Sunday, July 31, 2011

I was one of those girly-girl soo-not-into sports when I was a kid.  P.E. was my worst nightmare.  I had terrible hand eye coordination (still do), I wasn't fast (still am not that), and I was too frustrated by those failures to stick with anything long enough to gain endurance.  I was one of those kids who swung the bat and missed the damn ball over and humiliatingly over and over, the one who ran halfway across the soccer field and then collapsed in exhaustion, the one picked last on the intramural whatever-ball team.

When I swam on the swim team in high school, I did okay but I was weak and the chlorine eventually made me sickly and I floundered in sameness while everyone else around me improved dramatically, and I got frustrated and depressed by that.  I started to find my swimmer's calling in the long-distance events , but chronic chlorinated-air induced allergies drove me to choose to just quit while I was ahead.

Yet now, in my adult life, I'm coming into my own with sports in a way I never could before.  Regular rock climbing is one of the greatest joys of my life (don't need hand eye coordination or speed so much, so hey) ,and if I'm no professional I can see myself make steady improvement.   I'm playing ultimate frisbee with peers and keeping up and contributing to team success and loving it.  I'm able to run 5k events and miles in the woods each week, where before I couldn't even run a mile without stopping to walk.  I'm building my way up to longer and longer bike rides on steeper terrain.  This week I started swimming again for the first time in years, and I'm nearly reaching my racing times at distance events like the 500 freestyle and the mile swim.  I love how strong I have become, how great I feel to perfect movement and complete challenges of endurance.

I wish I'd felt this way earlier in my life, but I'm glad this world is opening up to me now.

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