I often allow my mind to wander to places it's never been. To explore spaces for the sake of experience. Whether in the form of a Thoreau book(Walden), or maybe one of Drake's emotionally driven songs(You & The 6), I have to get lost in my thoughts every so often. It allows me to deal with this fear, I think, I have.
Imagine knowing you could potentially be great at something. Something epic, something enormous and really cool. Something that could change your life, and those around you, for the better. How would you respond to that kind of pressure? You see every time I run, I think back to where I started, and how far I've come. I also think about my current space, and how people look to me for insight, instruction, and direction. Very weird space because I remember not knowing much about running, or even fitness for that matter. Yes, I've won numerous awards and played football both as an amateur and professional, but still to this day, I feel as though I'm learning and building. Yes, I have been an athlete since I was 6, but the transition from player to coach isn't as seamless as one may assume.
I love personal training. It pays my bills and allows me to help people change their lives for the better. I would do it for free, if not for bills etc. I love sports, I love running, I love competing. But with all the embracing, and building, and creating, and willingness to commit comes a great deal of external and internal pressure.
You see, I coach JV and Varsity Football at a school where I am considered something like a legend. So when I'm speaking to the team, when I'm coaching the boys, they just don't look at me like I'm some guy. They're thinking, "Coach Dugg tried out for the Bengals and Eagles. He competed in the combine. He knows it all, he's my football coach". That's pressure, I embrace it. I can handle it, i love those moments. But when it comes to running, I'm not sure I'm so confident.
Most of my running buddies have been running for as long as been involved with the game of football. So when it comes to running, I look to them for help and insight. I'm not a running coach, I'm a runner. Can I help someone with the basics of running, sure. Can I pace a group, probably. But am I the guy you call when you want to be a competitive runner, absolutely not. The pressure I'm speaking of though, is at core my concern over where running may take me. You see, I spent 2014 being introduced to the culture and lifestyle of running. I'm familiar now, and I want to be one of the best to ever run...
But what does that even mean? I'm not making any Olympic teams, right? I'm not about to go out there and win the Boston Marathon. Or am I? I don't know, but I want to push myself to be as good as I can possibly be. I want young men and women to see me running the streets of New York City and think "I want to do that". Running has brought me a great sense of peace and happiness. I want to share that with the world. At the same time, I want to impact the culture of running in a way that engages and invites new runners to all the wonderful benefits this culture entails.
And there it is! Just as quickly as I hit those keys, and wrote those words, it hit me...pressure. Every step towards progress is progress. With every mile, every training session, every race, every like, every post, is progress. At some point all this progress needs to translate into something, no? I mean, for me fitness is very much my livelihood. Yes I love this journey. I embrace it and all that comes with it. I love what I do. But when what you do is what you love, and what you love pays the bills, it creates a space that is unique.
Some people deal with fear by avoiding that which causes their fear. It's safe to say that I don't identify with that approach. For me, the most effective way to address issues (fear, love, hate, uncertainty) is to embrace them. They're not going anywhere. They're always going to be there. And to be honest, everyone is afraid of something. So it's okay to be afraid. How one deals with their fears, that's the real question. My answer, well you know that already. The process will be documented. The journey will be recognized, Muggles :-).