Athletic Deficit Disorder

Ok #Eagles fans. I get it, and I have to say I’m impressed. Those of you who know me know that despite my modicum of against all nerd odds running prowess, I am less than interested in sports, and less than athletic. So despite my #Boston heart and roots, there is decidedly less sting in the #Patriots defeat, although it does sting just a bit. And so you bird heads, or whatever it is the meshugenah Eagles fans are called in the City of Brotherly Love, go ahead and gloat – you’ve earned this one, and there’s still no shame in being a Boston sports fan.

 

With all the feats of perfectly executed athletic acrobatics on display at last week’s Super Bowl, my most inspired and impressed moment for me came not during play – it was in the Tom Brady interview during halftime, in which he deemed himself to the interviewer to be “athletically deficient.” Now Brady hater or not, deflategate believer or denier, Trumpkin or never Trump-er, one can’t help but be blown away by the ninja-esque ability of this man, and his unbroken record of most wins with a single team. And yes, it’s entirely possible that a bit of false modesty looks pretty, pretty good for the cameras, the ladies at home, and Mom (hi Mom!). But it’s also possible that he genuinely believes that he’s just not a natural athlete, and has developed these skills through hard work sprinkled with a dash of talent (hear that kids?), and he is planning on doing even better next time. As Walter “the refrigerator” Payton said around the time he was in Super Bowl 20, his best game hasn’t been played yet. I’m painfully aware that despite the most articulate and vociferous pep talk we offer our kids, most kids will not grow up to be a star quarterback in the NFL, or an astronaut, or a neurosurgeon, or even President (is that even an enviable job anymore?). But all kids can grow up to be the best adult version of themselves, and by doing so maximizing their potential. A really well-adjusted and happy kid can recognize his own limitations, grow despite them, and recognize his innate talent and then bring it to everything he or she does. And that’s the best we can ask of ourselves or our kids – recognize our own potential with a dash of ego to push to the front of the pack, while remaining cognizant of our deficiencies – and using those as well to become great with a dash of humility.

 

Mr. Brady, and everyone else on the teams, has risen from a point of limitless potential, and then worked their padded pants off to become the very best at what they are, and hopefully recognized the hard work it took and those who believed and invested in them. And maybe that’s the lesson of the Super Bowl – we reward greatness because it is just that, and that is worth celebrating, while also recognizing that we can always get just a little bit better.

 

So, my NYC podiatry patients, you might ask- what’s all this got to do with feet? Well other than being peppered with an alternate spelling of the word, not much. Even if you’re a hater, there are lessons to be learned – recognize your greatness, work hard to develop it, don’t get too cocky, and oh yeah – make sure there’s a team on board to support it.

 

See you in the office.

 

Ernest Isaacson