I’m in love with the Nike Women’s campaign, “Everybody is an Athlete.”
Having played varsity sports for literally my entire life, it’s annoying to be riddled with stereotypes all of the time. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of judging, at some point in life, but I’ve always tried hard not to judge a person’s athletic ability on their appearance.
Example in point: You’re walking through the produce aisle of the grocery store, when you see a very large individual in front of you. Your first thoughts are probably, “oh, she’s going to stock her cart with potatoes…” or, “I bet she’s never run a day in her life.” Sad, but true. That’s what the media tells us. What the media doesn’t tell us, and what her personal appearance might not either, is that maybe she’s just lost 200lbs and runs everyday. That this is the lightest weight she’s ever been. That she grew up in a household of bad habits, but now she’s about to stock her cart with greens and veggies.
Don’t judge. Embrace yourself for the athlete you are, and don’t compare yourself to others. I’ve never had ripped abs or arms, but I’d consider myself in very good shape. Embrace yourself. It’s the most valuable thing that I’ve learned through athletics, and it’s something that gets convoluted and taken advantage of. It’s amazing to be able to aspire to something, to push yourself against someone or for something, and, undoubtedly, to fail. All of these things make a great athlete.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting a professional or Olympic athlete, you’ll know that it’s this state of mind that sets them apart. It’s something I’m always striving toward and – no matter how many roadblocks I hit (“gah, I should’ve pushed harder” etc) – I know that it’s up to me to make the change.
Here’s to you, athlete.