I am afraid that I uphold the scientist cliché of not being very athletic. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy some sports, particularly badminton. I also have several sports I enjoy watching, although every team I cheer for has gotten very close to winning it all and then lost, so feel free to rent me out as a fan for the other team. However, I really wouldn’t describe myself as an athletic enthusiast.
Thus you can imagine, as per cliché that Physical Education was one of my tougher classes. I could not run that fast (although I’ve now learned that having my headphones might have helped) and was never a fan of seeing how many push-ups I could do in a minute.
I imagine most articles about this subject would now talk about how some people have physical gifts while others have mental gifts.But I’m not going to go down that train of thought.Instead I am going to argue, that P.E. taught one of the most important lessons you can learn in life, especially as a scientist.
“Show some hustle out there.” I am quite certain you have heard this phrase before from at least a fictional gym teacher. The idea essentially being that you need to put in the effort. I actually got decent grades in P.E. because I had good teachers. All of my P. E. teachers believed that you earned your grade not by how fast or how strong you were, but how hard you worked and how much you improved.
I distinctly remember one day where we were doing a warm up run around the tennis courts. At the end of it, the teacher complimented those towards the back of the group that had been running the whole way, partially because several of the faster students had strolled along instead of putting in the effort.
That of course is the lesson, to try your best at what you do. I accepted long ago that there are men and women in my life who are faster than me. As a scientist, I accept the fact that there will always be people in my field who are smarter than me. But that is of no importance. What is important for my work is that I put in the effort.
Also, it is important how much you improve. One of the things that my dad always tells me is to be a life long learner. Every day you should try to grow and learn something new. As a scientist everyone is at a different stage of their career. But the best students are not the ones coming in with the most knowledge but those who gain the most by the time they leave.
So there may be a cliché that scientists are not very athletic. I can’t support this as I have seen many athletic scientists in my life. But even when the cliché holds true, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the smartest people are probably those who paid attention in P.E.
THE MOTLEY ADVOCATE: I AM A CHRISTIAN, A BIOLOGIST, A FICTION WRITER AND AN AMATEUR AT MANY OTHER THINGS. MY ARTICLES ARE OFTEN SOME COMBINATION OF THESE ELEMENTS. I DON’T HAVE A TWITTER BUT YOU CAN E-MAIL ME THROUGH THE SCIENCE ACES E-MAIL (SCIENCE.ACES15@GMAIL.COM) .