(This is the post I mentioned writing. It’s going to sound like around confused rambling, but given it is dead week and my schedule is going to be insane tonight, I figure I might as well post it.)
Before college, I was an athlete. It was who I was, and ingrained in every part of my being. Being an athlete defined me, and led me to my passion in science. I loved my sport, I loved the team, loved the practicing, loved the workouts, and loved how fit I was.
I spent hours every day on my sport. It really was my life-I even wrote my college essay on softball. I discovered my passion for nutrition though my sport, which led to my passion for biology and physiology.
I played my last summer of softball the summer before I went to college, and trained incredibly hard to prepare myself to walk on to the rowing team when I started college.
For the first half of my freshman year, I was still an athlete.
When I was trying to make the decision whether or not to continue rowing, a huge part of the decision was that it meant giving up my identity as an athlete, an identity that I had had my entire life.
And then suddenly, I wasn’t an athlete anymore.
To be honest, this is still difficult for me to write about, and I’m having trouble finding the words. When I quit rowing, I feel like I lost a large part of myself. I can’t tell you how many dreams I’ve had since then where I’ve somehow found myself back on the rowing team-but in reality this could never happen, and I know I wouldn’t have had the time to row with my intense sophomore year.
But this feeling of no longer being an athlete is still raw, especially when I go back and look at old pictures.
(Valentine’s Day beach workout 2 years ago.)
I feel like being an athlete made me a better student and a more on top of it person. Having such a regimented schedule forces that.
I miss having teammates. I miss my athlete’s body. I miss the feeling after a successful weekend of sport.
I do honestly wish I still had a sport-I think it would be really good for me.
However-I need to get over thinking of myself as a non-athlete. I AM still an athlete-I race, I lift heavy things, it’s just different. I honestly think my passion for fitness and nutrition has waned a bit in the past couple of years that I am no longer an ‘athlete’ in the technical sense of the word.
I don’t exactly know where I want to go with this post-I didn’t realize how much of an identity crisis I still feel when I think about this, but I think losing that “athlete” identity is something a lot of people go through at one point or another. While I have allowed myself to grow a lot as a person and add to my identity (crazy cat lady is one thing added), I can’t help but think something is still missing!
How did you cope with being a “non-athlete”?