Persistence for Pursuing a Passion

Today’s post is about pursuing a passion – not just any passion but one that comes from inside of you to persist at a craft or activity that you value, and that might contribute to who you are in the future.

Obviously, this spring is much different than the spring most seniors in high school envisioned.  Last year we thought ahead and arranged to have our son take an AP class online so that it would be finished by the time the spring track season arrived. We expected that he would run again, pursuing his own times and records he set in 2019.  He was second in the state for the 200 m race and seventh in the state for the 100 m.  He trained and worked hard to achieve the goal he has set for himself to just get to state. Not only did he get there, but he also persevered and won a spot on the podium. He chased a vision.

Winter came. There were several setbacks. He hurt his back and foot during the indoor futsal season. He became worried about running well. The track season approached and he began to train, much like he did last year – in his room with weights and at the YMCA by running on the treadmill and the indoor track.  The back and foot issue resolved with care, exercise, and especially time and patience!

But, through all this we, his parents, were telling him to prioritize.  The following questions were posed: how much time would you have to devote to track in college? Can you run at a D1 level? Do you want to? Did you respond to the D3 coach who reached out to you?  What is your vision for your future? Is track involved and to what extent?

When the time came, he elected to base his decision on where to go to college on a desire to become an artist, not his desire to remain involved in a sport. He prioritized. Please understand, I am not claiming this is the right decision for anyone but him.  Sports are very important to the identity of some individuals.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with that. But, for him – and, he was obviously a very good sprinter – he prioritized his desire to excel at his art.

Track season arrived and they had one week of practice before the schools were physically closed and online learning began with social distancing quickly following behind. Track meet dates have come and gone. The dream to get back to the State has dissolved. But, his persistence and passion for his art have remained. Six to eight hours a day are spent drawing, making tutorials, finishing commissions, and networking for future pieces. Always striving to improve, to become better at his craft, and to hold true to a vision he has for himself as an artist. This is the vision he is chasing now.

As his parents, we are proud of this effort. He’s not moping about wishing for something that is now unlikely to happen. He is a realist and sees his future in something other than sports. Will he run again? Maybe? Will he excel at it? Yes, if he chooses to, he will! He has had a good run as a high school athlete, participating in two varsity sports throughout all four years of school. He’s been to state for both sports. He’s learned commitment, teamwork, and how individual preparation contributes to success.  But, now he is applying that to something else. The persistence and passion? Those traits have come from within him.  As parents, we support his priorities and look forward to his future – the vision he now holds and is working towards.

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