Dreams are a good thing to have, right? That’s what they say, at least.
Esteemed sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella once wrote, “Lots of people who never achieve much have dreams. Exceptional people also have dreams. But exceptional people go well beyond dreaming.”
As a child, I dreamed big. Most kids do, I assume. I dreamed of making it in Hollywood as a famous director. Over time, however, that dream changed. I still loved the idea of working in the film industry, but I found that I was becoming more and more fascinated with the English language as I progressed in school. My dreams were shifting, from film to writing, and that shift culminated with my first journalism class in the tenth grade. From that point on, I knew I wanted to make a career out of writing, and my dream manifested into a goal that has since remained my greatest aspiration: to write a New York Times Best Seller.
I continued to hone my skills as a writer throughout college as a business communication major with an English minor. After graduating from Stevenson University in 2015, I was hired as a web content specialist by Compulse Integrated Marketing, and I have since been promoted as the agency’s lead copywriter. I get to write for a career, something I’ve always wanted to do. For many people, that in itself is a dream come true.
Not for me.
Grant it, I love my job. I love writing on different topics daily and learning about things I never would have otherwise. Still, upon receiving my promotion, I knew I wanted more. Perhaps it was because my dream still hadn’t been attained. Becoming the agency’s lead copywriter at 25 years old was a lot to be proud of, but it wasn’t the New York Times Best Seller I’d been preparing for since grade school. That had to be it, right? Was that it?
Part of me knew that wasn’t quite what was plaguing me, either. There was a little space inside that void that was devoted to something else entirely, something entirely unrelated to my ultimate goal – my relatively-newfound passion for fitness. That passion, however, has not developed without its hardships.
I started exercising with intent when I was training for high school football. I liked it well enough, but it was a means to an end. My mission at the gym was simple: get stronger so that you can excel at the sport you love. I spent hours in the gym and at the track training, doing everything I could to be the best I could possibly be. With so many hours dedicated to the sport, you can imagine how much it pained me to learn that my football career was over after suffering a severe neck injury halfway through my senior year.
Still, hope was not lost, and after spending several months away from fitness, I came back to it. However, this time, things were different. This time, I found that working out was no longer a means to an end – it was the end (or end-goal, that is). The love I once had for playing football transformed into a love for bettering my health. I set goals, and I reached them. I pushed myself, and I was rewarded. I was getting better and better – until one day, I wasn’t.
Similarly to when I played football, I suffered an injury – this time in my lower back – that doctors and specialists alike initially thought might never be fixed. That was over a year ago. The situation was eerily similar to what I went through nearly a decade prior on the field, but this time I wasn’t about to let my situation control me. I was not going to stop; instead, I was going to find ways around my setback, even if my injury might not ever be healed. I was going to better my quality of life, no matter what. And wow, did I learn a lot.
I learned about rehabilitation, mobility, and stretching. I learned about different aspects of cardio that I’d never even thought to consider. I learned about different training modalities, both for people who are almost completely healthy and those with serious physical limitations. And I learned about just how important proper nutrition is for those who wish to reach new heights physically and mentally.
So, what did I do with all of this knowledge? I went and got certified. I studied my butt off, and almost six months later, I became a NASM-certified personal trainer.
Now, let me be clear – writing a New York Times Best Seller is still my ultimate goal (I’m currently in the middle of writing my first novel). I’m doing what I can to listen to Dr. Rotella and “go well beyond dreaming” by acting on my ambitions. However, if a person has two passions that are equally important, why should they only choose one?
I’ve heard that in life, you can choose to do one of three things if you wish to be great:
- You can choose to do only one thing but at an expert level.
- You can choose to do two things extraordinarily well.
- You can choose to do three things and be pretty darn good at all of them.
After that, you can’t be much better than average. Now, I’m not talking about washing a car, or making dinner for the family, or even driving a car. I’m talking about things that truly take time to excel at – careers, parenting, being a husband or wife.
For all I know, this may be true. After all, it is insanely difficult to become a hall-of-fame athlete if you aren’t completely dedicated to the process. Even if you’re an athlete and a father, it’s oftentimes too hard to become an “expert” in either category due to the sheer amount of time it takes to get to that level.
Personally, I’m okay with being extraordinary at a few of the things I do, rather than an expert at one thing. Why? Because I’m not a prodigy. I’m wasn’t some kid seen as the next great athlete or coach from the time I was two years old. Instead, I’m someone who thrives at doing the things I like to do, and I like to do multiple things.
Again, this expert talk might be true. It probably is. At the same time, I believe that one of the many reasons God put us here on this earth, together, is so that we can learn from one another. There are so many things to learn out there, and frankly, we’re not going to be around long enough to learn them all. If that is the case, then let’s spend the time we do have learning and teaching others about the things we love to learn and teach about.
If you’re into fitness, thinking that you might one day want to get into fitness, or fall somewhere in the middle, then you’ve come to the right place. This blog is not meant to serve as your only source of health and exercise knowledge. Instead, the words I write are meant to supplement you on your journey. They are meant to inspire you to become a better version of yourself. I don’t know everything there is to know, not even close. I do, however, think I know more than the average joe, and I know that I’m going to continue learning until the day I’m no longer passionate about doing so.
Are you going to agree with everything I write? I doubt it. Are you going to listen to everything I have to say? Probably not. But if this blog can help just one person get to where they want to be, that will be enough.
Be that one person. Let’s take this journey of learning and teaching together and see where it gets us. For all we know, it might just be what we need to help us both reach our dreams.
Frankie Reynolds is a copywriter for Compulse Integrated Marketing and a NASM-certified personal trainer. He is also a CrossFit Level 1 trainer. For more tips on how to better your health, feel free to reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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