|Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Applying Physical Genius If hockey teams had been selected simply on the basis of size, speed, and strength, Wayne Gretzky would never have gotten to play. That would have been a big mistake -- because Wayne Gretzky had some skills that were very difficult to measure, but were very important for precisely that reason.
He had an uncanny ability to anticipate where the puck would go, and when to pass or shoot. Although he wasn't one of the fastest skaters, he could accelerate suddenly, which gave him deceptive quickness.
After 21 years in the National Hockey League, Wayne Gretzky held 61 league records at the time of his retirement in 1999. These include 24 game-winning goals, 4 goals in a single period, and 5 goals in a single game -- a feat that he accomplished four times. He was most valuable player in nine different seasons, and was twice most valuable player in the championship playoffs.
Wayne Gretzky is the paradigm of a physical genius; an athletic powerhouse. Let me suggest that you use Wayne Gretzky as a model for bringing this element of grace and effortlessness into your life. This should certainly include physical activities, but it's not limited to that.
There were other athletes who had great physical ability, yet chaos entered their lives. Sometimes this may have been their own fault. Sometimes -- as with Jim Thorpe -- there may have been injustice involved. But Wayne Gretzky had some intangible quality that allowed him to escape that. It's a form of genius that's difficult to define or measure -- just as it was hard to quantify Gretzky's ability as a hockey player with a stopwatch or a weight machine. Ernest Hemingway called it "grace under pressure," and that kind of grace is something we should all try to develop. As Wayne Gretzky himself said, "None of the shots you don't take can ever go into the net." Can you be like Wayne Gretzky, as an athlete and as a human being? Well -- give it your best shot!
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