“Why wait when you can create?”
I was listening to a podcast earlier this week and the guest said something that really stuck with me. Anyone who knows anything about me understands that I have been a web series fanatic for years. The first web series I got hooked on was Issa Rae’s Awkward Black Girl. From there I watched several others including Close Friends, That Guy, First, Tough Love, Giants, and many more.
The podcast I was listening to recaps episodes of your favorite web series. The co-hosts often ask the guest about the first web series they ever watched. This particular guest stated that Awkward Black Girl was the first show he watched. That resonated with me as I watched every episode of ABG. What the guest went on to say after that hit me like a ton of bricks.
He talked about how that series opened his eyes. He talked about the fact that we are living in a new era and we don’t have to wait for someone else to put us on or give us an opportunity. We can put ourselves on. He said, “Why wait when you can create?”
Imagine where Issa Rae would be right now if she never created Awkward Black Girl? She wouldn’t be starring in movies. She wouldn’t have her own comedy series on HBO. She wouldn’t be a New York Times best selling author. Chances are we would have no idea who she was or how talented she is if she waited for an opportunity.
Think about what you did as an athlete. Did you wait until a college coach called to recruit you before you decided to go in the gym and get shots up? Absolutely not! In anticipation of the opportunity presenting itself you spent years in the gym preparing for your moment. You did that so that when your moment came you would be ready.
You are probably thinking to yourself that’s cool but what does that have to do with my transition into life after sports. I got you!
If you talk to most athletes they will tell you they don’t view themselves as creative. I want to challenge that idea because I believe athletes have a level of creative genius that they are unaware of. They are unaware of it because it comes to them so naturally.
We see it on display all the time. Think about that time you crossed up one defender and euro stepped around two more defenders in the paint as you finished at the rim. Creative genius.
So many athletes struggle as they transition out of sport because we lose our creative outlet! We lose the ability to express ourselves creatively.
Studies show that there are nine types of genius. One of those is bodily-kinesthetic genius. This allows you to coordinate your body with your mind. This is why people fill arenas to watch their favorite players perform. People marvel at what athletes can do with their bodies.
I truly believe that one way to alleviate some of the pain as we transition into life after sport is to find another creative outlet. The great part about living in this era is that we have no limitations. We can take the discipline we had as athletes and apply that to new ventures.
We can explore. We can create opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you take up photography or go to culinary school. What you have to do is find something else that you value to fill the void.
Find a new outlet and immerse yourself in it. What you come up with will blow your mind.
Until next time,