Yesterday I took a trip to a physical therapist for the first time ever. I have a history of neck issues, and recently my lower back has been giving me trouble.
As I explained my symptoms and let him evaluate my posture, strength, balance, etc. he says:
We see this a lot with athletes. Especially runners.
Wait. Hold the phone.
I know it sounds ridiculous from the outside looking in as I’ve been running now for almost 6 years, but I still have a hard time accepting this new identity I’ve created for myself.
Should I be able to confidently say…
I am a runner.
I am an athlete.
I can’t stress how foreign this still FEELS. I think it’s just hard to undo 20 years of self-inflicted brainwashing. I absorbed what people told me. I identified myself as chubby, lazy, unathletic. Skinny, active and confident was reserved for the lucky people, and I just wasn’t one of them.
You’d think the therapist’s words would be a boost to my confidence and ego, but unfortunately it had the opposite effect. I immediately started to feel like a fraud. I became insecure, questioning yet again who I was and whether I deserved his words.
To make matters worse, last night the CrossFit Games announced the first workout for the Open. I signed up to challenge myself, and challenge me it will. I’m not sure I’m going to survive the first round!
As I watched the woman in the demo last night, I was quite sure I made a huge mistake.
There’s no way.
Then, as if on autopilot, I went upstairs to go to bed. I scheduled my alarm for 5:30 a.m. Set out my workout clothes and crawled into bed.
This morning the alarm went off and I laid there for a minute as I always do before getting up. Then I brought my clothes into the bathroom, got dressed and brushed my teeth. I headed downstairs, grabbed a sweatshirt, my keys, phone and hopped in the car.
I arrived at the gym 5 minutes before class, chatted and then worked out withOUT an insecure thought in my mind.
I came home and did a few yoga poses.
The entire morning I was just in the moment.
I was doing what I do now, and it hit me,
My insecure thoughts don’t define who I am nor does anyone else’s perception.
The only thing that matters is what I do.
And I do what “athlete’s” do.
I guess there’s no denying it, huh?