Saturday, December 31, 2016

To Athlete or Not

"But when someone is an athlete, like you..." he started his sentence.
"I'm not an athlete." I interrupt because THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POINT.
"You exercise regularly and correct my form whenever we lift together. You are athletic."
"No. I'm just the kind of person who works out."
I'm clumsy, I don't do sports, and the idea of competing in an athletic endeavor makes me vaguely sick to my stomach. I'm not gifted in any of the various physical endeavors in which I participated. I frequently fall over in my  yoga poses, I find myself exhausted after 60 seconds of jumping jacks, and damned if I can figure out how to get proper form on deadlifts. I'm not an ATHLETE, although I do frequently do squats and burpees, much to my unhappiness.

There's sort of a knee-jerk reaction I have to the term athlete, loaded as it is from years of watching high school athletic events, professional basketball and football on television, and Olympic feats that are mind blowing.  But it's also something that I think should only be granted to people for whom the identity is an imperative part of them.
It's the same way I decline accepting writer as a term for myself, despite the fact that I actually probably write more on a daily basis at my job and on this platform than many people I know who do call themselves writers write. I'm nothing more than competent at it as a skill and it's not actually crucial to me as a part of my identity. It's just not who I am.

Educator. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Friend. Cat companion.  Reader (Betty Smith/JK Rowling enthusiast wrapped up in this, of course). Seamstress.  TCHS/BGSU/UMN alumna. Podcast addict. Family photographer.  These are things that are important pieces of my identity. 

 But if you want to call me a writer or an athlete, I guess that's fine, too.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you probably write more on this blog consistently than I write consistently. It's my new year's resolution.



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