I used to think I hated physical activity. Growing up on a farm there was plenty to go around, despite my many attempts to get out of it.
When I was younger, my parents signed me up for two different sports. Baseball and basketball. Upon winning a Semi-final game for T-ball, I began to cry because that meant I now had to play in the Final. After several summers of baseball (and hiding behind trash cans during baseball practice) I was given the option to either sign up or not. Of course I didn’t! In middle school I played basketball. I have very few memories of playing, except I do remember hating how much running was involved.
Around the time I left middle school (and basketball and baseball) behind, I knew something was different about me. I felt like I didn’t fit in, but I didn’t quite know why. Looking back, there is one clearly defined feeling from that time, “I hope the boys in high school like me.”
In high school, that thought grew like a tumor inside of me that I couldn’t tell a soul about. This lead to me having anxiety and depression all through high school, while never getting the chance to truly be myself. That meant everyone who knew me in high school didn’t quite know me, but a version of myself that was less than what I could be. This also meant that I couldn’t do sports for fear of being left by the wayside, less masculine, or found out by the other guys. And my inauthenticity led to me damaging some friendships.
I was in such denial about myself that I continued to pretend to be someone else through college. And along the way destroyed more friendships.
Thankfully I was blessed with some truly amazing people to remain by my side during all of the lies. Two days after my 21st birthday, I told one of my best friends (despite her good reasons to do otherwise,) a girl who has been with me through thick and thin, “I’m gay.”
The year that followed saw me coming out to my friends and eventually my parents. And as my old, false, self began to finally fade away, I started to realize that I had intentionally ignored myself and my well being. And I wanted to be the best I could be for my future boyfriend. (very drop-dead sexy, preferably with a six pack)
I wanted to get out there and start dating; I was so far behind dammit! I joined Planet Fitness and had no idea what I was doing. But hey, I was moving more than before, right? On the way home from the gym, it sure did make the fast food taste better!
Fast forward. New job, no gym. I gained some weight back. It was just so much easier to listen to the voice in my head that kept saying “running is hard, chicken wings are good.” It was time to get a little skin in the game. I signed up for a new membership at Gold’s Gym and also a personal trainer. I also finally gained the courage to sign up for a gay-friendly volleyball league in the city.
Both were an amazing ride, and both gave me a new passion for fitness and self-love.
When my first year of training and volleyball came to an end, I sought out another personal trainer. I found one in my company's gym. She saw that I was more than capable at lifting weights on my own, so suggested I do something a little harder. In the form of obstacle races.
And I was the new recruit! So this past summer, that’s what I did. I learned so much about what I say to myself on the inside when the going get’s tough. And it really wasn’t good. So after my first successful Spartan Race under my belt, more volleyball than you can shake a stick at, and a semi-regular gym routine, where do I go from here?
As I said before, I do a little better with skin in the game. So this Podcast is my new skin! I hope to up my Spartan game, my volleyball game, and my self-love game. And you, dear reader, get to listen!