A variant to the suffix found within “student-athlete”.
A term that succinctly and correctly assigns priority to each endeavor. The final component of an individual aptitude infrastructure. The piece that creates a distinct venue for achievement, excellence and success.
In certain respects, athletics is exclusive. It can provide opportunities for personal growth and expression unlike any other pursuit. The ideal occasion to fully employ your aptitudes. A truly unique place where academics, arts and agape all work together and can coalesce around healthy competition.
Competitive athletics present you with a chance to not only test your mettle physically, but also in a mental, emotional and spiritual sense as well. A trial for your “whole self”. To push far beyond your real or imagined limits of commitment, stamina and faith.
Regardless of the pursuit – academics, the arts or being there to assist and advance others – there can be no growth within the friendly confines of your comfort zone. There is an entirely new world out there beyond your boundaries; the fence line. Places that cannot ever come to you. Places you need to “go to”, to experience.
Athletics is more than just sport.
Just as you are far more than just an athlete.
It requires more than just your physical gifts, talents or abilities. It takes an element called “want to”. Not just simple desire. But will. A force unto itself. The will to push. The will to see just how far out there you can go. The will to extend yourself not just in a physical sense, but in a mental, emotional and spiritual sense as well.
And just like anything else, to make the very most of this aptitude and the wisdom and experiences it can render, you must choose to be “all in”. Whether you are on the field of play, in the class room, on stage or in the service of others, to “be” fully where you are.
In the moment.
No dwelling in the past or looking too far ahead. No milling about, around the fringes. There can be no half measures in effort, attitude or personal investment.
There can never be any “growing up” with out some “giving up” some of yourself.
And you can never fully be the athlete you envision without a solid foundation of academics, the arts and agape.