For the next couple of weeks I’m going to take a slightly different approach to things. I’m going to dive into the same concept for a week to really explore what those topics mean/say about me. Which if you know anything about me then you’ll know that all aspects of sport really truly describe who I am.
From a very early age I’ve played various sports. Whether it was baseball, basketball, or soccer I seemed to be playing at least 1 sport all year round. When adding cross country, and track on top of everything else there were times I was playing 2 or 3 different sports at once. On top of that I would have camps and clinics to go to, so being an athlete was basically a full time job. The thing about it is that I had a very love/hate relationship with being an athlete. It’s not that I didn’t like to put in the work, but I actually wasn’t a big fan of having it become a job. As an athlete I was a very task oriented person, and while I have some inherent ego orientation, I would rather have fun than necessarily work to beat people. Sure some of my greatest performances included at some point during the game me being very aggressive and ego oriented, but those games also included very specific tasks for me to follow as well.
Since I stopped playing various sports due to injuries or just not liking them anymore, I’ve found a sort of void in my life. Where I devoted so much time and passion when I was younger is now empty. The drive to be an athlete is still there, but I don’t really have a specific task to master or even a competition to really involve myself in. Of course everyone tells me I should take up running marathons or triathlons, but that’s never really appealed to me. Much higher on my list is becoming a professional kickball player or eSport player (yes, that is being an athlete, after all they do grant athlete exception visas to a foreign gamer wishing to compete in various parts of the world).
I think the part the holds truest for me is that athlete is not a job description, it’s a lifestyle. It doesn’t describe what I am or when I was, but who I am. The fundamental skills and techniques I’ve learned will always be with me. The desire to master certain skills and to be the best at various things isn’t going away. Therefore, an athlete is more than just their performance, they are their preparation and their dedication.
What does being an athlete mean to you?