Its much more important than we think
“The more weird you are is a reflection on how committed you are to focusing on your shit. Molding and shaping and developing your ideas and your craft so that when its time for you to make your rounds, you are going to fly. The life that i live, i deserve this life because i worked my ass off to get it.”
At each and every single step of the way, preparing athletes for the pressures of successes must be built up over time. A higher level of weirdness must not only be habitual, but practiced being acceptable. There are myriad of moments where we throw motivational speeches at athletes that Capt. Obvious proclaim the need to push the envelope of discomfort, to train with an insatiable type of insanity and rightly encourage a psychotic level of self-sacrifice.
“Don’t have a plan B…Don’t Quit…I’m a champion…Don’t save anything for the swim back…Train heroically…To be a monster, you’ve got to train like a beast, Rawwwwwwwr!”
But whether we choose to accept it or not, a reality exists that forces itself on each and every one of us when we look into the mirror. At these moments we can lower our shoulders, put our heads down and keep charging forward. Or, we can fall into a trap of despair. As true professionals we proclaim to do more to look past the shallow development of the physical athlete. We all commercialize that we are here to shape and mold what is inside just as much as what can be seen and accomplished within the arenas. We preach to those who have entrusted us to be strong in the face of social and personal pressures as a prerequisite in our pursuit of excellence. In order to accomplish what we scream from the mountain top, we must effectively prepare them by addressing 2 very important questions that are vital for their big picture longevity & sustainability.
Firstly, have we prepared to positively deal with failures every step of the way? It is the use of these coping mechanisms that will be the fundamental building blocks of our skill sets when life’s proverbial hurdles trip us up. We must develop emotional fluidity, a high level of mental agility that allows us to put into action comprehensive solutions that help to solve life problems. Secondly, we must deal with constantly driving athletes to define themselves by what they accomplish. Whether we directly contribute to this mindset or not, we are often a major part of the problem if we do not address this reality. In the community of human movement sciences, we are constantly motivated by the mental capacities of hard-charging, accomplished & gifted athletes. Whether nature or nurture, their wiring is driven to succeed in the arenas. But rarely is the hard-charging, fire-breathing, breaking-through all barriers and letting nothing stand in the way of our dreams athlete prepared for the moments when those goals are accomplished. We have defined ourselves for the better parts of our lives in the pursuit and by the pursuit. Many often forget about the moments when the spotlight turns off and you are left there with only memories. A higher level of integrity must drive us to consider our work to build monsters that we turn loose in the arenas because we have a societal tendency to use up all resources till they run dry. There will come a time when the monster isn’t needed anymore. What does it look like at the end of a life of high speed, low drag?
There is layered meaning to all that we accomplish, superficial & deep and butterfly-effect near & far. The ampersand symbol also resembles a broken infinity, constantly reminding us that nothing lasts forever but there is always an AND.
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