I’ve been working on my Athlete’s Journey essay for a month.
It’s become a never-ending project because I keep coming up with new ideas to share with you.
So let’s step back and think about the essential message.
Assume you are graduating from High School, virtually.
What can I share with you about sport?
As an adult:
- The pursuit of sport opens your field of potential partners => this isn’t just about sex. Across all fields, all cultures – athletic people are considered desirable.
- Structured training crowds out bad habits. Take a look around and you’ll see people getting themselves into difficulties that wouldn’t happen if they were pursuing an athletic lifestyle.
- The challenges of athletic training will surface your self-defeating habits. Over a few seasons, it’s certain that you will see your process fail. Process failure is a low-stakes way to get to know yourself.
- The stress of competition gives you a non-lethal environment to practice coping skills.
Better opportunities, an ability to see my process break down, a non-lethal field of play for high stakes and less space for getting myself into trouble.
While you are young… find your people.
You don’t get to choose your family. You do get to choose your friends, coaches and mentors.
You are likely to have more flexibility to move around within your athletic life than your academic (working) life.
Great people are out there, to help you become who you’d like to be.
Now, somewhere down the athletic track – decades before the rest of your life starts to decline – you’ll have another opportunity => to begin the transition from Fitness to Function.
What I mean is, you might take a look around and say to yourself, “what am I really up to here?”
In answering this question, I cycled through a process of dig in, quit and adapt. I’m still working through it.
By answering this question, as it relates to your sport, you’ll set the scene for addressing a deeper question of meaning within your life.
Navigating athletic “aging” can be seen as a practice to prepare you for another journey that will likely begin 20 years later, the transition out of middle age and into elderhood.