Those that know me personally would certainly describe my outward personality as extroverted. What they have trouble believing is that I enjoy my introverted moments, too. Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say or feel like I need to listen rather than speak. It was during one of those times that some fellow students were discussing a question that was nagging them.
From what I heard, it was hard for them to understand why people they knew would continue playing a certain sport even after they suffering nasty injuries. There were stories of torn ACL’s, severely torn muscles, broken bones, and metal put into some their friends’ bodies just to keep things together, etc. Then, they shifted to dance. One of them recalled a dancer he knew once. Allegedly, she spent a lot of money and travelled the world to compete. “Why,” he asked “would she spend so much money and travel just to dance?” The general question I gleaned from the entire conversation was “Why is [insert hobby here] worth it?” I’ll admit it. At first I sort of froze, wondering if they were going to say something offensive. Happily, they were all mature enough not to. They were just confused.
Well, I can’t speak for their friends. But, having a life’s passion has helped me understand why people keep at it. In my opinion, something’s worth is measured by what you put into it. How many hours a week do you participate in your chosen passion? Do you practice at all? If so, how long do you practice? Do you often meet up with other like-minded people and enjoy it together? What have you sacrificed for it? How you answer questions like these determine its worth.
To be fair to my fellow students, it’s difficult to understand the “why” of a hobby unless you’re in it. That’s why it’s amusing to see people’s eyes glaze over when I talk about dance. If you truly love what you’re doing, no injury is going to keep you out. My former ballet teacher, Adrian, has metal screws in one knee. A former high school classmate is a professional ballet dancer and had hip surgery not too long ago. Both of them still dance.
I haven’t had any major physical injuries, but there have times when I just wanted to stomp out of the studio and never come back. I always came back because dancing gives me an indescribable joy that transcends the aspect of “just doing it”. It becomes more than the doing the activity itself. I would gladly spend my hard-earned money on more dancing and competitions that involve travelling. Why? Because I love it.
Sure, I may not understand why my Mom spends several days a week cross-stitching with friends, or why she runs. I may not understand why other fellow students spend several hours in their studios painting. But, I do understand that if they truly love what they’re doing, then it’s all worth it. And really, that’s all that needs to be understood.