Somewhere back in middle school we learned that sports are good. Activities that aren’t sports, well… they can still be cool, but they’ll never be quite as cool as sports. This bullshit should have stayed in middle school, but unfortunately, it didn’t.
Arguing over whether anything is a “sport” is really an argument about values. If you value individual skill and accuracy, you may argue billiards or motorcycle racing is a sport. If you value teamwork and athleticism, you may argue that football is a sport. This is the connection most people make:
- Sports = good
- What we value = good
- Therefore, what we value = sports
Makes sense, right?
The problem is that we all value different things, and there’s no right or wrong things to value. Even if you want to go all Merriam Webster on me and break out the dictionary definition of a sport, it was written by a human and nothing binds you to agree with it.
The root of all this is seeking validation from others. The thought usually goes, “I want others to recognize what I do as worthwhile, therefore, I want them to recognize my favorite activity as a sport.” Here’s how you break the cycle: stop giving a shit about whether someone recognizes your favorite activity as worthwhile. Whatever I like is worthwhile because I say it is. I do it because I like it. It aligns with my values, and I get to choose those values. That’s it. That’s all that matters. Discussion closed.
Do you like billiards? Then play billiards! Don’t worry about whether someone else classifies billiards as a sport. If you don’t think CrossFit is a sport; that’s fine. I’m gonna keep doing it, because I like it. Are people that do CrossFit “athletes” or “exercisers” or something else? I call them athletes. You can call them titty sprinklers if you want. Doesn’t matter to me.
Approval from others is not a factor. Be independent. Know why you do what you do, and do it for yourself. And whatever you do, don’t fall into a 6th grade argument over whether anything is a sport.