Carving out some semblance of a career in sports media has been fulfilling in many ways. Intellectually. Emotionally. Sometimes even financially, heaven forbid.
But there’s one part of these gigs that digs into my ribs from time to time: I’m perpetually observing but never doing.
I find it can be toxic to the soul to be always on the sideline, even if the consumers of my #content feel I’m providing value.
Believe me, I’m not claiming that I could go out there and compete with the professionals, but the truth is I truly cannot relate to some of the challenges the athletes I encounter face on a daily basis. I do my best, but it’s never going to be as accurate of a representation as I’d like.
It’s more than that, though. Much like there’s a dignity in work, there’s a joy that comes from physical effort, I find. Our bodies are meant to move, not watch. As discussed a couple days ago, we’re meant to use our feet more than our butts.
Hence, on top of the health benefits that derive from regular exercise, there’s also a psychological benefit, too. Threadbare as it is, that quote from Teddy Roosevelt about “the man in the arena” has always resonated with me. I might not be training for anything in particular at a given moment, but at least I’m doing something.
That’s powerful. That’s important. With technology and portable entertainment making the world increasingly convenient to ignore, it’s ridiculously easy to go through life as a spectator. While I don’t completely agree with TR’s opinion that there’s no place for critics, nitpicking from the outside has limited value.
This interest (or obsession) with getting on my feet is my way to counter that. I don’t anticipate this becoming any easier, especially if my career stays status quo.
But whether it’s pushing for better times in road races — stay tuned on that — or getting back into competitive golf after about a decade in the gallery, I’m aiming for more participating and less spectating.
Heck, you can set the example for me, if the mess of clubs, bats, balls and nets in our living room is any indication. Thanks for the push, you Rascal.
DAILY STATS via Apple Watch
Calories burned (active): 1,069
Minutes exercised: 87
Hours stood: 11 (missed goal! shame!)
Steps taken: 13,554
Physical activity: Six-mile outdoor run at 8 mph