elite.

I’ve never been an athlete. As a kid, I played soccer and basketball but I did cartwheels around the soccer field and cried when I broke a nail trying to get a rebound. True story. In P.E. class, I would come up with any excuse I could think of to sit out of the activities I didn’t like and when it came time for athletic testing, as soon as I started getting out of breath or felt any kind of pain, I gave up. I loved tennis and went to tennis camp every summer, but I never pursued it for some dumb reason. In high school, I got my varsity letter freshman year as a cheerleader and quit the next year. I can’t remember why. Then there was the time I played on the softball team…that lasted the better part of a week.

{photo borrowed from my HS cheerleading coach’s fb. that’s me on the top left}

It’s kind of ironic that I’ve been so non-athletic my entire life when I come from such a sports-centered family. My dad was the fastest man in the NFL for more years than I can remember, my brother played every sport from football to hockey and currently plays Wide Receiver for the Southern University Jaguars. My older sister was among the top runners in the state of Georgia and ran track on a full scholarship at Alabama State and my younger sister is one of those runners who is so naturally talented that they become disinterested. That leaves me: the “creative” sister. I filled my time singing in choir and laughed it off by saying that the athletic gene skipped over me and the musical gene skipped all of them.

{my parents after the 1986 NFL’s Fastest Man Competition. I know the year because my mom was pregnant (and fabulous!) with me at the time.}

So fast forward to 2011. I’m 25. Way past my high school and college sports days. And I’ve got this new passion (obsession?) for running. Is it too late for me? Do you have to claim your athlete status by a certain age or else you lose it? Is it only appropriate for adults to call themselves athletes if they are professional or elite athletes? What is an athlete anyway? Lucky for you, the English major in me compelled me to look it up:

dictionary:

thesaurus:

and just for fun, wikipedia:

So…basically an athlete is just someone who is proficient and involved in…running (it’s weird how every definition referenced running right?). In my own words, I would define an athlete (or at least the athlete I want to be) as someone who runs (or participates in any other sport) because they love it, who strives to become the best runner she can be and who competes (against others and/or herself) to meet that goal. Call me crazy but…I think I’m finally becoming an athlete.

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2 thoughts on “elite.

  1. If it helps, I was you too! But not until my 4th child was born did I realize that if I wanted to play tennis (although I had never done it before), waiting wasn’t going to help. Once I started taking lessons, I fell in love. Obsessed. But I couldn’t call myself a tennis player, not then. I didn’t feel I had the right. But that was okay– I loved it enough, was fascinated with the game enough that I kept going, even if I wasn’t very good. And then, I started to get better. Somewhere along the way, it became a part of my life, and I know that I am a tennis player. So, I think you can re-invent yourself at any age, at any moment. Maybe, just maybe, my next re-invention will be as a runner too!

  2. Pingback: what’s happening wednesday. « vivre de pain, d'amour et d'eau fraîche.

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