I grew up in, what my friends considered, the most competitive household in town.
Any time, any distance, any place was the family motto. Your ranking as fittest sibling only as good as the last challenge a family member laid down. I still remember the feeling of beating my father for the first time in a road race, as sweet a sporting memory as any podium since.
We excelled in sports, representing our country in horse-riding, shooting, pentathlon, swimming and hockey. Our identities formed on the track, in the pool and on the podium. Fast forward to my thirties and the sports that once brought me so much joy had turned into emotionally draining chores every time I dove into the pool, checked my HR on a run or watched some guy on his TT bike speed past during a triathlon.
My sporting prowess was fading under the pressures of work and adulting. I struggled through training programs that in the past would hardly work up a sweat.
Constantly comparing my abilities to my old self. There was no fun, only the looming question, if not a winner, who was I? Its been a path of rediscovery over the last year. Learning how to enjoy the quiet of an early morning run. The satisfying feeling of a hard swim set, not counting laps. Stopping for a coffee mid ride on a
Slowly I’m learning to appreciate my body for what it can do in the moment. Learning that I am not my wins but the journey it took to get to them. Grateful for a live long passion for sports that I can share with those around me.
I hope I can keep rediscovering this joy of sport and healthy living as I age. But if I meet a sibling in the nursing home one day, you’d better bet who’s walker will be one step ahead.