I was once a race-walker. My brief relationship with the sport began in high school after the students were mandated to do some sort of extra-curricular athletics. Race-walking seemed to be the easiest and least undesirable choice.
The reality of my decision was aching knees, burning thighs and my social standing seeming to lower with every fast-paced step. The track we walked on surrounded the field where the girl’s field hockey team practiced. The young women didn’t seem to appreciate how challenging it is for a young man’s hips to wiggle like that.
Instead of regretting my decision, I embraced it. Seeing as I had to be there, I chose to find the joy in it.
I was reminded of the experience during a recent CTV News interview with acclaimed chef, Vikram Vij, who just got his nose pierced.
VV: “It was just impromptu. It was one of those whimsical moments I love.”
AS: “Were you afraid? Did it hurt?”
VV: “When she pierced it, my eyes started completely crying. But what’s the worst thing that can happen? The nose ring doesn’t look so good? You pull it out and leave it alone. (It’s like cooking), what’s the worst thing that could happen? The dish doesn’t taste so good? So what?”
Vij says we should all experiment in the kitchen fearlessly. “Don’t be afraid of spices. The beautiful part about Indian cooking is that there is no one way to do it.”
Vij suggests that if we can discover our own unique way of doing things and “pursue it with focus, passion and love,” we will feel creative and successful.
The artistic director of the Belfry Theatre has similar advice. When I asked Michael Shamata about the key to creativity, he replied simply: “Banish the voices in your head and trust yourself.”
I admit that’s easier said than done, but I know from my race-walking experience, it’s true.
I “banished” my doubts about how awkward I looked, said, “so what? What’s the worst thing that can happen,” and pursued it with passion. That change in attitude inspired me to do so well at the city-wide competition, that I qualified for the BC championships in Burnaby, and ended up placing seventh in the province.
Ultimately the experience ended up fun rather than fearful. And every step to success was made with a whimsical wiggle.
Adam Sawatsky reports on arts & lifestyle weekdays on CTV News Vancouver Island with Hudson Mack. On weekends he hosts Eye on the Arts on CFAX 1070.