April 6, 2016

Being an Athlete and Failing Gloriously

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Growing up I tried hard at every sport and failed gloriously. Like the time I head butt the ball in soccer and managed a nose bleed that would have made a professional boxer proud. Or the year I came in last at track, at pretty much every practice and meet. Possibly the best, was when I jumped on the vault at gymnastics and sent myself hurdling through the air head first into a very solid piece of equipment. Yep, that was me.

Ah yes, this was me in 9th grade. about 14 years old. Oh I know, there is a lot going on in that picture, teenage awkwardness at it’s best.

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An athlete is something I definitely was not. I did give it a valiant effort though and I kept trying and managed to make it through about every sport EVER; soccer, baseball, volleyball, track, cheerleading, dancing, gymnastics, swimming, and tennis. And no, I am not exaggerating. I tried all of them. My poor parents.

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Athlete or athletic is a word that I never ever EVER associated with myself. Artistic…yes. Nice…yes. Athletic….um, no.

Honestly I have still have such a hard time attaching that word to myself today. I have people say, “oh you are so athletic.” I smile and usually say thank you, but inside the word makes me a bit squirmish. On some level I feel a little bit like a fraud, like a kid playing dress up and pretending to be something they are not.

But here I am going through the daily grind at something extremely athletic. I do take my weight lifting very seriously. I spend on average about 12-14 hours a week lifting weights or doing some type of exercise. When I’m not lifting, I’m taking care of my boys. And then after that, I fit in either studying about lifting, or writing about lifting.

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So why is it that this word “athlete” and “athletic” have this place of distance in my mind from who I am now?

It’s my past. Would I go back and change my athletic shortcomings growing up, and my serious struggle with coordination? No. The thing is, who we are in our past does not define who we are in the present. I learned a lot of things in my past experiences. And in someways I am still that 9th grade girl, maybe not the brace face or the crazy hair, but in a lot of ways I am still the same.

I am still that kid that keeps trying even when it doesn’t go as planned. The kid that keeps getting back in the game even though she knows she’s not the best. The girl who gives it her best effort, and tries to learn and grow through every new experience. The one that never gives up. And you know what, I like that kid.

I am coming to terms and accepting my athletic shortcomings in my past, learning to the understand that maybe it didn’t have anything to do with me not being athletic, maybe it was because I didn’t find the right sport.

The thing is we are not our past, we are who we choose to become in our future. We cannot let our past set limits for us in what we can accomplish today. Who we were is only a small piece of who we are, or who we will become. So focus on the future, get over the fear that you aren’t good enough, and get a grasp on your limitless potential. We are all capable of anything, and even if you do fail gloriously, let it pave the road ahead.

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Comments

  1. Good on you for not being bound to your past, even though your past tries to bind itself to you. You ARE an athlete.

  2. This is awesome. I found you on instagram, and I think you’re so inspiring! It’s very obvious how dedicated you are. I was the same way growing up – super uncoordinated, not as athletic as my siblings.. never quite found my “niche.” After I had my twins, I really wanted to get in the best shape I could because I struggled with my body image. It’s been a hard journey, from barely being able to do bodyweight squats and lunges, to where I am now. It’s just so empowering to see other women doing the same thing!

    • Momonthemove says:

      Thank you so much Ashley!! So glad you liked it!! Thanks so much for visiting and reading!!