It’s interesting to me to think about the choice one has in life to live as a yogi, always in peace, always in bliss, or, as most mortals live, a life of ups and downs, pleasures followed by pains, followed by pleasures, followed by pains. This comes to mind in athletic pursuits…If you choose to accept the great feelings you have when you succeed, and triumph, you are also choosing to accept feelings of defeat, pain, and need…the need to be better, throw farther, run faster, whatever, when you don’t succeed. Needs necessarily make us feel not good enough, and take our peace away.
I always thought it was weird to ban those funky dance celebrations after a team made a touchdown in football. But on further contemplation, maybe it reveals a kind of higher truth that the ego shouldn’t be glorified. It is okay for the entire team to celebrate after a victory, but for one person to do the moon walk after a success puts the attention on the individual pride rather than the collective effort.
As an athlete with goals and needs, you must accept that there will be pain and there will be pleasure associated with the journey to acheive that goal. A lot of times we get caught up in the pain and start feeling sorry for ourselves. But that’s what you get when you chase a goal. You made a choice, and you must live with the consequences.
You can think of athletics as kind of a practice in pain for purification. You accept the pain because if you can muster the strength to get through it and learn from it, you know it will make you better in the end.