Life Lesson #4: Explore New Interests

A hot topic of debate is whether kids should only focus on one sport, or should they play multiple sports? Growing up, I loved baseball, but you could catch me running around all the fields having fun with my friends. Football, basketball, wrestling, and soccer were some of my favorite activities outside of baseball and too be honest, I wish I stuck with them through high school. Not because I was good at any of them but because one-sport specialization is overrated. Only playing one sport in the teenage stages of development often leads to overuse injuries, lack of participation, and burnout. Simply put, if you only stick with one sport you’re bound to get bored.

Since my blogs are about honesty, I suppose I need to get something off my chest. I’ve been thinking about it a lot while writing my past blogs and it has become so much more clear to me.

Truth is, I’m glad I gave up playing baseball; but not for reasons you would expect.

Whenever this time of year rolls around it’s hard on me. No more opening days. No more games alongside my brothers. No more high-intensity moments of emotion for the game. I just wish I could be out there one more time, as cliché as that sounds. But this year was a little different for me.

This year I discovered I loved something just as much as I loved baseball. Skiing. I fell in love with the moments of shredding fresh pow while slamming beers with my snow pals. The triumph of landing a new trick. The thoughts of skiing the night before, gave me the same butterflies in my stomach as game days for baseball once did. I needed something that freed my mind from the emptiness of not playing a sport, and it feels so good to find something I look forward to in life.

If I never gave up baseball, I probably would have never learned how much I loved to ski. img_3592

With all the free time I have now, I get the opportunity to try new things and I love it. Hobbies are important. Hobbies keep you sane. Hobbies give peace of mind when the world becomes too much.

 Developing new hobbies is something I wasn’t accustomed to and it was so strange when I wanted to explore new interests. Over the last three years I tried several new things:

  • Body Building-I knew I really liked to lift weights. Watching my body transform, seeing new muscles develop that I never knew existed. As great as it is, it has its downfall. I can only eat so much chicken and asparagus.
  • MMA- The training was fun, in fact it was awesome; but it turns out I don’t like getting choked out and put in arm bars
  • Softball-Always said I wouldn’t play, but an intermural season with my friends changed my mind. Please don’t tell my old teammates how excited I am for the upcoming season of softball
  • Golf- holy shit I suck at this sport. I guess swinging a bat isn’t even close to swinging a golf club. But I am always down for a back 9 if you have some pointers for me.

 

I also got to explore new hobbies through work and education:

One of my first jobs was in coffee, and it has been such a cool experience. Making a good cup of joe is an art form. Making sure the shots are coming out right, and the milk is the correct temperature is a lot harder than it sounds. Being a bro-isto ended up being a blessing in my life that I would have never expected. It’s strange thing to say you love your job, hitting on soccer moms just happens to be a perk of the work.

It’s also weird to say how much I love my major. I’m feeling better about my future. I think I am on the right track to doing something I love in life. Growing up, I always thought I was going to be inside the lines of the playing field. I knew how much I love baseball, and that has since translated into my career choice. Now I’m pursuing a newfound dream of working with a professional baseball team and I can’t wait to be on the outside looking in on those white lines from the front offices.

So get out there and take a chance. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with something you never expected. Maybe you’ll hate it, but that’s part of trying new things. If you’re unhappy in life, make a change whether it be a hobby, job, or educational program. Only you can control your happiness, and only you can control your life. As long as you’re having a blast doing whatever you’re doing, don’t let anyone get you down. Don’t let someone else dictate your happiness. Live the life you love.

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