I Am Not an Athlete
I don’t think I’m an athlete.
At least I’m not the person my brain envisions when I think of the word “athlete.”
I’m not Carly Lloyd. I’m not Kelsi Worrell. I’m not Mike Trout. I’m not Mr. Julie Ertz.
But I’m also the girl that did a dumb thing and signed up for a half marathon.
I’ve worked plenty of traditional jobs in my life where I’ve been responsible for showing up at a certain time and having assigned projects that needed completing before I could clock out at a certain time. I’ve sat in classrooms with set lecture schedules and exams that need to be proctored. I’ve done plenty of normal human being things that require a degree of accountability to others. In hindsight, those days were easy.
The past 10 years of my life have been a bit less structured. I’m a freelance writer, have owned my own cleaning business, was a commission-based salesperson, and am going to college completely online. There are some things that hold me accountable – if I don’t submit a story, I don’t get paid. If I didn’t sell a product, I didn’t get paid. If my GPA falls below a certain number, I risk being asked to leave the program I’m in. If I choose not to put in the work, I am choosing not to reap the rewards. And there is absolutely no one other than myself that can make those choices for me.
When I was a swimmer and cheerleader, I was on teams with coaches and set practice times and team pictures and scheduled competitions and ribbons and trophies and uniforms and structure. These days, if I don’t go for a run, there’s no one at the track wondering why I didn’t show up to practice. I don’t have a uniform. I don’t have regularly scheduled meets. I fit in my training where I can fit it in around work and school and my family. If I show up to the half underprepared, it’s nobody’s fault but my own. If I don’t put the work in, I don’t get paid.
I don’t think I’m an athlete-athlete. I am a freelance athlete.
I send my intended workout schedule to Kelly H every week. I print out my meal plan and post it in the kitchen for the family to see. I lay in the middle of the living room floor in a dress doing IT band stretches while I watch the Phillies game. I am consumed every minute of every day with the idea of having to be an athlete to make it through this half marathon. A great quote I just heard today was, “You have the day off from activity, but you do not have the day off from being an athlete.” At the end of the day, if I don’t cross that finish line, the only person I’m failing is myself. I’m not letting down a coach or a team or a school or a club. Just me. If I don’t put the work in, I. Don’t. Get. Paid.
If you are a freelance athlete like me and need some accountability, click here for your free 3-day pass to CHHRC! A new summer group fitness schedule launches on Monday and you can conveniently check all the classes and instructors right from our handy dandy app. Come squeeze in an hour of you-time with me. Put the work in. Get paid.