From Tinkering to Sports

Me and sports have a platonic relationship. We don’t cross path that often and it was quite a long time since I put on my jogging shoes. Anyway, after talking to Jordi last week about running barefoot, I felt that there is an opening to how to approach the concept of sports without entering it from the obvious angle. This first day I took off my own shoes too feel the grass and ground with my feet. It felt good, and both me and my daughter plays football together.

A few things first, coming from considering tinkering as an embodied practice it makes sense to start working on my own perspective. Why would someone like me, interested in technology, usually working behind a desk while dealing with family life – want to engage in the topic of sport activities? What is the research appeal in this?

In the last few weeks I have tried go-karting and “femkamp” i.e. various small activities such as archery, axe-throwing, gladiator-stick fighting, bull-riding and rubber-string-running. Other similar activities would perhaps be paintball, laser-dome, and fat-suit wrestling, paddling, geo-cashing, etc. A common denominator is that these sports are carried out in a rather casual fashion. Little preparation, lot of fun and lot of diversity. Often carried out in small temporary groups. Horseback-riding, sure why not? It is possible to try out many, many different activities, to experience the width rather than the depth – not necessarily becoming an athlete, but trying out a whole range of activities in a rather casual manner. Everyone is invited, and it is more about doing things together than winning or loosing. No pressure, no profound dependency.

It is also likely that a great deal of technological developments happens in this range of sport activities. The lack of strictness together with a certain degree of openness is of course appealing to one who comes in with a tinkering attitude. As Petra said – perhaps we need to peel off many layers before we can find some very basic materials of sports. I find this quite agreeable and the fact that I know that sports is very much a social construct makes it an easy target for this tearing apart approach.