Thursday, November 17, 2011

Accidental Athlete

When I was little, I had a phase where I wanted to be sporty.

I wanted to be on the volleyball team, or the soccer team. And finally, in 5th grade, I "made" a softball team with my life friend Hilary (who's wedding I'm in this coming June!)

All I know about my time in softball:
*I hated getting dirty; there was NEVER any sliding
*I never actually made contact with the ball when I was at bat
*I peed my pants in the middle of a park with Hilary while practicing one day

Actually, Hilary is my only friend who has made me pee my pants- and not just once, but twice. Once as an adult.

But I digress.

The point is, I was never athletic. I danced. Oh, and I learned to water ski in middle school when my family bought a lake house.

That's it! Not sports for this girl.

I started working out my senior year of high school- and that continued into college. Elliptical was my thing; maybe the treadmill for short periods of time.

I spent my first post-college year in a sleep-deprived haze that consisted of 0% exercise. I was working the night shift at KTUL and I could barely manage to stay awake in my free time, much less exercise.

But eventually I took on my first Couch to 5K training program, ran the Tulsa Run and wa-la, a runner was born.

Up until the past few months, despite improving my running, picking up- and having a love/hate relationship- with biking and (gulp) even swimming, I still haven't considered myself sporty. Much less, an athlete.

But a few weeks ago, when I was negotiating for the new-to-me bike, the woman who was selling it started a sentence by saying "Athletes like you and I..."

I don't even remember how that sentence ended, because I was so fixated on those words. Athletes like you and I.

Is the red-headed girl who hates dirt and germs and getting hurt an athlete?! After all of these years?

I now find myself having conversations with people about the next race I want to try, the best trails to practice biking uphill in the wind. I am stepping out of my comfort zone to find new running trails because I've run "my" trail enough times to know it by heart.

I find myself looking at cars with bike racks and thinking, I need one of those.

I'd rather spend $200 on a Garmin Forerunner than a new outfit.

Well, most days, anyway. Let's not get too carried away.

I longingly look at Turkey Mountain and anticipate the day I'll be able to rock those hilly trails- by bike or foot.

I enjoy the outdoors more than ever; I even want to camp!

(But I still jump a mile when I see spiders on the trail; case in point, this afternoon.)

All this to say, maybe this ultimate girly-girl is a bit of an athlete after all.

I'm competitive.

I'm determined.

And even though at the moment I may have more work-out clothes than actual work clothes...

Don't even think I'm giving up my high heels.


  1. It's funny I have the same issue with being termed a "runner." I played field hockey in high school, but never thought of myself as a decent runner. I think that since I have gotten older, I have learned to push myself to see what I've got--and actually surprised myself. My friends all come to me now for running advice and it still tickles me! Great post!

  2. I will mail you my biker shorts, I don't wear them anymore...You are definitely more "athletic" than this Colorado girl;)


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