Text: Ira Filimonova
My name is Ira, I am 27 years old, and I decided to try 50 sports in a little over four months. But in order to tell what led me to this, I will take a step back.
For a year and a half, I put on sneakers every morning, stuck headphones in my ears, pressed the "Run" button in my application and ran out of the doorway. During this time, I changed several apartments, work, met with different boyfriends, but one thing was constant and wonderful - every morning I started with a run. Now I remember this with the same feeling as I remember my childhood or my first love.
So many things I've tried before that in my life: dancing, tennis, cycling, yoga, swimming, I even bought a subscription to a cool fitness club. But every time after a few months I found myself looking for an excuse not to go to training. Then I begin to suffer from the thought that I have to go there. Then I free myself from these sufferings, having made the decision to leave the sport for a while after long suffering. And then one evening I suddenly decided that tomorrow morning I would go out for a run. And since then it has appeared every day, no matter what happens. I was really addicted to the flight state that running gave me. To the music, the rhythm, the pleasant feeling from the soft landing on the asphalt of my sneakers. I ran wherever I was and was happy.
At first it was enough for me to run three kilometers every morning, just for my own pleasure. But very quickly it became interesting to try to run more and keep within a certain time. A year later, for the first time, I took part in the mass race "White Nights" and ran 10 kilometers out of an hour. Not a very big achievement, but it was important to me. Then there were 10 kilometers in the Moscow marathon, I felt great and wanted to build momentum. In March I registered for a half marathon in Sochi and began to prepare for it, even took one lesson from a professional coach. I had to run more, and I liked it. True, I began to notice that after long workouts (more than fifteen kilometers) my knees hurt for several days. I thought it happens to everyone, I smeared them with warming compounds or wound an elastic bandage. My loved ones worried about my pain, and they several times advised me to go to the doctor, but I didn't even want to hear about it - the doctor could have forbidden me to run the half marathon.
After running it, I was happy! But I was not going to stop there. Of course, I had to take the main height of any athlete - the marathon. I mapped out a training plan - now I went 10-15 kilometers every day. After a week in this mode, I was full of energy, but with difficulty walking down the stairs from pain in my knees. And finally I decided to see a doctor. I took it as a formality. Then there was an MRI scan, an appointment with a surgeon and his verdict: "You'd better stop running." In the first seconds I did not seem to understand and asked again: "How?" - and then the meaning of his words reached me. The doctor continued to say something, but I no longer heard him. At first she held back, and then exploded and burst into tears in her voice, smearing mascara all over her face. Pictures of all my runs flashed before my eyes. How I ran, and running in any case gave me strength. He was like the best friend and the perfect medicine - and now this friend is gone. "I regret. Find yourself another sport,”the doctor said to me in parting.
I sobbed, leaving the office, and for several hours after. Then I wrote a post on Facebook, where everyone sent me rays of goodness and advised me the same thing - to find another sport for myself. The first few days I couldn't even hear about it. All over the apartment I came across things related to running: heart rate monitor, uniform, gels, isotonic bottles in the refrigerator. It's like finding reminders of a person at home after breaking up with him.Not only had I been deprived of my favorite sport, but the goal that I had been living with for the last months - to run a marathon - also became unattainable.
On weekends, to distract myself, I dragged myself out for a bike ride with my friends. I rode and thought that the bike was cool, but still not running. And then it dawned on me: since I have to choose a new sport for myself, I’ll take it seriously - I’ll try, for example, fifty types, and I’ll choose from them. The idea immediately took shape in a challenge, my friends supported me and helped me to throw in different sports to make sure that there really are fifty of them. Now I know that there are many more, and perhaps I will not stop at fifty. On the same evening, April 17, I posted a video on YouTube in which I promised to try fifty sports by the end of the summer and write about each post on my blog. There was no turning back. The key point was that the challenge looked impressive even in comparison to the marathon - an equally worthy replacement goal.
From that moment it all started. I continuously searched for studios, signed up for trial classes, practiced and on the way home wrote posts on my blog with reviews of the sports in which I had just taken my first steps. Sometimes I managed to go to 4-5 workouts a week, sometimes there were breaks. I must say that finding good studios, understanding their schedule, signing up and arriving was not an easy task. I sent a big cry to friends and colleagues and received a lot of advice from them. But the most valuable thing was when they took me to training with them - as if they were opening for me the world of their favorite sport, which they adored no less than I once loved running.
Gradually, my idea and blog began to gain popularity, and even strangers began to contact me from time to time. Basically, they wrote to me about the sport, which they love madly, and offered to go and train with them. So, for example, I got into the school of Dmitry Sautin in diving. From time to time I summed up intermediate results, remembered all my workouts and compared them. To date, I have 35 sports in my piggy bank. Interestingly, most of the trial workouts in decent studios are free. But there are also paid ones, and they are very expensive, so I spent about the same amount of money as it would take to regularly practice the same sport.
It turned out that boxing is an endless burst of energy, and freediving -
about the ability to relax
Most of all I liked boxing, football and freediving. Perhaps, if something even more beautiful does not appear, I will focus on some of them or even all of them. Boxing is an endless burst of energy, after a workout there comes an amazing pacification, as if there was no long hard day and exhausting load. Football turned out to be a surprisingly beautiful sport: a huge green field illuminated by spotlights, fresh air and excitement. And freediving is about the ability to relax, get distracted from the hustle and bustle and seem to soar in space without gravity.
There were several water sports with boards; Now I understand the differences between windsurfing and kitesurfing, a surfboard and glanders, I understand how to catch the wind in a sail and a kite, and what are the features of wakeboarding and wakesurfing. Three surfing workouts started with tears, because I am very afraid of the waves and was ready to come up with any reason to give up and not go. The fact is that at the age of 13 I almost drowned in the Atlantic, and waves have been one of my biggest fears since then. I put on a wetsuit, took a board, approached the surf line and seemed to fall into a stupor: I could not bring myself to step further, trust these waves. What made me do it anyway? I think the memories of some other, even cooler accomplishments. This is the only thing that always works for me. "You jumped with a parachute from a height of four thousand meters - are you really scared now and you won't be able to ride the waves?" - I say to myself and take a step, preferably without looking.
It was not without a struggle: I attended classes in various martial arts (karate, wushu), boxing, capoeira. Nobody came to the capoeira class except me, and therefore the three of us were engaged with the coach and his little son. It was especially strange when the coach took out musical instruments and said that capoeira begins with playing music. He himself played a Brazilian instrument resembling a bow, his son banged on the drum, and they gave me a rattle. This went on for about twenty minutes, and in addition to playing, we also had to sing in Portuguese.
Hand-to-hand combat turned out to be the toughest. I got into a group that has been practicing for a long time, and everyone there got used to sparring. In fact, the whole lesson consisted of an hour and a half sparring - I was paired with different partners, they all wanted to train and therefore beat me mercilessly. No matter how I asked you to slow down a little and not beat me with all your might, no one got it, because they were used to fighting. I will not hide that this angered me so much that I myself was glad to throw out aggression in blows.
I was pleasantly surprised by aerial gymnastics - pole dances and air rings. As a child, I loved hanging on trees or rungs, climbing on them like a monkey - the residual skills came in very handy. Acrobatics, balancing act and parkour turned out to be quite difficult. I enrolled in an adult group for a parkour lesson, but when I came, I found out that it consisted of children of 14-15 years old who were frolicking and jumping with might and main. It turned out that this is a purely teenage sport, not particularly interesting for adults. I did it, but I felt strange in the company of schoolchildren.
Before doing hot yoga, I was warned to do it on an empty stomach and drink plenty of water before doing it. But when you have a new sport every day, new equipment, instructions and warnings, you stop memorizing them. Basically, I caught myself drinking creamy coffee and eating a nutty sweet bar ten minutes before class. In an amicable way, I should have rescheduled the training, but I didn't. To say that I barely survived it is to say nothing. The main role was probably played by coffee, but it seemed to me that I was about to faint from this heat. Fortunately, everything ended well.
There was also rowing, and shooting from military weapons, and trekking in the mountains, and much more. As I expected, the most boring sports are those that best allow you to pump your figure: aerobics and all sorts of fitness. In playing sports (badminton, football), I always had a complex that I let the guys who took me to the team, because I can hardly do anything.
In general, many have told me that the very idea of trying a bunch of sports at one time is real amateurism. I will not be able to achieve any success in any one, I will feel myself the worst all the time, a loser and I will not get any benefit. But I wouldn't say that. First, oddly enough, in one lesson you can learn a lot about the sport, take the first steps in it. To understand whether he is interesting to you, whether his idea and philosophy are close to you. Secondly, if you are, in principle, in good shape, then the first steps in many activities are not so difficult. Plus, they complement each other: I was taught to stand on my head during the balancing act, and then I proudly demonstrated this on capoeira. Thirdly, it is useful for the body to change the type of activity all the time - this allows you to stay in good shape, to be ready for anything. Today you play badminton and tomorrow you do classical ballet. Today, until you tremble in your hands, you conquer the climbing wall, and tomorrow you swim in a different style in the pool at Luzhniki.
As I expected, the most boring
kinds of sports -
those that best pump your figure: aerobics and fitness
I would also like to say a few words about fears. I am actually a terrible coward, and in most of the classes I had to overcome myself very hard.I got up on my hands in acrobatics (even with the support of a coach). She jumped from a springboard into the water. I tried simple longboard tricks. Each time a lump clenched in my throat, and I wanted to run away and give up everything. And I am grateful to myself that I didn’t quit.
But still, this is not the most important thing. The main thing is the people I met along the way, real fans and professionals in their field. In appearance, perhaps the most ordinary, but when you observe them in action, there is no one in the world more beautiful. I talked a lot with people. About why they chose this sport, about their first steps, about what they want to achieve. With middle-aged women who want to master boxing. With teenagers in parkour classes. With climbers in a mountain shelter at an altitude of more than four thousand meters. With surfers at the station. And I realized that to many of them sports gives strength to live on - to experience problems at work, quarrels with a partner, and just periodically rolling melancholy.
The world of sports is big, and there is a place for everyone. Ever since I came up with this challenge and have been blogging, several of my acquaintances have found the strength to try something that they have wanted for a long time thanks to him. Someone went to the same studios that I recommended. Someone chose others, but still went, tried, and then, perhaps, stayed. And this is also very important - that with my venture I helped not only myself to get over the parting from running, but also someone else to find myself.
Photos: Ira Filimonova / Instagram