I just got back from Aspen for the 6th annual "Meeting." The weekend was full of ski and snowboard movie premiers, sunshine, biking, and some discussion panels- my favorite part. The topics this year were quite though provoking: Social Marketing, Olympic Dream, and Content Distribution. I ended up with a brain full of thoughts and I'm struggling to find a place to put them all. Moving from concept to action is the hardest part. But there's one concept that I had that doesn't require action... just thought. Someone mentioned that Shaun White needs to have more fun. That he has alienated himself from the sport all in the effort to win. Well, being quite competitive myself I see this quite differently. I would argue, in fact, that Shaun is having a blast. What is fun for him (I'm assuming, because it's fun for me) is to win. But it's not just about the win. It's about laying it all on the line. Alienating yourself if you have to, working your ass off so that you can be the best. In the end it's not about being better than everyone else, it's about constantly bettering yourself. And perhaps this seems like a pointless life to live- serving no higher purpose. But again, I beg to differ.
Athletic competition is the best training for the "real" world that I could ever imagine. You are given a set of parameters, guidelines, and rules that you must follow, and a set of criteria on which you will be evaluated. This is much like any work assignment that one sets out to tackle. Good competitors know how to achieve things. They learn to see where they need to be and find the best way to get there.
I don't quite know what I'm going to do with my life when I'm done competing. But, I don't need to know. I have faith in the process of life. I have trust that I am being prepared for the life ahead of me- the life after my "glory days" of being a pro skier. I will be prepared for it and I will love it all.
I hope that the rest of you can find your path in life, just remember that if you don't love what you are doing, you can change it. "Don't be afraid to conquer your dreams, live the life you've imagined." Henry David Thoreau