Sports and Life.

I bring myself to the stadium again, in a borderline state between stress and comfort, where the real emotion is undefined, grasping to categorize itself, at least in a positive or negative classification… The stress is not about being here, the stress is about not being somewhere else.

I don’t know how many have tried hard at sports, while also fighting at a high academic level or a highly demanding job (the kinds that stay inside your head for 24 hours…). During my masters degree, although time to train got slimmer and slimmer when exams and final presentations approached, I was never fulfilled with the kind of enormous guilt of ‘sacrificing’ time, personal growth in one single area, and total devotion to one field - after all, so many masters students participate in collegiate sports…

‘Throwing’ myself inside a PhD in Italy, I am finding a million psychological obstacles, that can be the result of complex functions of my living existence at this time… I don’t know, but the pure positive psychology of doing sport has been molested, trapped inside a mingled thread of outside reproach, personal need, obsession, and dreams.

I have found myself in a different kind of world, where although characters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are being marveled at, they are hardly emulated…
I have quit mentioning to Italian professors or classmates my being involved in systematic training and competitions. What used to be my pride and distinct personality feature in the United States, is now the element of misunderstanding and condemn. I am faced with an interpretation of serious sporting as a loss of devotion to something else, academic, of the highest level. And chances are, that when one’s mind are half of the time on some other dream, focus is lost. At least that is the common way of thinking.

I do not think single-mindedly. I have been training for sports since I was eight, while being a good student, drawing, painting, and learning how to play the piano and later the violin.
Although very good at school, academic obligations often felt like a hundred stones were being piled up on me. I suffocated, but thrived. The one thing that felt like ‘prison’, I follow until the end… It’s a ‘sin’ to throw away gifts… No? :confused:

The world is a one-minded majority, and when samples of this crowd rule your daily obligations (and income…), and their mindset is far away (or behind) yours, you come to wonder if education is really teaching us the essence of happy existence.

I look around me in the university, and see gloomy faces, all the time. They become so serious on their architectural talks, recalling on the works of their famous Vittorio Gregotti, that mind you, hardly any other culture knows about…
And then compare that look to the expressions of a coach working on the track. The eyes sparkle with anticipation, the cheeks are flushed, the mouth screams or smiles - emotions grow and perish. It’s not fun and games, it’s kinetic science.

But why can’t everything be in the spirit of GOOD SPORT?

I missed the aim of this thread… Interpret, and rant, if you feel… I surely had to.

Sport is our life and I, personally, am not giving it away for anyone. And this holds true for a DAILY basis.
The rest can look gloomy and deprived, or exercise on Wednesdays and Sundays.

I will not deprive myself to fit in.

Good for you, Stef. Do what you love. Be happy. If that means a slight loss of focus in some areas, then so be it.

I agree that, in academics, we’re taught to be serious, to conform, to focus on our given tasks above all else. While this may be what’s necessary to maximize our potential in a given field, it is no way to maintain a healthy and balanced soul. We need fun, we need laughter, we need physical expression, and we need grinding effort towards tasks we enjoy. You’re going to school to make a better life for yourself, but how much better is that life if you have to deprive yourself of something you absolutely love?

Anyways, go for it Stefanie. Live how you want to live. Be creative, be smart, be strong. Approach each day as if it’s a gift and it’s nearly impossible to go wrong. Once you get back out there and start doing what you love to do, things will start to look a lot brighter. And don’t worry about dulling your potential in one area by focusing on another. The greatest minds in history were also some of the most diverse.

:slight_smile: Thanks for that…

It concerns me that one so young should feel such a heavy burden. While education is extremely important and needs to be taken seriously I question the value of any institution that has such a culture as you describe. People are multi faceted and creative that should be embraced and encouraged.

Be encouraged and draw on friends and family for support.

Have a look at


I think that the burden took its toll this time, because I am experiencing a combination of another culture shock, along with living alone.

I am SO glad I will be home for 5 weeks starting on Thursday =))

I really liked that first link’s speech, by the way!

LIfe is long ( we hope) and ideally we never stop learning. Nothing beats passion as a guide to navigate truth. The only judge you need to pay any attention to is you.


Somebody once told me that with all the stuff I was doing I would be the jack of all trades but the master of none. Not to say this is what you’re going though but it’s very difficult to reach high levels of mastery in a wide variety of different fields. Also, what’s the point of learning a new task, or participating in a task, if it can’t complement or support your existing goals.

Modern education does not teach the general public how to live a happy existence. Modern education is all about job training and producing worker bees to keep “the system” running. Unfortunately, public and private corporations, who are motivated by profit, have stepped in to determine what the standard of happiness will be for the general public.

I despise that expression …and I’ve been hearing it all along, by people who have achieved less, at least under their definitions of ‘achievement’.

Best thing I’ve heard in a long time :cool:

In pursuit of excellence I believe it’s worth taking a look at constructive criticism irrespective of where it comes from because sometimes it’s hard to look at ourselves objectively due to the narrow minded approach it takes to stay focus.

You’re right Stefanie, people with a desire to achieve little out of life might look at you and think you are doing too much, but at the same time, with other people pointing this out, (according to your words), then it might be something worth taking a look at.

Just to open myself up, people tell me (some have laughed in my face) all the time that I’m too old to try and run professionally (I’m 30). Well, it does anger me, but this year I have set realistic goals because of this criticism, and if the goals are not achieved, then the naysayers are right and I need to downgrade my track ambitions and find another venue to be highly successful in that is not depended on age. I’m not a looser for not fighting to the end, I’m just cutting my losses.

Regardless, I wish you the best of success Stefanie because I know what the burden feels like to constantly live a reality that is not congruent with ones own ambitions.