Brandon Smith (Redwoodtwig)

Sport contests, especially Olympic level competition, can also be performance art. However, in these kinds of performances, where winning or losing is an essential part of the performance, the emotions of both the performers and the audience are stirred up at the outset. In some cases this may improve the performance from an artistic point of view, in other cases excess emotional intensity may interfere with both the artistic merit and sometimes also ruins the player's chance of winning.

Why do I include sports in the art section of this website? Shouldn't it be under health? Sure, there may be moments of beautiful art in a performance of any sport, but the point is winning, not looking pretty, isn't it?

The desire to win in a sports competition or to be the best dancer on the floor is a valuable asset when developing physical health and fitness. I'm sure most coaches or teachers of physical activity skills will agree that without a reasonably strong desire, the student simply won't learn the skill, especially if it requires more than a little practice. I'm also sure most coaches and teachers of physical skills would also agree that winning or being the best is not everything, that doing the skill well and perhaps even with grace and beauty brings its own kind of winning, regardless of prizes or applause.

I do have a few trophies and medals, but on the few occasions when I've competed, I prefer to focus on doing a good job myself rather than being wrapped up in a strong desire to win. Plus, sometime after 60 or so I found that most of my opponents are faster and more agile than me.

I could only find a few photos of myself doing sports type activities. Couple from high school when I rode horses a lot and water skied once in a while (barefoot once, :-)). Don't seem to have any from the few times I played soccer, rugby, and even flag football once. Did find one fencing photo that looks like it was from my college years.

The photos to the right were taken by my father, from whom I learned a great deal about photography. Most of the more recent photos of me are in performances rather than sports, in fire dancing and Tai Chi forms.