I always thought being an athlete meant you were good at sports, or at least a particular sport. While it absolutely can mean that, I’ve learned over the past 30 months that the definition of athleticism is not so limited. I see now that being an athlete is equally about mental toughness to match the physical. It’s the getting up at 5 or 6 to make sure you get the training time you need. It’s pushing past your comfort zone to reach your potential. It’s seeing roadblocks to your goals but not turning around or throwing in the towel. I’ve never been good at any organized team sports, but I am am athlete. I don’t battle an opponent on a field of play, but the voice in my own head that says I can’t. When I ride, it’s not against a competitor beside me, but against myself the week before. Each day I push a little harder, a little further, and I’m doing things I never thought I could. I am an athlete, and I won’t sell myself short anymore.
I’ve also been thinking of how this affects my parenting. If Lexi is like I was as a child, gawky, clumsy, uncoordinated, hopeless at sports in PE, am I going to write her off as lacking athleticism? Nope! I’ll search with her to find where her strength lies. By the time she’s old enough to even be aware of these things, she will have been exposed to all of my physical pursuits, and probably done a lot of yoga. 🙂 I feel like Yoga is the BEST foundation for discovery of your body, and from there I’ll help her branch into whatever catches her interest. I will teach her to challenge her body, to help it be its healthiest internally, and that the product of that work externally is beautiful and worthy of love, no matter the shape she takes. The important thing is to care for herself so she can live her healthiest life.