Sunday, July 23, 2006

He's Back

Tiger Woods has just won his second consecutive British Open. He came through like the champion he is by playing his best when he needed it most to stave off his closest challengers. I hold this man in awe. I'm not a golfer. Bowling is more than enough of a challenge for me. But I know that Tiger represents an extraordinary if not unprecedented union of golfing talent, self-discipline, refined skill, and indomitable will.

Part of me hungers to know more about what makes him or any supreme achiever in any domain great, while the rest of me just wants to revel in the magical mystery of it all. Perhaps it's only when this order is reversed and the dominant part of me is willing and able to analyze great achievers that I will achieve more myself.

But if I understood the ingredients of my limited and others' great successes better, would I appreciate them less? Or would I appreciate them more? Would knowing what makes Tiger Tiger be like intellectually understanding how Chris Angel walks on water and losing my dumbstruck joy in seeing it? Or would I appreciate and enjoy it even more when I know the cleverness, sweat, and toil that went into perfecting the complex skills involved?

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