Sam Taylor, a 38-year-old mother of three from the UK, simply wanted to buck the trend. That trend being the ‘designated’ sports assigned to young boys and girls in the UK as they make their way through grade school. For the girls, there was netball. For the boys, soccer.
If these students find that they are not particularly skilled at these sports, they simply give up. But Taylor came up with a different idea. She figured if she could try 100 different sports in a year, she could show students and adults that there is something out there for everyone. Starting in May of 2014, Taylor vowed that she would try 100 different sports, ending the process the same time the following year.
Taylor had some experience with team sports in the past, but that was a long time ago. And at 35, she wasn’t in the same shape she was then. “I didn’t know if I thought that I was too over-the-hill for it or what,” Taylor said. “But, I thought I’d just give it a go and see what happens.” She began her journey, trudging along through the various sports including archery, powerlifting and underwater hockey.
As time went on, the struggles became more apparent. Her 35-year-old body struggled to hold up through many of the more physically straining activities. Other factors influenced Taylor’s struggles, most namely the ones involving elevated surfaces. Her fear of heights made costeering, or jumping off 40-foot cliffs into the sea, quite difficult. But Taylor wanted to keep her promise, so she braced herself, jumped, and continued to the next challenge.
About two-thirds into her journey, Taylor was trying underwater hockey. “I pretended in everything that I was in the Olympic finals,” Taylor said. That method seemed to work. The activities got easier, and she began to excel, particularly at shooting and golf, which she said were her best sports. Before she knew it, she was at No. 100 – wakeboarding. This one drew a particularly large crowd.
“Television crews, the press and my family were there,” Taylor said. When Taylor looks back at her accomplishment, she hopes that women, children and men realize that just because they aren’t good at a particular sport, it doesn’t mean they should give up, but rather just try a different one.