Want a Challenge? Here Are 14 of the Most Difficult Hobbies We Know (Not for the Timid)


If you’re wanting a challenge or are just genuinely curious about which hobbies are the most difficult then hopefully we’ll be able to shine some line on that today.

You don’t have to be a sadist to enjoy difficult hobbies but it does really help the process.

With that said, maybe you’re just looking to test your limits or at least be able to provide yourself with a hobby that has more longevity in it.

There are many benefits from choosing difficult hobbies which we’ll try elaborate on in our list, however, some of those benefits include being able to overcome your fears, developing exceptional patience, and becoming more consistent with your tasks.

Many of the most difficult hobbies include things of a physical nature as it’s quite easy to understand pain as being a barrier that can be hard to overcome for people, though, mental tasks can also be gruelling but they take more time to get in your head.

Our list of difficult hobbies will take you through the motions of what to expect and how to best prepare for it.

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1. Ultra-Running

Ultra-running is one of the most disgustingly difficult hobbies we know of that will have you running across boiling deserts, wading through marshlands, and attempting to keep your faculties together on frozen tundras.

Better yet, the average ultra-run is nothing short of fifty miles or more meaning you could be running for several hours before the finish line is even a thought in your mind.

It’s not uncommon to end up with fractures, broken bones, lost toenails, and even pooping yourself during an ultra-event so you’ll want to come prepared.

With preparation in mind then, you’ll need to plot your course meticulously such as noting where you can afford to slow down and where to speed up, and you’ll also need a dedicated team who can keep you hydrated amongst other things.

Although ultra-runs often incorporate an element of competition, in truth, you are only competing against your mind to help you keep going mile after gruelling mile.

2. Triathlon

Triathlon is similar to ultra-running except for the fact that instead of running the entire distance of the course, you’re having to swim and bike too meaning you’ll face many more challenges.

This could involve miles of open-sea swimming in freezing conditions which is hard at the best of times due to the tidal pull, or perhaps even biking over treacherous mountain terrain.

For triathlon then, it’s important to be a well-rounded athlete who is capable of pushing themselves in a wide range of situations as it can be hard to find a groove when you’re changing between various forms of exercise.

This also means that more things can catch you off guard as you’re introducing more variables that you can’t control throughout the entirety of the course.

It’s prudent then to consider doing deep research before you get started with this type of hobby as it’s easy to seriously injure yourself or find yourself in difficult situations that are hard to get out of.

3. Coding

Coding is difficult especially if you’re trying to solve a problem that hasn’t been solved before.

In fact, that’s the attraction for many coders as they get to see how far they can push themselves to come up with an efficient solution for whatever it is they’re tasked with.

Coding can allow you to come up with beautiful practical creations such as software programs, apps, machine programming, and even vast video-game worlds, however, the process can take multiple years before it even starts coming together.

To become a coder is to declare battle against your mind as you’ll need to remain consistent in your work every single day and you’ll also need to dig deep on those days where a solution to a bug evades you.

Coding is made out to be glamorous in the movies but it’s actually far from it; coding is gruelling, unforgiving, and can challenge even the smartest of minds.

4. Writing

Writing, in general, can be easy but when you’re writing creatively or trying to come up with content it’s definitely not the most straightforward task.

Depending on what you’re writing for you’ll need to explain how potentially complicated things work in layman’s terms or be able to remember how previous things you wrote interact with things you’re writing now.

It’s not always easy to put words into a form that make sense either; you might commonly know this as writer’s block which is the inability to create new ideas or produce new work.

You could be struggling for weeks trying to come up with a sentence or passage that opens up the next stage of your writing and that leads many people to give up on their literary ambitions.

If you want to become a writer then, you’ll need to be able to overcome setbacks as they’re very likely to happen throughout the course of whatever it is you’re engaged with.

5. E-Sports

Enjoying a videogame is a completely different experience from becoming a pro gamer and one that can set you lightyears apart from the average nerd.

Getting so good at a game that you’re one of the best in the world requires samurai-like dedication to hone your skills whereby you’ll need to practice for up to 16 hours per day.

In fact, e-sports is taken so seriously these days that up and coming talent are often brought into special development homes where they live with their teammembers and are kept fed whilst they practice to get better.

The main difficulty with this lifestyle is remaining committed whilst you’re relatively unknown as you probably won’t be making much money, if at all.

6. Powerlifting

If you’ve ever witnessed powerlifting competitions then you’ll know it’s no easy feat to become as strong as they are, simply because it requires daily efforts for many years where you’ll also need to forego many enjoyable activities such as going to the pub.

Basically, your eating habits need to be absolutely bulletproof; it’s not just a case of eating everything in site as that will lead to the wrong kind of weight gain that comes in the form of fat.

You’ll eat a serious amount of food every day which is a chore in itself (and incredibly expensive) but that will also be a serious amount of bland boring food that gives you the right nutrition to become a beast.

If you don’t want to completely upheave your life then we recommend not starting this one at all — a commitment to powerlifting is a total lifestyle transformation.

7. Fasting

Fasting is a hobby that has been practiced directly and indirectly for many thousands of years yet still remains popular to this day for a variety of reasons.

As a hobby, you don’t have to do much except avoid eating food which might seem easy at first but hunger pangs are a real physiological response that can make you extremely moody.

Once these moods take hold, your mind will be questioning why you’re doing this to yourself and will try anything to get you to stop.

It’s a real battle of willpower, however, people say it gets easier the longer you go into your fast.

There are some debates on what you can have during a fast but we know that most people recommend drinking water and salt throughout the day to keep you hydrated.

This hobby can be dangerous and should not be practiced unless you’ve got the okay from your doctor to do it.

8. Mountaineering

Mountaineering is a famously difficult hobby and one that has been popularized by movies such as Everest due to how treacherous it can be.

Many people have lost their lives while climbing to the top of mountains, cliffsides, and even up hills meaning if you don’t keep your wits about you then it’s easy to succumb to nature’s wrath.

Typically, you’ll be dealing with harsh conditions such as freezing temperatures, low oxygen levels, and even exhaustion which is just a few of the things on a list that is extremely long.

In fact, most mountaineers ascend various peaks in teams and with Sherpas to guide them yet still manage to fall prey to injury or even death.

Climbing a mountain has too many variables to ever guarantee that you’ll return to the bottom alive so we only recommend this if you’ve got nothing else to live for.

9. Competitive Eating

Competitive eating is a truly barbaric hobby and one that offers no benefits except for the ability to say you won something.

Really, it’s not nice having to stuff tons of food down you’re throat as fast as possible whilst also suffering potential consequences such as a perforated stomach, aspiration pneumonia, and even choking to death.

Not only that but you also run the very real risk of becoming obese that also leads to a ton of other long-term health consequences that can grant you an early death.

Honestly, even if you had nothing better to do we still wouldn’t recommend this one.

10. Math Problems

Most people know that math is a difficult hobby littered with frustrations, however, there’s actually a list of existing math problems that haven’t been solved yet, and some of them haven’t even been solved in more than a hundred years.

Part of the difficulty in math problems is that the information isn’t always readily available to help you find a solution, especially in the case of frontier math which is basically you and your logic on your own.

There are collaborative efforts of course, but that still presents the challenge of trying to piece together which bits fit where.

As far as difficulty goes, we don’t even know how high the bar is set on this one meaning it could be hundreds of more years before some of these problems are ever solved.

11. Learn an instrument

Playing an instrument challenges parts of your brain that rarely get used in general day-to-day life which is what makes it so difficult.

You’ll literally feel your brain stretching the more you play your instrument and you’ll even have to do things that feel unintuitive such as keeping in time whilst playing.

You can level up the difficulty even more by trying to do multiple things such as singing and playing an instrument together which can take many years of practice to get good at.

12. Survival

Survival is a hobby that involves living in the wild through your own means such as hunting for your own food, foraging for vegetables and herbs, and even making your own warmth by starting campfires.

Not only that but you’ll have the environment to consider meaning you’ll need to keep watch for any predators and also be aware of risk factors such as the weather.

This hobby has many skills that are needed to be successful which is also why it’s so difficult; some of those abilities can only be learned through practice meaning you’ll have to expose yourself to dangers to get acquainted with everything.

13. Learn a second language

Learning a second language is something that becomes harder with every year that you get older.

In fact, the ability to master multiple languages is something that is almost impossible once you’re passed a certain age not unless you’re specifically gifted.

For the average person, not unless you had a reason to do so, you probably wouldn’t have considered the importance of learning an extra language when you were younger meaning you’ll have to start with your basic biology against you.

This is because the brain becomes far less plastic (changeable) the older you get meaning new connections (learning things) are harder to be formed.

If you really want to learn a second language still then we recommend actually moving to the place that speaks the language to quicken the process.

14. World Record Breaking

Last on our list is world record breaking which is a hobby that has you intentionally developing various capabilities to beat people who are the best at a multitude of things.

Because they are the best in the world, it means you’ll have to develop athlete-level skills to hopefully beat whatever it is they’re best at.

In fact, depending on your disposition, some of the records will be down right impossible (in most cases) but that shouldn’t stop you from trying if you want to.

This is perhaps one of the toughest on the list and is something that no sane person would attempt.


Finding certain things difficult can sometimes be a case of disposition and circumstance, however, we believe the list we’ve submitted includes some of the most generally difficult hobbies in the world.

Some of them are not always immediately hard but can be testing in terms of your mental commitment and willpower.

On the flip side, some are just genuinely physically difficult meaning you’ll need to dig to the deepest parts of your bodily reserves just to make it through unscathed.

As always, if you enjoyed our article then don’t forget to save as to your favorites.

We also recommend checking out our full list of hobbies for further inspiration or ideas to add to your passions.