“High school senior players eventually drafted by an NFL team: About nine in 10,000, or 0.09 percent. That's about the chance you have an IQ above 150, as measured by the Stanford-Binet test.”
The title is an actual quote from a friend that never played the sport of American football. Then again, I wonder how many people actually play a game at a higher level? I always am amazed at the amount of talent the top tier has, and what most don't see is the level of work and discipline it takes to get to that high level. While there are some people born genetic freaks of sorts with great athletic ability – they still have to put in the time and effort to excel at something. There are many with excellent skills on this planet, few make it to the top levels.
Rare is the Michael Jorden’s or tiger woods who comes along every 20-30 years in a sport. They possess a tiny bit of something special, just a smidgen that seems to allow them to operate at a level that goes well above what a large group of highly talented people can do.
For this short missive, I am also not making a case like the monks who say, “it is better to have a little of each virtue than too much of one – as the latter lead to an issue with pride.” how often do we see this in society? We prop up a special one, yet, never make them work on their profound weaknesses. They get a pass for their behaviors because they are producing too much for some ideal, cause, or profit. It doesn’t matter if it is business, politics, military, religion, athletics, entertainment, or any other peak or pinnacle in man’s quest for climbing tall mountains.
The irony is I have learned more about real courage, love, and other seemingly intangible traits of great value, not from the superstars on a field or a titan of business, but rather my friend's brother who turned 50 with downs syndrome that gets so excited to fold napkins and silverware at his job. The little cancer kids that I watched pass away that was more worried about others seeing their pain than feeling their own pain. Then there is that one woman in that slum who had some flowers growing in her Coca-Cola can planters in her cardboard house, sweeping it clean each day we drove by – in the middle of a sea of squalor and seeming waste. These folks are playing at their highest levels with the cards life gave them, and few even notice.
Forgive my digression. Right now I am sitting here with one arm about 50% of the other. just a few months ago, before boarding a plane with a tiny woman that had to have her seat back into my knees the entire flight across the ocean. The irony is I gave my position to another young man who had injured himself playing the other football, aka- soccer and I got my neck all screwed up to a place where I have to work with one arm. If you have never had to do your life with your non-dominant are or leg – try it – it is incredible how much you take for granted. So I just started training again a few days ago with the expected (actually it wasn’t so bad as I expected) so you naturally rebuild.
Like anything – once you learn how to do something once, it should take less time to do it the second, third, etc. you improve with the practice and repetitions. Muscle memory takes over, and in time you can seemingly move and do things appearing to put out little effort, and with ease. When you hit that level, you are at a high level of performance. People forget that today’s NFL player will spend a year training to play sixteen – one hour – games. That's it.
“but it is fat people falling on each other…”
What might be fun is to take the average fan and allow them to compete at the NFL combine to give a benchmark of the norm versus the athletes trying to get a job that 1500 other people have. I often wonder how many are not employed for whatever reason that could be one of 1500? It is like European football. I am amazed at the beauty and talent of the speed, endurance, and the ball-handling ability, although they suck as actors and if someone barely touches you, don’t roll around and grimace in pain…just play. With the NFL it is about speed, agility, strength, and power. Just short sprints while another human is trying to beat you up. It might not look like much, but merely run 40, 40 yards full out sprints in an hour and see if you get tired? If you want a challenge, push someone your own weight, who are pushing back, for those 40-yard sprints. It doesn’t sound like much. But you get tired.
I sit here typing and wonder, “what on earth are you typing about?” it is about my frustration with people and change. If you make it a habit of seeking, ask, grow and learning each day, you will never lack for ideas or things to do. When I observe a lot of what and how people live – it seems like it is they found a way to cope with life and simply fit into a herd and do what everyone else does, most of which, are not at the top tier of performance. So you get a race of “who is the best of mediocre.” and when you call it that, people get upset.
My thanks to every coach that ever screamed, yelled, might have had questionable techniques or motives – but at the end of the day – they were trying to make me a better player or person. I seem to learn via experience and making mistakes, so as I am getting older now – I have a plethora of ideas that I never thought I would be doing coming forth – the odd part is it is helping others. Maybe in helping myself to learn and grow in love, I will help others – but form a distance, as the people you love the most, many don't seem to want to build, much less look inside to see what is really there and improve upon it. Is this the way of life? Or merely the way others have put limits on how they think and feel about life
While I am older and slower today. I vaguely remember what it was like to run as fast and be as quick as I once was. It is like a great love, and you lose someone in an untimely passing. You experienced something that few probably have, and you know it exists…in hindsight you cherish it. But it doesn't make looking at the world of status quo or the “norm of mediocrity” any easier. there is more, a different way – yet – few want to put in the time and effort to go there beyond, “what a nice idea!”
Have a great day. I am not sure what is going on with me today. lots to do, and I am working to reconstruct the habits of what makes my life work best – versus what others think works best in life. I know better via making mistakes. Just because you might make the NFL does not mean you never stop trying to compete with yourself - all of your life.