Athlete vs Artist

For a long time I thought that in order to be successful at something one must dedicate 100% of one’s time and energy to that pursuit. This has led me to fall around between the things that I devote my time to. I thought that I would not be able to pursue both an athletic and a creative career simultaneously. I would spend my days dedicated to one pursuit and be completely satisfied for the time being. Then I would ask myself whether or not I would be content with the chosen pursuit in the long run. I would then throw myself completely into the other. Once again I would be satisfied for a while and then the cycle would simply repeat itself. I have always been afraid of living a life of mediocrity by missing out on opportunities, experiences, relationships and personal growth that either my athletic or creative career could provide. When pursuing one, I fear that I would miss out on the aforementioned elements of the other. This fear combined with the thought that I need to dedicate all of my time to a singular pursuit in order to be successful led to this vicious cycle and power struggle between the two.

However… If I’m really afraid of living a life of mediocrity, shouldn’t this cycle be the exact thing I should be afraid of? Shouldn’t I be diving head first into both of these pursuits simultaneously? Instead of seeing one as detrimental to the other, shouldn’t I rather view them as complementary pursuits, using one to improve the other? These are the questions I’ve been asking myself the last couple of weeks. The only logical answer that I could come up with is also the most simple: Ignore the belief that I can only focus on one at a time and dive head first into both. Because who said that being successful means that I have to strive to become the best I can be at a singular pursuit. Why can’t being successful means that I strive to be the best I can be at a combination of these two pursuits and living a life created on my own terms?

This constant battle between the two aren’t just going to go away overnight, if I’m being honest it might never disappear completely, but I can strive towards improvement each and every day. By making small, daily improvements I hope to eventually find the perfect balance between the two. This doesn’t necessarily mean that my time will be divided equally between the two each day, it doesn’t even mean that every week or month will be divided equally. Balance might mean that for a couple of weeks, or even months, my focus might be leaning towards one side before shifting back towards the other again. However, the important thing that I need to remember is to not completely disregard the one that is getting slightly less attention at the time. I should still be working towards making improvements, however small, at both and incorporating them into my life to become a better person, athlete and artist.

I will win this battle, I will strive to become the best athlete and photographer that I can be. It’s not going to be easy and some days will be harder than other. Doubt and insecurities will creep in, but I will continue to take small steps each day towards becoming the best version of myself. I do not know where my journey will take me and I can’t predict what the future will hold, but I do believe that there is value in the path that I have chosen and I am looking forward to seeing where it will take me.

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