As a young kid, I was routinely picked last in gym class, I hated the President’s Fitness Test (which is bogus) and I didn’t make the basketball team because – “You’re too short”. In a last-ditch effort to find something, I walked onto the cheerleading squad and was immediately labeled a “base” – I, along with a few other thicker girls, would support our lighter teammates in pyramids and lifts.
We were the anchors because we didn’t have that “athletic” look.
Putting my heart into belonging SOMEWHERE, only to feel like I didn’t belong ANYWHERE negatively impacted my experience with team sports and beyond.
As life ebbed and flowed, I discovered endurance sports in my early 30’s. Following a terrible race that fractured me to my core, I worked to rebalance how I live, how I engage, and how I prioritize everything sport AND beyond. I love being physical – I feel strong, both in my body, and in my soul. This feeling is amplified as the challenge grows – a technical workout, more elevation or a longer distance.
Training and racing don’t know or care about my weight, my struggles, my fears. I step into a new kind of power “ME” when I lace up, push off the pool wall, or sprint through that segment. I turn down any pieces of myself that hesitate, are shy, or self-conscious; instead, I turn up the storm – there is a fire in my eyes and a flutter in my heart. I feel supported and included when I’m competing. It’s not about belonging anymore. It’s about fostering a stronger relationship with myself.