I know that a wide range of people of different personalities unicycle. But if we were to point out some personality characteristics that tend to distinguish unicyclists in general, what would they be?
My suggestions would be the following:
Independence, or the tendency to seek a greater degree of independence than the general population requires.
Idealism or perfectionism.
Tendency to seek and value others’ opinions or feedback on one’s skill and performance, perhaps even unconsciously.
Seeking challenges, especially physical challenges of skill and talent.
What are your suggestions? What are the characteristics that distinguish us as unicyclists?
Really the only one of these I agree with is #5. Unicyclists all were the kid who walked along the top of the curb. Maybe #1, in that unicyclists all are willing to be considered a little odd. Other than that, I think the main commonality is perseverance. I am extremely far from a perfectionist, I don’t give a crap about other people’s opinions, and I know a lot of unicyclists who are drawn to it for reasons of grouping/clanning rather than individuality.
I guess it might be interesting to see if any letters in the MTBI assessment appear to be commonplace among unicyclists, although from looking at the descriptions of the characteristics I don’t think that this would be the case.
I don’t think there are any particular personality characteristics that distinguishes unicyclists as a group, much like trying to artificially group people who ride a bicycle. You could group them together as ‘people who can ride a bike’, that’s about it.
Running unicycle sessions at a local primary school and community has really highlighted that for me. Kids of all ages, shapes, sizes, personalities are into it, parents and teachers are giving it a go too.
It’s easy to get trapped into thinking you’re special in some way because you can ride a unicycle. I think a far more positive approach is to make unicycling far more accessible to everyone and anyone. That’s really all it takes and is lacking - the opportunity and encouragement to learn how to ride. It won’t be everyone’s thing, like any other sport/interest. No special or unique personality characteristics required.
ISTP describes me perfectly.
“Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency.”
Well I’m an INTP (have taken the full test), so the list so far is:
I think that the different personality types find different ways to approach and possibly enjoy unicycling.
Good observation. The past few days I’ve been teaching my brother to ride and while it is humbling to see my relative advantage disappear, it is also interestingly like learning all over again. And boy is there a lot to learn about teaching!
Well then, let me rephrase the question: what personality characteristics distinguish people who would never ever consider learning to unicycle?
Perhaps approaching it indirectly/negatively might help you to appreciate that indeed those who choose to unicycle and to overcome all the obstacles that stand in their way might indeed share some personality characteristics (perseverance for one, as was mentioned). I think it would help to limit our observation to people who take up unicycling independently (as an independent decision) not at the suggestion of another (or after they receive a unicycle as a gift, as a skill taught at school, etc) to arrive at a clearer picture of personality characteristics that distinguish unicyclists. And it is not imperative that unicyclists themselves be aware of the personality characteristics they share. To know of personality characteristics that we might share but are not aware of, it may help if we shared what people think about our unicycling, how they perceive unicyclists, what they infer about us from the fact that we ride a unicycle.
Pete, as someone who is running unicycling sessions at a school, you may be able to tell us something about the personality characteristics of children who resist the unicycle. By identifying their general personality characteristics , we can indirectly infer some of the personality characteristics shared by unicyclists!!
Whatever humble goals you may have set for yourself, I bet you’ve surpassed them and have reset some harder goals. However good you get, you are never satisfied that you are good enough.
Also, unicyclists want everyone else to learn to unicycle, and for this hobby to be taken seriously as a mainstream sport. I’m willing to bet that if that happened, hardly anyone here would be satisfied because it would take away from them the essence of what makes them quirky, interesting or different.