Career, Goals

The Hard Questions

Sometimes Buzzfeed is good for something other than amusing (and sometimes bemusing) lists or ingeniously-curated gifs.

From a piece on former tennis pro athlete, James Blake:

His career just never seemed to click into place the way the instructions that came with the package said it was supposed to. And it did really seem like Blake was supposed to have an epic career, given his story. He was born in Yonkers, outside New York City, and as a kid played at — and heard Arthur Ashe speak to — a Harlem junior tennis program that his parents worked with. That’s an auspicious start for a black American tennis player… But despite putting together the best streak of his career in 2006, he never threatened to win a major. Just when it seemed like everything was coming together, something would come apart. You may know the feeling.

The press conference was a heavy thing — a guy seeing a three-decade life project come to a end in a largely empty stadium after midnight. There was a lot to think about: fans coming to terms with an unsatisfying end to Blake’s career, Blake coming to terms with an unsatisfying end to his own career, and (perhaps, if you’re in the mood to brood) fans thinking about the similarities between his life and their own. Thanks for speaking to us, James. Can you tell us what you feel like right now? Can you describe what it’s like to know conclusively that you will never have the thing you wanted most? Can you talk about your forehand, your serve, and the way that every day your life’s possibilities get incrementally narrower? How did your legs feel in the fifth set, and don’t almost all of us have to admit eventually that we aren’t going to be the ones who get lucky?

Read the rest  here.

I’ve been thinking about this article non-stop since I first read it yesterday afternoon.

It’s an uncomfortable thing to consider. We all want to be successful and happy, healthy and loved.

But what happens if, despite your hard work, you never quite reach your potential?

What if you never get what you want?

If you’re James Blake, you acknowledge the career highs. You accept your uncertain future with gracious, open arms.

Maybe one day I’ll learn.

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One thought on “The Hard Questions

  1. I feel the sky is still the limit for James Blake. Though he is stepping away from the sport of competitive tennis, he is not likey to leave his passion forever.
    I have faith that a bevy of opportunities will come his way and he will enjoy his life on his schedule, while impacting others.

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