Why do we choose to speak a negative internal dialogue when it’s just as easy to speak a positive one?
If there’s one thing I’m guilty of, it’s this, and I’m pretty sure there’s a good chunk of you out there that do it too.
Many of us, no matter how outwardly confident we are, still struggle with our self confidence + worth. So many times we fail to see how great we truly are, just as we are.
In this week’s Motivation Monday segment, Alice and I talk about what it FEELS like to be an athlete and the journey it took for us to realize it. My hope is that as you read our words that they help uncover whatever you feel makes you great and that you proudly own it. Enjoy!
AA: Alice, at what moment did you realize that you were an athlete? Was it based on how you looked or how you felt?
CRG: To be 100% honest, up until even a few years ago, I struggled with using that term. To me an athlete has cut muscles. Is paid for their sport. Is on the cover of magazines. Is on a pro sports team. Keep on inserting all the other limited media related definitions of what it looks like. But after having run a few marathons (and qualified and ran friekin’ Boston), as a yoga teacher, and as I started to flirt with the triathlon temptress and CrossFit calling, a pivotal moment changed how I viewed what an athlete is – and started believing that I am one. And it didn’t have to do with how I looked…
It was around the time I first started teaching yoga. One of my teachers, and mentors, was training for her first half marathon. She was teaching a class and I attended. In this class, she was overcome with emotion explaining the inspiration she drew from me – as a cheerleader. As someone who recognized athletic ability in everyone and believed in them even when they didn’t themselves. This got me right in the feels in two ways: I was humbled and emotional because this IS something I do, and I do it with so much love and passion, it hurts. I truly believe in EVERYONE’s strength and power. The second part was that as much as I GAVE of that to others, I spoke pretty mean words to myself in comparison. I vowed that day to start flexing a new muscle of kindness and belief in myself so that I could be a genuine cheerleader to others by also believing in myself.
As a follow up to that, Alex, how do YOU self-identify as an athlete and how is that notion challenged by other people’s perceptions?
AA: I also only recently started to self identify and call myself an athlete. I primarily started doing this because I felt like I was doing myself a disservice considering I train anywhere between 4-6 days a week depending on the goal I’m working on crushing. This doesn’t include the countless hours I spend thinking about it.
I find that it’s challenging because I don’t fit the stereotypical norm of what an athlete physically looks like. I’m not chiseled and finely sculpted. I’m strong, fierce, and determined like no other, but rock hard abs are not part of my physical makeup.
Our physical appearance is so ingrained in us as the main indicator of who we are, and it can be the result of a lot of negative experiences. I have seen so many others of various sizes who want to become involved in physical activity, only to be deterred by the stereotypes that exist and the fear of being judged versus supported. I was one of them. It was only when I was willing to step out of my comfort zone and be vulnerable with people that I realized that most people are overwhelmingly supportive. In my own journey I have met so many people who are incredibly encouraging, and I don’t think I would have ever realized that if I wasn’t willing to embrace being authentically me. I think the real lesson was learning not to cast judgments myself either. That I shouldn’t lump everyone into one box and assume they would think the worst of me or anyone for that matter.
Join us next week for part 3, on self body love, acceptance, and supporting a whole community of diverse athletes.