I believe that no answer, is at times the best answer. Not doing anything, is sometimes the hardest thing to do. I hope you will end up reading this whoever and wherever you are. I hope that my silence has spoken loudly and you have found the right path on your own. I hope you will respond to this blog, if not... then I will assume you are out there, happy and doing what you love. I think you, the reader, can understand and relate to my situation. Maybe you, the reader, might disagree with my decision. Either way, I would love to hear your two cents.
I had a college kid write me a long letter last year, a letter that keeps me up to this day, a letter that I have thought about everyday up 'til now, a letter about a love affair with training vs school. It was a crossroads letter that I spent about two days typing a response to. It was a letter that many people go through. Am I happy doing what I'm doing? Which way should I stray? And most importantly, how do I know if the decision I make is the right decision? His letter was so detailed, so passionate, so heart felt that I had to think long and hard before writing him back. Do I stay in school? Or do I drop out putting everything into weightlifting? My answer could have huge impact on this kids life. My answer could change this young man's life for the better, or who knows... the worse. I would type then delete, another sentence erased, another paragraph down the drain. A call in to some very close friends, family members, and a long chat to my wife. What and how should I respond? Right when I thought I had an answer it changed, finding myself at the end with no answer. I could tell him to do what I did, but he is not me. I could tell him to stay in school, but am I killing his dream? I could have taken the easy way out and told him to do both... press send.....complete. But did I really believe that? No, I didn't. He reminded me so much of myself through his letter. He was standing at the crossroads of life, the same place we have all been. If you the reader are very young.... then I think the rest of the Dark Orchestra will agree with me that someday you will be standing on that dirt country road with chalk in one hand and a brief case in the other, and when that day does come, ask questions, explore, pick people's mind, indulge in wanderlust... just like the young man who wrote me did. But at the end of the day, follow your heart, trust yourself. You might not know this at the time young reader, but the most beautiful part about walking right instead of left, is the fact they are both the right direction. You will someday look back at that time you stood in the dusty wind storm with a corn field in front of you, while two very life changing roads sit besides you, and you will smile with happiness as you get ready to sit down with your family for dinner. You will smile as you chalk your hands before pulling on the bar. You will smile as your students enter the class room for math class. You will smile while you train for your sport while holding a full time job. You will smile young reader because I know you, I know the person who wrote me. He was me, I was him, and I know whatever I, you, or he sets his mind to we will all succeed, no matter what it is. Happiness finds us, we don't find it.
I never responded. It's been close to two years now and not a day goes by that I don't wonder what kind of decision he made. What path he decided to walk down. Weightlifting or Academics or both, or something completely different that he didn't even see coming. I wanted so badly to help, but I knew that by not responding was the best way I could help. I didn't want to limit this young man to only two options. You have the whole world in front of you my unseen friend! Don't you dare limit yourself to two options! I cannot answer your question, you must find it yourself, just like I did. Does it kill me that you think I might not of read your letter, yes, more than ever. This is what's hard for me to swallow. Maybe I should have wrote you a simple, "It's up to you" letter. Still to this day I feel I made the right decision by staying silent. I don't want to make it easier on you. I want you to burn your hand! Get in trouble! Find what you're good at! Meet friends you never thought you would ever be friends with! Find yourself, never have anyone find it for you. You might not be in control, but you are 100 percent in control. That might not make any sense, but then again life doesn't always make sense, weightlifting doesn't always make sense, and your decisions will half the time never make sense. Yes, I am speaking to many people through this blog right now, but most importantly I want you, you the young man that wrote me that powerful letter two years ago, that yes, I read it. Yes I read it and still do, just to remind myself how far I have come from that dirt cornfield road, and how far you will go as well. And young reader that hasn't bumped into the corn field road........just remember....You ain't got time for percentages. Everyday max out.
PS: Young man who wrote me that letter, if you find this blog post, please contact me. I want to know what and how you are doing. If you have decided to lift weights, then I would love to help you in any way possible. I will give you my phone number so we can chat. Salut
Young reader 2016