I am an athlete by choice, not design.
Although now this comment is often met with a few laughs, growing up, this realization was not always so amusing.
As a child, I had an active lifestyle, playing pretty much every sport imaginable (soccer, basketball, track, ballet, tennis, tap, volleyball, swimming, diving, etc.) for at least a year or more. In fact, many of my best memories from childhood are from playing outside in organized sports or other activities. Saturday mornings were filled with running events—community races, cross country meets, or walks to the local track—for as long as I can remember. And I loved it. Athletics was not about winning; it was about having fun.
However, as I grew up, things changed. As I became older, I began to realize that I was, despite all of my best efforts, incredibly uncoordinated. This unfortunate reality allowed me to participate in many sports but excel at very few; I just did not seem to have the “natural” ability for sports. However, instead of letting this discourage me, I used it as motivation to work harder to constantly be the best I could be.
Nowadays, whenever I talk about my not-so-stellar “natural” athletic ability, people are surprised. Despite my lack of athletic design, I have spent most of my adult life accomplishing personal physical feats, including running 4 marathons, a half ironman, and several half marathons and shorter triathlons. Being active has become a huge part of who I am; I love running, biking, swimming, and anything that keeps me active. I will never be the fastest runner or triathlete, but I will always push myself to accomplish my own personal, ambitious goals. I have made the choice to be an athlete—for FUN.
As the founder of KidFit, I hope to encourage all children to become athletes by choice, regardless of whether or not they have some “natural” affinity for sports and athletics. I know that by participating in sports, I have learned the true meaning of determination and perseverance. As I currently train for my 5th marathon, I can honestly say that I cannot imagine my life without running. Every workout is a challenge, but I know that if I keep working hard, I will improve. With a goal in mind, I am able to not only keep improving my physical self but also my emotional self. I am happier when I am active and have a purpose for my athletic pursuits.
KidFit strives to create an environment where all children can feel comfortable, engaged and motivated to pursue personal fitness goals while having a ton of fun! Fitness and sports should not be feared. All students should feel welcomed, successful, and empowered through fitness and health education. By setting goals, tracking progress, and pushing through challenges, everyone can be an athlete.
We can all become athletes by choice.