I am an athlete

“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

 

I am an athlete. I  will never qualify for the Olympics or even participate in the Boston Marathon, but I walk.

There are some who don’t consider walking a true sport; they haven’t checked the dictionary. My Merriam – Webster’s defines athlete as, “ a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.” All of those qualities are needed by those of us who put one foot in front of another to log miles on our shoes and record distances in an exercise journal.

But the thing that makes me a athlete is the same thing that makes anyone an athlete – achieving victory over self. Choosing on a consistent basis to overcome inertia and move  when your mind tells you it’s too hot or too cold, that you’re too tired, that you have too much to do, or that you just don’t feel like exercising is how anyone becomes a competitor.

I compete with myself every time I go for a walk,  trying to improve my time or extend my mileage.  And I have competed in a few 5K events.

Victory in Virginia

The first one took courage because I had never been in a race. Just entering was a victory over self.  I achieved victory in another 5K b y entering and then  finishing. I was suffering with plantar faciitus and almost didn’t compete. My oldest son and daughter-in-law were running in the race and I wanted to participate with them.

I gave myself a pep talk and promised myself that if the pain got too bad, I could quit. I was the second to last person to come in…but I didn’t  quit – another victory over self.

Then I had a chance to enter a local 5K with my youngest son. He ran, I walked. He came in 2nd for his age group. When the walking winners were announced I had come in first place in my age category! I immediately started making plans to compete in the Beast of the Southeast the next year.

2nd & 1st in the Beast of the SouthEast

When spring came, I started training hard for that 5K scheduled for a weekend in July. That May, my husband had a heart attack and eventually by-pass surgery. My walking pace was scaled back to an amble as I walked with him to rebuild his strength. Each completed round was a victory over fear and uncertainty.

He is healthy again and I am back to competing against my last walk, trying to improve my time and distance. Whether one is running a marathon or walking a path in a park, champions know that it is victory over self that makes you a true athlete.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lanita
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 16:17:16

    Connie, I’ve fallen off from my walking in this heat. Now I see that it’s just an excuse that I need to overcome. Thanks for the motivation to get back out there!

    Reply

  2. Kenda
    Aug 02, 2011 @ 09:59:04

    “It is victory over self that makes you a true athlete…” Great line! I, too, have not gotten out on my walks of late. Now that things have settled down here a bit after out-of-town (or country, if you will!) guests have left, I’ll draw from this wisdom and tell myself no more excuses. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    Like the new look of your blog, too!

    Reply

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