Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Used To Be

Lately I have been reading/hearing a lot of stories like this:

~I used to be a swimmer. We won States in 19XX. 
~I used to play softball for Stanford and I went there on a full scholarship (blog I read, clearly no one from Maine! lol).
~I used to play basketball in high school and our team won States.
~I used to play tennis and was ranked #4 in the state.
~I was a runner in high school and broke the record for <insert whatever distance you wish> but got out of it as I aged.

Anyway, you get the picture.  Seems like everyone who has a blog used to be really good at something.  Even my local friends, they all seem to have been on a team that won a state championship at something when they were in high school. 

In school, I was pretty darn average at everything.  I played soccer and was high scorer my senior year, but we didn't make it further than the semi-finals and I didn't get any awards in the league.  I played on the UMaine tennis team for my junior and senior year but that was only because the team didn't have numbers and probably should have been a club sport.  In fact, I'm better at tennis NOW than I was then.  I maybe won a match or two? the whole time.  Even academics I was pretty average, #7 out of 70.  Nothing special, no special scholarships or awards. 

I sometimes wonder how this sets us up to perceive ourselves and our achievements.  (or lack thereof)  I never ever expected to win anything, award or otherwise in sports because I never had.  I just wasn't that kid.  Therefore, I wasn't really disappointed when I didn't win, because I knew I wasn't going to in the first place.   

I wonder now, if I had felt confident in myself and felt like I was good, if that would have translated into actually being good and winning awards.  Do you see what I mean?

It's like a lot of things, if you are confident and act like you are the best, often you will perform at your best.  Or like the 0-12 team that knows it's going to lose and it plays a poor team poorly and does just what they thought they would do--lose.   Now if that same team with the same players, wins a game here and there, they begin to believe that it is possible for them to win.  Sometimes, that team just will continue to win just on sheer will, not because they were the better team, but because they believed they could win.

I have loved this about running and triathlon.  I have discovered that I can win and winning doesn't have to be about being first either.  I can't win an Ironman, but I can win a local triathlon held at our YMCA.  I can't win the Boston Marathon, but I can win my age group at a 5K in town. 

Even if I don't win or place in my age group, I can still win by beating my previous time or surging at the end to beat that person in front of me.  These sports are truly sports for everyone.  Everyone can find their place in running, everyone can win. 

Sometimes I wish I had something that I could say that I used to be. 

But I'll settle for what I am.  Average as it may be.

A mom.
A runner.
A triathlete.
An optometrist.

What did you used to be?

What are you today?
I apologize for the mid-life-crisis sounding post.  I'll be back to my usual sarcastic self shortly.


Tough Chik said...

I am the epitome of average! Never won a damn thing and probably never will. Since I live in a big, active city, I won't even win a 5k or sprint tri. I am mid-pack at best. My only hope is that I can out live other athletes and be the only one in the 70-75 AG and win then :)

Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom said...

Nothing wrong with average :)

Hshawjr207 said...

Once upon a time, back in the dark ages when track was measured in yards, not meters I did pretty well in the league 100 and 200 yard dash.

Nowadays, I bumble and stumble around and accidentally grab an old guy age group award once in a while or surprise some younger runners with all my gray hair ;-)

No I am just an average guy who has a little more time on his hands and a stubborn streak, who according to his doctor has a bad case of AAS (Aging Athlete Syndrome) and an over-competitive injury rate ;-)

Anonymous said...

Winning everyday: experience and lust for life.

With joy and gratitude, more aware in nower than in earlier days :-))


That Pink Girl said...

I was never *really* great at anything except cleaning & organizing; they don't give awards for that! I'm average at sports on my best day.
But I'ma really fantastic friend - or I sure try to be!
And I bet you're an incredible friend, mom and ROLE MODEL! :0)