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Ten Things I Learned – #8 There Is Still An Athlete In My Mind

I grew up playing sports

I grew up playing sports – all the time. Football with the neighborhood kids, shooting hoops for hours on end, I even tried baseball for a while and managed to find a spot on the tennis team at one point. From 4th grade through high school I played basketball in competitive leagues and for my school (and I am old enough to have played in the short-shorts era). While I might not have been great one, I was an athlete.

The athlete in my mind

Where did that athlete go?

When I went away to college, I still would head to the gym for pick-up basketball games or the sand volleyball court for hours on end. But as I finished up college and started getting older I slowly quit playing sports. Other commitments, the fact that it hurt a lot more after a day of flag football with those young college students then it used to, all combined and over time I found that I hardly ever did anything athletic.

Occasionally I would toss a football, play ultimate frisbee, or jump in a pick-up game, but not as often. And when I did,  I would quickly become frustrated. My mind was still telling my body to move the way it did when I was a teenager, and my body simply refused. I joke that I gave up skiing when it started to hurt more to get up then it did to fall down. But the fact is that age, injury, and a lack of commitment to being healthy had taken their toll.

Rediscovering the athlete in my mind

As I started working out again at Ed’s Gym I discovered that the athlete in my mind was still there. And honestly, that made for some pretty frustrating days. Wanting my body to respond in ways it hadn’t and couldn’t drove me crazy. But it also gave me an advantage. I am competitive. And that competitive nature kept me from giving up many times when my body wanted me to. The athlete that had been hibernating for years woke up, knowing that the pain was worth it. That it was the only way to progress. To get stronger, to get healthy.

Rediscovering that there was still an athlete in my mind was one of the most important things I learned during this crazy idea.

Did you grow up playing sports? If so, has your inner athlete gone into hibernation? If so, it’s time to wake it up for 201

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