This afternoon I received an email from one of my good friends. Here is part of the email:
Okay are you doing okay? BE HONEST! I have been reading your blog and it just seems like you are starting to believe this sport is you and defines you. Don’t lose perspective, skiing is something you do not who you are. You are a son, a friend, and a good person (to name a few) and some day you won’t have skiing as the center of your life so if there is anything I can say it’s don’t get too wrapped up or bogged down with sport.
Not only do I think this message is apt and valuable, it also resonates deeply with my beliefs. In my mind, I have never been defined as a skier. Cross country skiing is the vehicle that I have chosen to pursue excellence, it is not my lifelong passion. I am very excited for the end of my career when I will spend my time very differently than I do now.
It scares me to hear my friend say to me that “it seems like you are starting to believe this sport is you and defines you”. I don’t believe that this sport defines me and I don’t want other people to believe that either.
On the flip side, I think my friend’s observation, which is based on the honest writing that I’ve done recently in this blog, is true. I have been feeling sad and lonely and lost, and the only thing I have to focus on is my skiing. On the one hand, this narrow focus is exactly what I need in order to handle the high load that I’m training. On the other hand I feel one dimensional.
I want to expand my horizons. I want to get an education, have a social life, have hobbies, play recreational sports, give back, adventure, experience new things, push my limits, get out of my comfort zone, etc…
Although I don’t like feeling and for the most part being one dimensional, I have done it intentionally and with deliverance and I know that it’s the right decision and the right way to live my life right now and that it will only happen for a finite period of time and I believe it will help me achieve my goals.