Do you want to be perfect / the best in one specific thing (and suck in everything else)? Or you prefer to be mediocre in “everything”?
My choice is definitely second one, to be good enough in as many things (movement related) as possible. This is called generalism, or to be a generalist.
I was introduced to this term about 2 years ago and it was in relation to the movement practice. I was never thinking about it before but now it makes a lot of sense. Especially after I experienced it by myself.
Long time ago my only passion and obsession was running. I started to run for many different reasons but at the end ended up just running because I loved it and used it as therapy. It was my specialization regarding physicality.
I didn’t do absolutely anything else. I mean 100% running, 0% other stuff. I could run for 10+ hours at the time, 80+ km, but I couldn’t do 5 pushups, 1 chinup, I couldn’t touch my toes, couldn’t jump, hang, swim, and just felt that my body was totally broken. Each morning I was waking up stiff like rock, zero mobility, zero flexibility, zero strength. I mean zero of everything else.
“Being good at one specific discipline” or “practice everything just enough to be able to do it”?
I know that many things in the current world are build thanks to specialization, but regarding movement I believe it just does not work like that. We’re meant to move, all the way possible. Our brain has evolved mostly because of movement. Not exercise, the same repetitive movements for days / weeks / months. But new stuff, new movements, new inputs, changes, new skills, just something that is not known yet to it.
I believe that’s the way to go and my body is the proof to me. I’m practicing a lot of different elements / disciplines. Nothing too much, everything just a bit. Strength, power, mobility, flexibility, coordination, reaction, balance, agility, speed, accuracy, explosiveness, persistence, you name it…
It’s not just that you never get bored, because you always practice something new, but it helped me eliminate a lot of physical issues I had in my body – stiff spine from scoliosis, lower back pain, shoulder calcification, ankles and wrists pain, … As I said before, my body was totally broken.
And the best part is that by practicing everything, you’re getting better at everything at the same time. Like I got my first 5sec free handstand few days ago by not practicing handstand at all. Just by doing everything a bit.
So maybe next time try to think, why are you doing the same class/es over and over in the gym, why are you doing the same yoga poses / sequences 10th / 100th times. May be that to specialize in one area is not going to bring the general well being your body and brain are screaming for ;)
Practice good general movement!
~ Ido Portal