Friday, April 20, 2012

A Lot

Theres'a  lot I could write about right now, and even more I choose not to.  I've got a lot of things on my mind right now and going on in my life, so my usual demeanor (whatever that may be) is a bit different these days.

For one, I can't ride a bike right now.  It's been nearly a week since my accident, and I'm sure any regular readers are getting sick of me moaning about my stupid foot, but this has been the longest time I've spent away from my bikes in well over a year.  There's really never been any reason or circumstance to stop.  Even when I was dog tired and still racing, I found a reason to swing a leg over the top tube, even if I wasn't 'required' to by my training schedule.

Riding gives me a sense of peace and a sense of purpose.  Even since I've decided to take a step back and away from racing, it still gives me direction.  A lot of times it gives me reason to sweat, reason to get up, and reason to scare myself.  It gives me reason to start the day with an idea of doing something I've never attempted before.  It teaches me what it means to learn about myself and my willingness to 'let go' of the safety in which I'm often immersed. Sometimes, like with my recent injury, it backfires, but more than not, it develops me not only as a rider, but as a person alike.

The question with all this is what have I been running from?  What have I been trying to hide about myself.  What is the aspect of my personality that has been subconsciously suppressed as a result of my athletic endeavors?

I have a client that brought something important to my attention the other day: I'm an "all or nothing" person.  In sports, life, and everything, I'm either completely dedicated, or I loose interest.  Now, I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is 100% accurate, but I would attest that the greater majority of the activities I pursue wind up in the "all or nothing" bin.

I've been this way from the start.  Playing hockey as a kid, football, lacrosse, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and on and on.  Being athletic and good at just about any sport that I try, it's been very easy for me over the years to develop the 'crutch' of chasing a dream that will never materialize the way I imagine. I'm good enough to compete at the highest level, but not good enough to make a living.  I know that some will say that there's nothing wrong with that, but my make-up as a human has me dropping more important things (friends, family, etc.) to pursue my athletic goals.  This,  is not healthy.  The time that I spend working on my "crafts", as they were, is not balanced with equal amounts of time away from it.  I'm encompassed by what I do, and that has stunted development that I otherwise should have had.  It may come across as confusing here, but in my head it's all starting to make sense.

The past year has taught me a lot about myself and what I want.  It's delivered some sweet victories and some vicious defeats, but most important, it's allowed me to learn about who I am as a person and the best ways I can go about getting to where I want to be.  Gone, most importantly, is the "all or nothing" attitude.  If nothing else, I've learned over the year that I was not a very balanced person and that I was living the life of a dreamer, rather than a doer.  That being said, it's more than ok to have and follow dreams, we all should, but with that, and what is often left out of any dreamer's recipe, is that balance must be in place or we are to fall flat on our faces every time.  We will wind up frustrated and empty handed if we are not to place a priority on balance in our pursuit of dreams.  Understated as this may be, it's what I believe to be the most important piece of the puzzle.

This is all obvious to any individual who has lived through similar circumstances.  Everyone must develop and grow in their own way, and surely we all go through our own 'stages' as they choose to present themselves in our lifetimes.  Some may see these changes occur sooner, and some later, but what is important is that they happen.

The high school I attended put great priority on being a complete person.  It was paramount for all students, regardless of talent, ability, or desire, to be concerned not only with their academic pursuits, but as well with athletic goals, extra curricular activities, and working for and as a part of the greater community.  Talents were rewarded, yes, but more important was an individuals character, made up of much more than just one part of who they were as a whole. I had forgotten many of the lessons I learned there until recently.  They've always been a part of me, it's just now that I'm choosing to relive the lessons I was taught in my teen years.

So where does that leave me now?  I'm not entirely sure, but the one thing that I know beyond the shadow of a doubt is that I'm a different person than I was a year ago, a different person than I was a day ago, and a different person that I was an hour ago.  I'm looking to continually progress into someone that is developed and rounded.  I've always thought that experiences mold the person you are.  In some aspects this is true, but I'm learning now, that it's more a case of the person doing the experiencing.  That is to say, without the development a person achieves, the experiences they have mean nothing.

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