|Posted by caseyarchibald on April 18, 2010 at 12:04 PM|
“Man I tried to stop man, I tried the best I could”... Kanye West, “Addiction”
Are our addictionsa bad thing? Is doing somethingrepeatedly to the point that your daily thoughts always revert back to thisactivity a bad thing? Or are addictionsneeded to master something?
Although the word addiction has a negative vibe to it Ibelieve that the majority of athletes will tell you that they have an addictivepersonality. After reading and listeningto all the journalist report on the Tiger Woods incident it made me think ofall the problems that athletes find themselves in off the court. Sure you can blame the media for putting alltheir lives under a microscope, but in reality these actions are probablycaused by the same character flaw that has made these athletes so great.
I learned at a young age that I needed to be careful withwhat I got myself into. I found thatonce I started doing something I would continue doing it all out untilsomething in my life changed that made me stop. A simple slap on the hand never seemed to really do the trick. I’m talking about a full out INCIDENT wasneeded to make me change my ways. Fortunately enough for me, I wasn’t in the media spotlight when Ilearned some lifelong lessons.
With this said, this characteristic is what I believe has allowed me to get to where I am in terms of basketball. It made me want success in the game, andcrave working towards it. It became aneveryday habit of working towards a greater goal, and a constant internalpressure to keep improving.... to keep playing... to keep working.
There are a ton of examples of athletes at their top oftheir game being caught up in something that stems from addictivebehaviour. From Len Bias (the 2ndround pick in the 1986 NBA draft who overdosed on cocaine the night after beingdrafted), to Michael Jordan’s gambling, to most recently Tiger Woods sexualaddiction, it is evident that these great athletes have something in commonbesides great talents. They have acharacteristic trait that if not controlled can lead to their demise.
I had a few defining moments at a young age where I wasawakened to my addictive personality and looking back it is clear that thispersonality trait has really sculpted my life. I did some things that when I look back on seem childish and definitelydon’t fit into the spectrum in which I try to live by now. The same character flaw that got me deep intothese actions also allowed me to move on to completely new ways and live mylife in a much more respectful, healthy way. You live, and you learn, and hopefully you learn quick enough to livethe right way.