ESPN recently released its review of 60 sports to find the “toughest” of them all, boxing came out on top as number one, followed by Ice Hockey and Football (which I assume is American Football). At the bottom of the list are Shooting, Billiards and Fishing.
I’m a super analytical geek – check out my table showing how different sports ranked in each category.
Sports were assessed against; Endurance, Strength, Power, Speed, Agility, Flexibility, Nerve, Durability, Hand-Eye Coordination, and Analytic Aptitude. Not quite CrossFits definition of fitness, but still a wide range of areas.
Rugby, makes an appearance at #13, following Soccer, Water Polo, and Alpine Skiing; and just ahead of; Lacrosse, Rodeo and Pole Vaulting.
Having not played Rugby since the age where you weren’t allowed to wear boots (that may have been a socioeconomically influenced rule, growing up in South Auckland), I would have lodged Rugby further up the ranks than those who wear skin tight outfits in either water on or snow. But that’s just my opinion.
Fifteen years of my own life was dedicated to skin-tight pursuits (cycling / triathlon) and it’s interesting to see those sports lower down the list (Cycling 20, Swimming 36, Distance Running 40). It would be interesting to see where Xterra Triathlon (surf swim, mountain biking, off-road run) would have ranked on the list; the World Champs in Maui was probably the toughest physical endeavour I’ve ever experienced.
It’s also interesting to take perspective and look back on my sporting investment and see what areas of my health and fitness have been left behind. Sure I can knock out a handy 9:11 for the 2.4km run of the 10/60 Challenge, but think I could get on the board with sit-ups and pull-ups? No.
Now, after investing half my life in endurance endeavours, I’m spending time in balancing out the fitness areas, and I enjoy it! I’m doing Yoga for flexibility and strength; Ju Jitsu for agility, hand eye coordination and analytic aptitude. I still run and swim, but I’m including a lot more intervals and sprint training. I round the package out with lifting something heavy here in the gym from time to time.