When we think of an athlete, we may be tempted to picture a typical jock. Someone who emphasizes the importance of physical education and who brags about a personal achievement while doing flips. On the other hand, when we think of an artist, it is either someone with higher education who’s a bit pretentious or a person with a hectic outward appearance that is a bit…untethered to reality. Sometimes both.
These are stereotypes, of course. However, they do make us categorize them differently. And the question for today is: are they really that different? Let’s talk about the similarities between artists and athletes.
Both art and sports have one thing in common, at least for those that pursue them for the love of them. There is a point during an exercise regime as well as while creating. When you reach it, you don’t think. You do. Your body’s needs get pushed aside and you are no longer aware of them. You feel no hunger, no pain, no plans to win a medal or send a message. You are completely, 100%, in the moment.
It’s not just the art and the athletics that have this meditative zone, but I’m only focusing on the similarities between the two in this piece. And one of the similarities is that both artists and athletes get lost in their respective disciplines.
You could argue that sports are about breaking records, winning trophies and medals, and proving that you are the best or at least in the top whatever. There are two things wrong with that. While that is where the money is, that is not the point of sports. Competition is a tool for bringing out the best in ourselves.
Another thing is that art can also be pretty competitive, as well. Only, artists get different trophies. The Academy Awards, the Grammys, the acceptance into a prestigious gallery, becoming a laureate – these are the trophies the artists win. Again, it’s not about the awards. They are there as recognition of your discipline, talent, and skills, but they should not be the end result.
Intelligence And Education
Like I’ve said before, we tend to picture artists as highly educated, eloquent, and arrogant, while we see athletes as jocks who get by on their physique. This is a misconception. World-class athletes are also businesspersons, polyglots, and refined. You also have many artists with little to no formal education.
What’s the point of this statement, you may ask? Well, I just wanted to point out that you don’t necessarily need formal education for either of the two disciplines, though it certainly doesn’t hurt. Both athletes and artists benefit greatly from higher education as it helps them understand the world better.
Artists and athletes, generally, are pretty similar overall. They can both be professionals or amateurs. They meditate when they do what they love. They come from all walks of life. And you don’t have to choose between one or the other – people can be both.