I ran into my old friend Asa Miura last night, waiting for a pizza. You might remember Asa from a couple of Madison bands | Common Faces, and before that Actors in Motion.
While most musicians will never be rock stars, music is something that you can share with family and friends, no matter what level you play at. By the same token, most athletes will never play in the NBA or NFL, but running or bicycling with family and friends creates special moments and deepens those relationships.
Music keeps the mind sharp. Sting, who was a school-teacher in his younger days, often talks about the connection between music and performance in school. The obvious parallel here is that athletics keep the body in shape | but it goes beyond that | the focus needed to perform as an athlete also translates to focus in the classroom and in other areas of life.
For me, the biggest parallel is the fact that both are things that you can take with you throughout your life and they will both continue to make your life better over the years. As I mentioned earlier | both can be wonderful social activities, but they can also be great for spending time alone with your thoughts. Both are also great self-esteem builders | no, you might not be a rock star, but you can play the guitar solo from Freebird…and you might never race the Tour de France, but riding 100 miles to help cure for cancer is pretty cool too.
One last parallel that I really like | in both cases YOU define yourself as an “athlete” or a “musician” | there is no test to become either one and nobody else can tell you that you don’t belong to that group! If you pursue music in any way, you can proudly call yourself a musician, and if you pursue athletics in any way, you are an athlete…and nobody can tell you differently.