Tuesday, May 26, 2009

the unlikely athlete

i always felt somewhat awkward in my body as a child.... never good at sports, afraid of getting hit by the ball, afraid to put my head under the water when learning to swim, falling over and losing my (very thick... and very necessary) glasses in the snowbank while skiing, cracking my skull due to stepping on the ball while playing soccer...

so i came to believe that i was not athletic.

i still liked to be active, but never considered myself good at it. i rode my bike because i liked it. i rode over 100 kms through the Rocky Mountains in one day, camped at the end, and rode back the following morning. but never considered myself a cyclist.

i took up inline skating to keep a friend company when she wanted to lose weight, and then wound up training for and competing in a 24 hour inline skating relay... regularly skating 60 or more kms on a Saturday morning after skating for 3 or 4 hours through the (cobbled) streets of Paris the night before.

i walked 56 kms in the middle of the night in January (twice!), first to raise money for an HIV/AIDS organization, and then because i'd enjoyed it the first time.

i trained for and ran a marathon a few months ago. and signed up to do another one in October.


i think i've finally admitted to myself that i am something of an athlete. perhaps not a successful one in the sense of making it my profession or capturing media attention and adoring fans.... but successful in that i achieve what i set out to do, i enjoy each event and look forward to the rest.

i will never be the athlete that crosses the finish line with the ribbon breaking across my chest, muscles bared and rippling... i will never be that lean, or that driven, or that focused.

but i will cross that finish line, with a smile on my face, because i believe in myself and my own strength enough to put my toe to the starting line.

What's your story? Want to get fit, make friends and save lives? Sign up for Team in Training and complete a marathon, triathlon, hike or century ride while raising money to cure blood cancers. Fall season kickoff is June 6th. Details and locations for info sessions are at the TNT website.


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