Q&A with Chris Sams: Part IV

I’m kicking off the week with an AWESOME Q&A with Chris Across America Sams. Chris left Baltimore on August 20th for a cross country run to San Diego, CA. He’s running to spread awareness about living a fit and healthy lifestyle. He’s alr
eady made it to Dallas, TX and is in great spirits!

We’ve added a new wrinkle this week for our Q&A. Chris has spoken at several schools over the course of his run so I thought it’d be unique to hear a question from one of the kids he has met with. Without further ado, take it away mister 3rd grader…

3rd grader: Do you plan on going to the Olympics?

Chris: I gave a quick chuckle and smile when I heard this one because I knew he was sincere and this came from the heart. I told him that my caliber of long distance running would not qualify me for the Olympics. I made sure to tell him that running is my hobby, it’s what I LOVE doing. IF I were to take it to the next level and IF I were able to qualify for the Olympics then I feel like I would run the risk of losing that love. Because then there would be that pressure for trying to get a gold, silver or bronze medal and potentially take the fun out of what I love. When I only have my desire to go out there and run and I don’t have a coach that tells me that I HAVE to do something, it adds to my admiration. I just would never want to run the risk of taking the love out of running for me.

After Chris answered this, he and I delved a little deeper into the root of the question; specifically where it was coming from. We gently joked about the fearlessness and innocence of a 3rd grader agreeing that a high school student would be more reluctant to ask such a question. We made an observation. We summed up life into 3 stages of development as it relates to age:

1) youth 2) early adolescence and 3) adulthood

Let us know if you agree with our observation…

YOUTH – think AND speak big. When children are young, they think big. They’re still exploring their boundaries. No one has necessarily told them what is possible versus impossible and their imagination brings the world to their fingertips. They feel as empowered as ever. Consequently, they tend to speak big as well. There is no such thing as a “stupid” question or statement; anything goes.

EARLY ADOLESCENCE – thing big BUT don’t speak big. In early adolescence, I believe the majority still think big BUT are much more hesitant to speak big. They still have a dream of what they think they can one day be. They still believe that the world is theirs for the taking and almost anything is possible. However, they’re a little more hesitant to speak big. Whether it is the fear of saying something “stupid” or “un-cool”, or whatever it is, an early adolescent is a little more hesitant to speak out without being completely sure of what they’re saying.

AUDLTHOOD – do not think big OR speak big. In adulthood, we thought the majority of adults neither run the risk of thinking big NOR speaking big. At this stage, we suggested that the majority of adults may have been beaten down enough by life that is has stripped away their capacity to think AND speak big. A dream of what was possible has been replaced with a new interpretation of “reality.” Consequently, they don’t think as big as they did when they were younger. Because they don’t think big it certainly paralyzes their ability to speak big.

Disclaimer: what we’ve made here is a BROAD generalization. Clearly, we don’t believe this is applicable across the board. We just thought it was neat to observe how an individual will think and speak at different stages of their lives.

Do you guys have any thoughts on this?

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