Becoming an athlete

Becoming an athlete


By Elisa Jones

Photo Aug 08 6 53 35 AM

The Trail goes on forever, It pulses in my veins

Leading me to secret places

Guiding on to sacred spaces

My heart and mind it full embraces

My soul it lifts to higher planes.

Last year, when I was 34, I started a new website: Through this website, I tracked more than 365 experiences I had on trails – a year or mores worth. It was a goal I set for myself at a time I was feeling particularly – let’s say – ambitious. At the time, I didn’t realize how truly far-fetched this concept was. It wasn’t until I started telling people about it, and attempting to actually do it, that it sank in: This would be a life-altering experience.

I wrapped up the project almost three months ago and I have had plenty of time to reflect. Then, and now, I have analytically, socially, metaphorically, spiritually, and literally accumulated a vast catalogue of experiences, and this being a health-oriented blog, I’d like to focus on several aspects of well-being, that embrace the essence of what I learned over that time, and how I am still learning and growing now.

I have never claimed to be an athlete. When I was in high school I was enveloped in Marching Band. It, and other performing ensembles, were my life. It wasn’t until I was faced with the reality of obesity – evidenced in myself and my family- that I began to embrace the way of fitness. I have a hard time even still assimilating this notion of “athlete” into my persona.

I considered this fact this very morning, as I did a 3+ mile run. In the dark. In the cold. In the rain. On a trail. When did this happen to me? When did it become a pleasure to wake up at 5 a.m. to jump out of bed and freeze the beejeezus out of myself on a trail? Why is it that now this is as easy to me as falling asleep, or hugging one of my children?

It must be a testament to the adaptability of our person. How we cannot alter our pasts, but we can alter our paths. I was not an athlete, but I have to acknowledge that I am now.

Has your self-perception changed due to a change in your activity? Have you discovered that you can become what you behave yourself to be?

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