World’s Worst Athlete

Sometimes, I think I am the world’s worst athlete. That is, when I think of myself as an athlete at all, which isn’t often.

I don’t come by athleticism naturally, I spent my childhood and youth figuring out ways to get out of taking PE in school. (I actually found a loophole that allowed me to get through high school without taking even a single semester of PE class).

I’m the slowest runner in the pack. My early-morning 3.2 miles take me a stately 45 minutes. You could probably walk it faster than that if you tried.

Of riding bikes I find that the world falls into two categories: People who don’t ride bikes at all, and people who are better at it than me.

I swim pretty well – my freestyle is almost faster than other people’s breaststroke!

I guess what I’m saying is there’s a reason I’m a solo exerciser. Exercise is one of those things that people like to get competitive about – who can go faster, who can go farther, who can jump higher, lift more, etc.

I’ve always assumed I’d lose any contest of physical prowess, so I’d rather do my own thing over here in the corner. I don’t really need any reminders that I’m no good at physical feats.

Anyway, the reason this has been bubbling around in my head is because I occasionally get prompted to consider taking on an advisory role, be a cheerleader for people who want to lose weight, or put together a running team, become a coach or something like that.

To which my response is that I don’t do team sports because I get tired of losing. But more importantly, most people who walk this weight management path will eventually find that, at the end of the day, either you do the things you need to do – you, just you, only you – or you don’t. And if you don’t have that internal drive to do the things that need to be done, nothing I can say or do will supply it. It’s like the old saying, “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”

If a person is ready to commit to it, nothing I can say will be necessary. If a person is not ready to commit to it, then anything I say is irrelevant.

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3 Responses to “World’s Worst Athlete”

  1. Caron Says:

    I took PE in 8th grade because it was required. Except for speech class in 12th grade, it was the worst class I ever had to take. I was always chosen last for any team thing. I would have picked me last too. I mostly exercise alone but often wish for a walking buddy who will walk briskly and talk about things that are interesting. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    I’m a lone rider most days, today being the exception. When I go out on my own, I don’t have to worry about planning (time, route, where to meet). I set a loose time in my head and if I don’t make it, my punishment is I don’t get to ride as far. And I am competative… it’s difficult for me to surpress it and only happens when I’m enjoying the company I’m with and chatting away.
    Walking with people is a different story for some reason, though. Maybe because it’s at such a slower pace and I just plain get bored by myself.

  3. snapshotstacy Says:

    I’m sooooper lucky. My love, while in much better shape than me (and a cyclist of many years), is happy to tag along at what ever speed I’m riding at. Plus, since we do a lot of 10+ mile distance rides, it’s safer to have a buddy.

    For a while, I was going solo (and still perfectly content to) on my C25K program, he has recently joined me on those walk/jogs as well.


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