Kris sent me an email with a link to this Triathlon, and I immediately signed up. Never mind that I have no demonstrable ability to swim well -- I thought I could figure it out in time. A few days later my boss called and asked if I'd like to throw out the first pitch at a UT Baseball game. I'm running the Austin-American Statesman Capital 10k next week because I read about it on Twitter and wondered if I could run over 6 miles, and oh yeah, I accepted a new position at work this year which has proved engrossing, challenging, a lot of work and a ton of fun. So whether it's a new trait or old, this year seems to be my year for trying new things.
The latest gauntlet thrown down was to write here about athleticism. A group of us were out enjoying some Friday evening cocktails recently, the day before the baseball game. One friend was providing reassurances that I would be just fine, I was athletic and I wouldn't make a fool of myself, when another chimed in to say, "She's in shape, but she is NOT athletic." I promptly tweeted her comment, and while we laughed about it (this is the same friend who told me, after I'd lost a few pounds last year, "We didn't realize how bad it had gotten!!" -- thanks, Dawn), her comment made me wonder - what makes a person athletic?
We were talking about it again at dinner the other night (I should say for the record that she's a very good friend), and we looked for the definition of athlete:
- A person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility, and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts.
- a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina
- A person who is involved in Athletics (sport), which involves track and field events, long distance, cross-country and road running, and racewalking
I don't know if my traits are natural - but I have certainly acquired them - strength, endurance, and some degree of agility. I've been training in exercises for the past year, and while I may not be gifted, I am certainly a participant. Since I started keeping track in Dailymile in August 2010, I logged 374 miles (running or cycling), an average of 22 miles per week. I've logged close to 200 miles so far this year. I did get that pitch across the plate - albeit a little high and wide - and as it turns out, I can swim 300 meters and run 6 miles and bike for at least 25.
I've been a professional slacker for so long - excellent at lounging about, reading, napping, sitting and talking, reading some more - that thinking of myself as an athlete is as foreign to me as it is to, well, to Dawn. Nonetheless, while I won't be breaking any records anytime soon, I think I just might qualify. What do you think?