Monday, December 20, 2010

Why I Love Track & Field....

I am in love… I am in love with the idea of self-actualizing…. I am in love with the idea of achieving your highest self, given your abilities, resources, opportunity and resiliency. In any endeavor one chooses to truly pursue you will be tried, rebuffed and refined. As the saying goes “if it was easy, everyone would do it.” And it is for this reason I LOVE the sport of Track & Field (properly known as Athletics). To me it synonymously and ubiquitously defines the pursuit of self-actualizing.

It is a sport that forces an individual to constantly push their upper limit... literally. Not to take away from any other sport (as I am certainly a sports fan and believe every sport offers their own beauty), Track & Field is the Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, and Stronger.” Literally, every time an athlete steps out on the track to compete it’s an exploration of one’s body to see how fast, how far or how high it physically can go. WOW!!!! Maximal force and maximal velocity can lead to supreme performances or extreme injuries. In a single jump, I’ve managed to tear my patellar off the bone, shred the ligaments in my ankle and tear my hamstring muscle from its insertion… And I KNOW I’m not unique to this experience. Injury and peak performance walk a close line… The taste of victory is sweetened by the ability to get back up every time you’ve been knocked down. This is life on the track…. But it is also mirroring REAL life.

Track & Field is the oldest sport in the world! EVERY other sport uses some element of track & field in their training. Indeed it is a fundamental sport. And although it is only the 2nd most popular sport in the world (behind soccer), it is the MOST participated sport in the world!!! If you ask me, that’s pretty impressive. Because of this depth of competition, arguably, it could be said to be the most competitive sport in the world. Thus, if you manage to be a World Champion in Track and Field, you are LITERALLY a WORLD CHAMPION! Incredible…

Additionally, it is a sport that constantly redefines what is possible. A simple, surprising performance can make an athlete go from obscurity to a legend - rewriting history and the definition of the human body’s ability. Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile barrier and doing what was said to be “humanly impossible,” or Bob Beamon said to have leaped over the moon with a world record performance that lasted 23 years are examples of this.

As I enter the last 2 years of my athletic career, I have nothing but gratitude for this sport AND continued curiosity of my own maximal ability. Track & field teaches me the power of resiliency and dares me to explore new depths of myself – an invaluable experience. This sport I came by chance on that fateful day I was discovered working at McDonald’s, has forever changed my life - on and off the track. I am in love! I am in love with achieving self-actualization in everything I do.

Thank you Track & Field,

Bob Beamon - Redefining what is possible

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