Once upon a time I was a college track athlete, a heptathlete specifically. I had a good amount of natural talent for it, I enjoyed it, and I succeeded thanks to my beyond-stubborn streak. Notice I didn’t mention anything about working hard, being 100% dedicated, or making sacrifices for my sport. That’s because if I said those things, it wouldn’t be true.
A decade later, while I gave up the javelin when I graduated, I am still a runner and a successful one at that. I still possess the attributes that led to my collegiate success, but I attribute my post-collegiate successes to other things I didn’t have back then. Dedication. Sacrifice. Knowledge. Perspective. The Little Things. The paths college-me and adult-me took to get to success are intertwined but also distinctly different.
Who would I be now if I had today’s work ethic back then? How much better would I have been in college had I approached running with the same intensity and purpose I do now? Should I regret those naive and carefree years and wonder what if?
Are then and now linked, or are they two separate stories of success?