Showing posts from May, 2017

Embracing an Athletic Identity

“Come on, Ali, you’ve got this. You can do this,” my dad urges.
Me, through thick sobs: “I CAN’T.”
He looks at me with a bit of hopeless exasperation, but tries to stay positive. This is the umpteenth time I’ve done this to him, my high school cross country coach, my mother. The formula goes something like this: Start running, hit mile 2-3, start cramping up, start hyperventilating, start walking, start crying and insisting I can’t do it. Despite being able to chase a ball across a soccer field for hours at a time, I can’t ever muster the attention span or inner peace needed to go on a simple 30-45 minute jog. I had it set in my head that I wasn’t cut out for endurance sports. I wasn’t the athletic or coordinated child, I was the nerd child who just didn’t have the competitive edge.
Growing up, I watched my sister Mia kill it in every sport she tried. She had tenacity, a fire inside that I had never discovered. She was a talented runner, she could throw a ball, and in the pool, she…