Tag Archives: athletes

Inspiration

photo (6)Every time I think I’ve hit a wall, there’s a little spark that fires inside my brain, helping me swap train tracks like an invisible brakeman.

I’ve never been able to pinpoint the catalyst or explain exactly what forces are at play, pushing that first domino, but I’m inclined to believe it’s some sort of survival technique, allowing me to stay malleable in a world of rigid roadblocks. I generally chalk these things up to unexplainable phenomena. But, they might more aptly be classified as…inspiration.

There were times when I sat with a guitar or a recorded track of my band’s material and words and pictures seemed to appear from the hidden recesses of my mind. Images and narratives wrapped themselves around poetic phrasing, lining up like soldiers at a roll call. Before I even grasped what happened, a song had taken shape.

Many people refer to this as the “zone.” Athletes who can’t seem to miss or artists who find bottomless reserves of creative energy welcome these waves with open arms. Peak performance can accomplish some pretty impressive feats, regardless of the arena or context.

So, I find myself staring at another elevated wall. The tendency is never to run, but to find a way to traverse these unexpected obstacles. Clearing my mind and crafting attack plans, building potential roads, or devising alternative movements all align to form one comprehensive, sweeping force, and that coordinating energy is inspiration.

I’m grateful for the neural pathways that remain open and willing to accept information from whatever anagogic source is willing to send these much-appreciated gems. Not only do I reach a sense of personal satisfaction for slaying the proverbial dragon, I’m left even better equipped for battle when the next fire breather shows its uninvited face.

Grass That’s Greener

courtHaving watched an inordinate amount of Wimbledon this year, I couldn’t help but draw some strong disparities between real life and “superstar life.” There seems to be a widening chasm between the haves and have nots, and that trend is harshly reflected in society. But, maybe this microcosm lends itself to some further investigation.

As I observed these incredibly gifted athletes achieving feats that I dreamed about as a boy, my mind drifted into a mode of nostalgic possibility. I thought about how different my path would have been if I had the means and discipline required to compete at that level. I contemplated the ceaseless mental stamina and physical training, and I wondered if I could have survived the harsh rigors of a perpetual world tour.

But, inside the bubble, the perfect painting has much less sheen. These professionals are subjected to a barrage of interviews, public appearances, press conferences, endorsement obligations, travel tribulations, and the balancing act of living each moment under a microscope.

Anyone who is able to attain the highest levels in a particular field is scrutinized, but it seems athletes’ and actors’ shoulders are saddled with the heaviest loads. There is a stiff price to pay for the privilege of standing in the spotlight, and many people don’t realize how hot that beam can burn.

So, far and away from the mountains of money and elite social gatherings, I am grateful to be able to preserve my anonymity. Yes, there are countless benefits to being hyper successful, personally fulfilled, and globally revered. But, those don’t come without a significant price tag.

It’s easy to sit in a current state of mind and gaze longingly at someone else’s world. The irony is that they may be staring right back.