Nerd or athlete. Smart or strong. Mind or body. So many people talk as if you have to choose one or the other. Sure, chances are you’re always going to better at one or the other, but you only live once. Develop both!
It seems to me that some “nerds” choose to completely ignore their physical development, just as some “jocks” choose to completely ignore their intellectual development. Some nerds view their bodies as things to transport their heads around. They live in their heads, limiting themselves from an entire range of physical perception and experience that they sometimes seem to grudgingly envy, as if it has somehow been denied them. On the other hand, some jocks view their heads as merely things to control their bodies. They live in their bodies, without higher thought. Like animals, physical perception and experience is all that matters to them – intellectual pursuits rarely entire their mind. Like nerds, it seems they too sometimes grudgingly envy the abilities of their counterparts, the “nerds.”
Your mind and body are inseparably connected – one will not function without the other. If the ability of one is damaged, the other is damaged, and if the ability of one is improved, the other is improved. Exercise is not only healthy for your body, but also for your mind. It makes you think more quickly and clearly. Likewise, taking the time to hone your mental abilities certainly would not be a detriment when perusing physical activities. Rock climbing, for example, is as much a mind game as it a physical one. Thus, training your weak side to a certain degree – instead of not training it at all – may actually help with your strong side as well.
A lot people seem to think that it’s entirely a waste of time to work on your weaknesses, when you could be working on your strengths. I agree with this to a certain degree. Should you give up what you’re strong at in favor of developing something you’re already weaker at? Of course not! Keep developing your strengths, whatever they are. That’s probably where you’ll be the most successful. However, that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore your weaknesses. Why? Because physical strength and dexterity is an attribute that ANYONE can develop. Why not do it? You don’t have to dedicate your life to it. Just spending a few hours a week on your body could improve your life in ways you never imagined. It will give you self-esteem boost and, more importantly, make you healthier. Regardless of whether or not you are “naturally” athletic, you still have a duty to take care of your body. It’s a gift, and one that you can’t do without. Along with your mind, it’s the single-most important thing you’ll ever “own” in this corporeal lifetime. Take care of it. Even if you can’t find a way to make money from it, you’re still going to need it to enjoy all of that money you’re (hopefully) shoveling in through the use of your mind.
Intellectually or athletically lacking – it doesn’t matter. Development is always possible. That being said, it really depends on the individual how far you’re going to go, and your strengths are most likely going to get you further than your weaknesses. Potential is a big factor, but so is action. A person that takes action but has mediocre potential is still better off than a person that has high potential but takes no action.
And who knows? It is possible to be good at both, you know. Whatever the case, find what works best for you, but don’t be one of these people that assumes you have to focus entirely on physical pursuits or entirely on mental pursuits. You’re a human being, and human beings are more complicated than that. We are all mental and physical creatures, whether you like or not.