What’s the Hardest Sport to Learn? To Become an Expert?

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Lately I’ve been going through old videotapes from when my kids were little in hopes of transferring it to digital for some noble but undetermined future use, and a few days ago I came across the first day my son, Jackson, learned to ride his bike. He was about five. The training wheels came off, he got some speed, joined the pack of groms ripping around the street, and that was that – no crashes, no tears, just determined focus and success.

When I learned, it seemed like it took me forever, due in part to the size of my bike, which seemed terrifyingly tall and probably was bought for me to “grow into.” Things didn’t click until I borrowed the much-smaller bike of the younger girl next door – one morning I sat on the rear fender and used it as a push bike until I figured out the balancing thing, and then that was that.

The learning curve for a sport is of course unique to each person – to their athletic gifts or liabilities, their attitude, their equipment, and the conditions – but we’ve all pursued enough sports to know that some are ridiculously easy (snowboarding, I’m talking to you) while others are notoriously hard (um, hello, surfing, are you there?). Can we agree on which is the hardest? Let’s find out. Pick up to three.

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This week, one poll participant will receive a pair of Smith Optics Cornice sunglasses from Smith’s Archive collection. We’ll pick the winner via random number generator (and announce it here) – all you have to do to enter is vote and leave a comment so we have your email to contact you. Must have a U.S. or Canadian address. Contest ends Sunday, August 31, at midnight PST.

Congratulations to Robi Pochapin, who wins the Smiths this week!

Photo by Leach84

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