I didn’t know it back then, but boy am I glad I chose music over sports.
One of the most popular activities of retirees is meeting for lunch with our old cronies from high school.
Well, being one of the above mentioned and also being a former band nerd in school, I notice some obvious differences with my buds who just happened to be sports stars in our youth.
Sure, when we were 16, they may have been a bit more “popular” from being on the football team. But what exactly did that get them later in life? When you’re a teenager, choosing between a sport over an instrument might seem like a no-brainer. But think about what you’ll gain throughout your life if you only choose that sport. Here’s what I notice now that we’re all “the over the hill gang.”
First, they enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame as young men….
Point for sports… But it came at a price. Today each has either replaced hips or knees, accompanied by chronic physical pain… Point against sports.
As a musician, I also enjoyed a little fame performing in school and continue receiving accolades to present day. (No pain required or necessary) Actually, music has saved my body for later life with a whole lot less pain… Big point or two for music!
Second, even if there are no injuries, all athletes start slowing down somewhere their 30’s and the trend continues for the rest of all our lives…. and you never get it back. Oh oh, point against high level sports.
When I was a freshman in college, there was a twenty-five year old student faithfully working on his sax every time I was looking for a practice room. He just didn’t seem to ever make any progress. My reaction was “Oh no, I must learn everything by age 25”.
Boy was I wrong. Musicians can keep progressing both emotionally and physically all their lives….. Barring the dreaded arthritis factor, music can be a lifelong learning endeavor and you can actually perform better than most younger musicians. It’s an evolving process throughout your life… Another strong point for music.
In short, I personally love sports, and like others in my age bracket, I am a spectator. No, we are not bed ridden and do participate in friendly tennis, wilderness hiking, skiing etc…. maybe at a slower pace… However as a musician, not only can I enjoy listening to great music, but I am still performing at a high level, and it is still a rush!
Whatever the score is or whatever your love of life is, enjoy sports and/or music… have a healthy journey