Sunday, September 18, 2016

I Am An Athlete

I’ve always thought of myself as athletic, but I could never break the barrier to believing myself an athlete. The same way I think of myself as artistic and not an artist. As someone who writes, not a writer.

I swam, did gymnastics, and was always active as a kid. I played volleyball and was a cheerleader in high school. I continued to be active as an adult, I did gymnastics in my 30’s, and I ran a local 12k race each year. At 38 I was diagnosed with MS, and it made me question how much I’d be able to aspire to. Still, I did a marathon last year, a sprint triathlon this summer, and an Olympic distance triathlon this fall. 

Running today I thought about how much I downplay how I do things. I’m happy I do them and proud of what I can do, but I qualify these skills knowing I’m not as accomplished at them as the real athletes, artists and writers.

What am I waiting for?  Does it matter if others agree with how I see myself? Of course not. So today I decided I’m already an athlete. I don’t need to wait until I’m faster, stronger or perceived as an athlete.

I think this will be a good attitude to hold for reaching goals and designing my life. If I believe I’m already an athlete, I think I’ll be less likely to give myself an out when faced with temptation to do things that conflict with that label. I may be inclined to aspire to more instead of thinking only the real athletes, artists and writers can accomplish that goal. I may not hold myself back as much.

I put together a photo composite to help me remember, “I Am An Athlete.”

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