Fitting In vs. The Pursuit of Greatness

Everyday for the rest of your life you'll have to choose - do you want to fit in, or do you want to embark on the lonely pursuit of greatness? - Ray Allen

I ended up taking the weekend to train at Wintergreen in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it reminded me of the above quote by all-time NBA great, Ray Allen. Here is an ~9 minute video on Ray's obsession with greatness - excellent listen.  This quote made me think... do I want to fit in, to go out with friends and party / have drinks / hang out and take it easy?? Or do I want to continue my personal pursuit of becoming the best person, coach, and athlete I can possibly be? This weekend I chose the latter... and I couldn't be happier. 

I love what Ray had to say in that interview - here is one of the ALL TIME best shooters in NBA history meticulously and methodically working on his craft, day in and day out. Grinding, sweating, pushing through self doubts and fears and the mounting desire to stop. Alone, in the gym, before games and after practices. I love it. I love that mentality, I love the will to persevere. There is beauty to be found in the sacrifice and the struggle, it's romantic, almost. ANYONE can accomplish ANYTHING they set their hearts and desires on, IF it's accompanied with consistent. hard. work. Anyone.

But here's where I disagree with Ray - you don't have to go about it alone. Sometimes it feels like it, and sometimes you may physically be alone, but you're NEVER without your people. It's a long road, yes, and many MANY hours will be spent in silent solitude... I spent three hours yesterday on the slopes of Wintergreen ascending and descending that mountain, grinding, sweating, pushing through self-doubts and fears and the mounting desire to stop. Yesterday, it all clicked - I was enduring. I endured. But I wasn't alone. 

I know there are thousands and thousands of athletes out there working just as hard as I am, if not harder, to catch their dreams and accomplish their goals. I know you got after it yesterday, and if you didn't, I know you will... THAT motivates me. My friend Marc was grinding just as I was, but on a different part of the mountain. I know he was working hard, and I had to work hard too. I've got my squad, my friends, my family, and they've all got my back entirely - just as I have theirs. We may not all fit in, but to that I say GOOD. We're all grinding. Together. And we're all on the road to greatness.

In GS Nation, you'll never walk alone.