Are you an Allrounder?

People have always sought out definitions for who they are and what they do. It’s like a puzzle that constantly haunts us from the day we’re born. Some people believe they’ve solved it, they’ve worked out exactly who they are, they’ve removed all of the noise and distractions that permeate their lives and silently announced to the world “this is me, this is what I want!”

We try to sum ourselves up in our Twitter profiles in just a few words, mentally rifling through every element of our lives and condensing it into a few dozen characters next to a tiny little picture. Runner. Vegetarian. Mum. CEO. That’s us, that’s who we are in the world.

It’s convenient, it’s clear, it makes things easier for the world to pinpoint people, easier to sell products and serve content to. It makes our decisions simpler. We sign up to things that we think we should, because that’s who we are. Striving to learn more about our chosen path so we can can be better at it. Runners want to be better runners, cyclists want to be better cyclists, and weight lifters want to lift heavier weights. As a result our email inboxes become a manifestation of the things we associate ourselves with. We’re engulfed by people just like us, posting more and more on social media about the thing we’ve chosen to be part of. Constantly, often subconsciously, refining and shaping who we are.

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Throughout school and university we’re taught to make decisions about our chosen path. We continue to drop classes and focus of others until the point where we leave and go to university or start working. We strive to be the best at what we’ve chosen to do, to reach the top of the pile in the thing we’re good at.

We’re taught to focus on our strengths in sport and fitness. If you’re good at football, play more football. If you’re a good runner, join the cross-country team. Because what’s the point in taking part if you’ll never be great at it? Sport and fitness is about using your skills to win, isn’t it?

Because now we have proof that it’s not just the adventurers or the sports people who can do it, anyone can.

But life isn’t just about choosing a path and being the best at it. In a digital age more than ever employers increasingly look for the people who can adapt to a range of tasks. They want people who can evolve as the business does around them. They want people who are open to a constantly twisting and bending world. More often than not they want an all-rounder.

The Allrounder Ride London Cycling

An all-rounder mentality isn’t just about a career or a vocation. It’s a way of thinking which is becoming increasingly prevalent in a social world. No longer are people subjected to a single group of people and ideologies within a tight social circle. Now, with a digital age we’re completely open to all the possibilities available to us. We see people we know travelling around the world, or taking part in a strange sport we’d never even anticipated doing. Suddenly everything becomes an option, suddenly we can climb a mountain or take part in a cycle ride across Europe. Because now we have proof that it’s not just the adventurers or the sports people who can do it, anyone can.

And no longer do you have to be the best at everything. There are no PE teachers telling you that you have to play football in a social world. Now you can make your own choice, now you don’t have to worry about being good at things. You can just experience them.

You may be a runner, you may be a weight lifter, you may have never done any sort of fitness or sport in your life. But the point is to go out there and try things

And that’s what The Allrounder is all about. We don’t want to be the fastest person out there, we don’t want to spend months dieting and training to get a six-pack. But we want to try things out, we want to learn how to do different things. We want to improve ourselves through taking a chance and saying “Okay, I’ll give it a go.” We still want to eat burgers, we still want to go to the pub, we still want to look in the mirror and say “not bad, could be better.” Without feeling a sense of dread of guilt.

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And sometimes we may find something we are good at, something that makes us happy, something that makes us fitter and healthier just because we’re doing an activity we enjoy. But not because we’ve sacrificed the things we like doing.

You may be a runner, you may be a weight lifter, you may have never done any sort of fitness or sport in your life. But the point is to go out there and try things, try a yoga class, sign yourself up to a triathlon, nip along to a Parkrun for the first time, hell, try to swim the English channel. And if you hate it, try something else. Because there will be new things out there that you will like, things that suddenly open up a whole world of options that you didn’t know about before.

At The Allrounder we’re not just runners, or cyclists or gym-goers. We just do things. Sometimes we’re good at them, sometimes we’re not. But when someone says to us “why don’t you give this a go?” we don’t think That’s not what I do, we smile and reply, “Why not?”