Have you ever heard the saying, “If X was easy, they would call it Y and everyone would do it?”
As in, “If ballet was easy, they would call it football and everyone would do it.” If you giggled while reading that, that’s ok because it’s kind of funny.
If you got offended, that’s ok too, because it’s kind of unfair as well.
This phrase is one that is quite common on the Internet, often combined with images of art forms or sports to make memes.
These memes are supposed to be a lighthearted way to poke fun at other disciplines and/or make the point that one discipline is just as legitimate as a competing pastime. Trouble is, it makes that point by putting another pastime down, encouraging a form of snobbery that is far too common in many aspects of our lifestyles.
One hobby, like a sport or art form, doesn’t need to be ‘better’ than another to be legitimate.
People need to stop trying to rank these things as one above the other and come to the realization that all of them are legitimate.
Also, there is no such thing as an ‘easy’ sport or art. Simple perhaps, but not easy.
Practitioners of any one of the millions of sports and art forms out there train and/or study for hours, days, weeks, months and years to advance in their chosen style. That kind of dedication takes discipline and deserves recognition no matter what that style happens to be.
A few weeks ago, the Lacombe Express ran a column dealing with sports and the skill it takes to excel in them.
It takes skill to excel in any sport, any art form and any related pursuit.
Such skill takes time to develop, practicing for hours each day for years on end as mentioned above.
That kind of effort should be encouraged, celebrated and rewarded. Artists and athletes should be proud of their accomplishments. But they should be proud of the accomplishments of others as well.
Yes, football players are big, strong, tough athletes who work hard to make it on the gridiron. But, ballerinas are tough, strong athletes too in their own right, who make just as much effort in perfecting their craft.
Tough guy Jean-Claude Van Damme has some insightful things to say on the merits of training in multiple sports and art forms.
As a teenager Van Damme studied ballet for five years to augment his martial arts training.
He said that ballet was an art, but a ballet workout was also one of the toughest, most difficult forms of exercise out there.
So, instead of telling your friends about why hockey is so much better than ringette, tell them how talented athletes in both sports are. You may find they do the same for you in return.