The Beauty of Mastery

It takes a lot of time, effort, persistence and dedication to master a sport.  Ask any athlete.  Those individuals who devote their lives to developing proficiency in one sport fully understand the commitment and the sacrifices.  They have donated the majority of their years to the neverending progression from regular ole’ athlete to expert.  The sport is a part of their identity.

When a high level athlete unleashes that part of their identity and demonstrates their skills, we can’t help but notice the obvious mastery of movement.  And that mastery is so incredibly beautiful!!

It is fluid and precise and effortless.  Is is entertaining and spectacular.  The athlete makes each aspect of the sport look easy.  Like it could be done in their sleep.  And since we all know how difficult it really is (especially for those who have NOT achieved mastery!), the display of endless ease just leaves us stunned… impressed… intrigued.  We can’t stop watching.

That’s how I felt this past Saturday as the Long Beach Roller Derby GALS crushed the competition in their first travel team bout.  The LBRD’s three coaches have never skated at a local bout – so I had not yet witnessed their skill.  All three women have grown up with skates glued to their feet.  They are skaters to the absolute core.  And needless to say, I was thoroughly entertained because of it.

Talent oozed out of each gal.  Maneuvers and strategies were thrown around the rink at every turn.  They had speed.  They had agility.  They could hip check and shoulder check with accuracy an incredible force.  They skated with grace and confidence, but they certainly could intimidate any girl out there, that’s for sure!

It was beautiful.  And I didn’t even mention all the other members of the LBRD travel team!  There’s a reason those ladies were chosen to represent the league.  And there’s certainly a reason why they smashed the competition.  I’ve surrounded myself with a talented group of women, that’s for sure.

Can you think of a time when you’ve witnessed and been inspired by the mastery and skill of an athlete?   I’m sure you can recall many – especially when the Olympics roll around.

Well, I can tell you with pure certainty that I have, and always will, seek out the inspiration created by persons who dominate a discipline.  I am awe-struck by how the body can become so efficient at a skill set, even though the human body is the medium with which I work every day (and even though I’ve become extremely efficient at a sport myself).  I guess it’s not just the fact that mastery is possible.  But that I’m so utterly impressed at the practice of one person’s consistent, relentless dedication to one thing.  To perfecting that one thing, I should say.

That dedication is so admirable.

Maybe you aren’t a master of any sport or physical skill – but I hope that you have heroes and mentors that keep you inspired toward constant improvement.  And I hope they keep you entertained with the beauty of their movement.