Jock status

27 Jan

I think athletics are beautiful. Well, maybe not the sweaty, bloody, pukey aspect – that is definitely not pretty. Athletics are just so…awesome.

I am going to sound like a major jock in this post. Like, big time, aerobically obsessed, protein concerned, weight lifting jock…..and, though I may be in denial and try to deny it, that is pretty much me.

I love sports. I have participated in various athletic pursuits since I was a little girl. I was six when I joined my first soccer team and I was ten when I joined my first track team. Now, I am almost nineteen. I have run track and cross country consistently every summer, fall, winter, and spring. I have been in countless road races. I swam on three different teams. I joined the ABA and raced my BMX bike in a local league. I went back to my roots and played soccer in my senior year of  high school. I even wrestled  in eight grade. Currently, I row at U of Cincinnati. I have eleven varsity letters. I have medals. I have competed nationally. I have a handful of USATF state and regional titles. I have a door covered with race numbers and hip numbers.

What is all of that? A crazy compulsion? Probably. But it’s also something more than that. Like I said, athletics are beautiful. They teach you about everything that exists inside of you. Everything. Every muscle filament. Every bone. Every tendon. Every inch of connective tissue. You learn exactly what to do in order to maximize the potential of every piece of your body. And this process can be painful! Working out hurts! All the time, my mind tells me go go go. And my body tells me, straight up, NO. That contradiction leads to suffering, but to be great, it is a necessary evil.

The net potential of your body is important, but the thing that makes athletics most beautiful is what they teach you about your mind. What is in your brain? What is in your heart? What tells you to persist? What part of you is able to take doubt and swallow it whole? Where do things like motivation and inspiration come from?

Here are five of the things I have learned over the years; I feel like they are some important life lessons:

  1. Losing sucks. Winning is good. I celebrate in victory, and alternately, I berate myself in mediocrity.
  2. Sometimes, it feels like everything in the world is saying “Quit. Give up. Stop.” But this I know is true. Somewhere, inside or outside, someone is saying “Keep going. Never give up. You got this.” It is so true. Listen to this voice and drown everything else out.
  3. Do not be afraid to be powerful or strong. You are not average.
  4. You have God-given talent. Use it to its full potential. What a waste, to throw away something that plenty of people would give anything to have. That is not commendable.
  5. Everything, every day.

Athletics are a part of my life. They have given me the refuse to quit mindset that I believe is essential to success. Eternal thanks to my parents for getting me involved in all of these activities. They have always always always been there, cheering for me, telling me I can. It is an amazing gift that they have given me. And finally, I cannot possibly take credit for all of that stuff in paragraph three. That is my brother’s doing. Without Alan, I would have no success. No greater motivation or inspiration exists for me. When my mind fails, all that is left is my little bro, always telling me that quitting is simply not an option. Thanks Mom and Pop! And thank you Alan – know that everything is always for you.

This makes me want to go out and run! Everything, every day!


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