of people. The list is by no means exhaustive, but sports play a pivotal role in
- Developing one’s physical and mental health
- Identifying one’s strengths and weaknesses (both physical and otherwise)
- Building and revealing one’s character; and finally
- Bringing about self-awareness.
For most of us, the decision to pick a sport happens later in life (usually in the 30-40 age group) and sometimes at the behest of a doctor. A few lucky ones would’ve dabbled in a sport in their early years. I am happy to be part of the latter group. So here’s how I found my calling – swimming.
Set an objective
It is imperative that you set an objective before you begin. For some, the objective is to lose weight whereas for others it maybe to pursue sports as a career. When I was 10, I was a hyperactive-obese kid prone to allergies. So my objective was rather simple – I wanted a sport that solved my health issues.
Trial and error
With age on my side (I started the process when I was better late than never. This is a crucial stage: you may want to adopt a systematic approach i.e. set benchmarks and assess periodically whether your objectives are being met. If not, move to the next sport.
Never lose hope
The road to sporting glory is a long and arduous one. In this day and age of instant gratification, one may be fooled into expecting to see instant improvements. Sadly, it takes many months if not years to see results. Therefore, never lose hope.
Once you’ve found your calling, it is easy to overdo it. You risk being injured. Therefore, ensure that the sport you’ve chosen doesn’t consume your life. Let it add to your life and make it more richer.
Vinay Basavaraj is a former national level swimmer. He represented India (circa 1996) and is a 5-time national champion. He has to his credit, both national and state records (one of the records was unbeaten for more than a decade). Moreover, Vinay turned pro in the year 2000 when he joined the Border Security Force (BSF). Nowadays, Vinay is engaged in giving back to the sport – he does this by means of his swimming camp wherein participants of all ages can learn to swim. Recently, he has taken up triathlon with a vengeance and is among the top 25 triathletes in India. The year 2017 will witness Vinay moving to the long-distance format of the sport, namely Ironman 70.3.