Freshman year of college, after basketball season had ended, I still spent all my free time in the gym. I’d play against the random scrubs who wandered in, showing off my game but not really improving at all. One day an older student came and insisted I follow him into the weight room.
He was from New York, and told me all about the streetball legends there who were the most popular thing in basketball at the time outside of the NBA — his was the time of the And-1 Mixtape. This guy saw potential in me, and told me — accurately — that I’d never touch that potential if the random bums in the gym were my competition. He wasn’t a player himself, but he knew a component I’d need to raise my game: More strength.
That summer, while in the gym working alone, I ran into the coach who recruited me to another school and essentially changed the trajectory of my basketball life. The competition I found there forced me to step it up and show more skill — skill that I already had, but would never have shown had I started where I was.
Today’s show is about finding and creating those better challenges that make you a better person.
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