life, Training

One-Trick Pony

Jordan Spieth (21 years old) won the Masters yesterday. There’s something about the humility of this young man I really like.

His mother, Chris Spieth, is quoted as saying “Jordan wouldn’t be where he’s at today if he didn’t grow up with Ellie.”

Ellie is Jordan’s 14-year-old sister with neurological disorder putting her on the autism spectrum. When reflecting on the legacy he will leave, Jordan said “I’m a professional golfer, but I want what I do on the course I was to be secondary to what I do off the course.” And I believe him.

What Jordan’s mom said rung my bell a little bit. She said that one of the reasons Jordan is successful is because he realizes that real life isn’t at the Masters. He’s a great golfer but has made it known by his actions that he has higher callings – of being a brother, a son, and a philanthropist. No one-trick pony here. There is something very inspiring about all of this.

Even with his priorities in order, I’m sure it hasn’t been easy and that he has missed important birthdays, weddings, and other family events…failing those closest to him many times over perhaps. To get to the highest level of anything requires sacrifice, and surely he isn’t perfect.

But when you get beyond the reality of it all he has seemingly struck a balance that has allowed him to keep the important things in perspective while achieving greatness in his sport. A real rarity.

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There are many parts of myself that I want to develop. If I’m not careful, I’ll focus on one thing and one thing only; neglecting many other colorful parts of myself.

Over the last decade or so I’ve been really immersed in the endurance and triathlon culture and have loved it. Where I can improve is in the sheer amount of attention I give to it, leaving space so that I don’t experience an incompleteness in other areas.

When the clues presented themselves years ago I chose to ignore and “double down”, determined to stay focused and apply even more time and energy to the endeavor.

The unfounded fear is that by giving up time in my core competency, that I’ll become weaker (in knowledge) and fall behind.

By exploring other areas, I’ve found it has strengthened my mind and made me that much sharper in the areas where people rely on me the most. Being a one-trick pony reminds of Nicholson in The Shining, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”! At least, that has been the case for me.

Some things I’ve explored, Googled, and/or even purchased lately to change it up:

  • Historical fiction
  • Masticating juicers
  • 529 & Vanguard Index funds, Saving
  • Starting a compost pile
  • Higher Education doctorate
  • Non-beef/chicken/fish protein
  • Journaling and meditation
  • Minimizing footprint on planet
  • Living simply

Very few have mastered the art of balancing the pursuit of excellence with having an authentic, deeper sense of meaning and purpose.

The key seems to becoming more aligned with your mission in life. Then with the right steering and direction, performance gains come easily.

Smile and Live Free,

David

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One thought on “One-Trick Pony

  1. Richard Dodge says:

    Interesting article. I hope you keep your list and in the future re-read it. As someone that is fast approaching 70, it is interesting to look back and see how your goals get readjusted. I was working to become a history teacher and track coach.In some ways it worked out. Keep the important ones and everything else falls into place.

    Liked by 1 person

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