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Sylvaa

[Sylvaa] Is An Athlete

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the discussion has taken an even more philosophical turn.

 

@Machete; while the danger of feeling, actiing, or seeming to be morally superior is very Real... I just can't wrap my head around being so reluctant to adopt the term; athlete.

 

...maybe (and this is a dangerous maybe)... the whole discussion is easier to explore using an analogy that doesn't involve hardly anybody.

 

for example; I myself enjoy chess. its a game I regularly play online and at times, I've competited in chess tournaments.  in that game; there is a term called "patzer".  the term is/was somewhat derogatory.  generally someone who makes moves without sufficient vision of what can happen.  (which is one of the most common type of mistakes in chess).

 

this term is the "p" in my username. tgp.

 

though it might seem like it; there is no reference to anyone else in me adopting the term.  if I were asked on the street, if I were any good at chess- I would prolly say "yes" because experience has taught me that generally my skills are better than most people that don't claim to be interested in chess; even if they know the rules of the game and have played the game. (and there are a lot of people that know HOW to play that do not regularly play the game).

 

one could charge me with false modesty by adopting "patzer" or superiority in telling someone I was good at chess.

 

but I really think its a deep mistake and unfair to read my own decisions of my chess indentity as some kind of commentary about any one else.

 

I'm fully aware I could talk to some guy on the street and be utterly demolished - I mean DEMOLISHED! by him in chess.

 

chess in innately competitive... but what drives me to continue to struggle with the game has Nothing to do with anybody else.  in chess; you lose because of your OWN mistakes.  while its true that you opponent must have the skills to see them and use them to defeat you- it is undeniable solid chess theory that Only poor decisions for how you move your own peices can allow you to fail.  

 

this is really rantish. i'm sorry.  but I really think you should be utterly free to make your own decisions about your identity independant of other people.  the only exception might be a title or an accomplishment.  for example, in chess, you've probably heard of the word a "grandmaster".  thats a very exact title in chess and earned in a very specific way... its also very very hard to acheive.  that term is easy to delineate.  use it IF you have achieved it.

 

anyways, still you might have that person claim to be a "patzer".  compared to the best in the world; or even something better  ( a chess computer)... they would be right.

---

in the context of the conversation, the OP if I understand it right, laments that she isn't as committed to exercise as she would like.  perhaps its because she doesn't feel she is serious enough.  surely This is a very common issue.  I feel quite inadequate about all kinds of things I attempt to do.  I think sometimes it CAN help to adopt an identity or use a word to describe you; that implies you have made a personal commitment to fitness.

 

surely the commitment is what is important here and not so much the word.  but that a personal commitment would mean that you feel superior to other people?. I just can't wrap my head around THAT.

 

I DO 1million % agree that as a community we need to be inclusive, welcoming, and careful in not pushing people away.

 

 

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I definitely think that the relationships are what matter. Y’all are a major reason I’ve been able to accomplish my goals and keep at them. I’m at a struggle point but those used to involve gaining back 20-25 lbs instead of 10. 

 

I always saw exercisers as people who worked out for health reasons but not for anything deeper. Exercising has always been synonymous with a sort of monotony. I’ve exercised in my life, of course, but I prefer to train for various events. Even if my event is a trip to Disney World, that’s no small physical feat given that I have 3 kids under 6, walk about 10 miles at an amusement park, and carry 1+ kids ranging from 25-100 lbs plus a diaper bag/backpack full of supplies the whole day. I mean, it may be nothing for some people but I have a desk job. I sit on my butt all day typing into computers and talking into phones. So I definitely train for actual sustained physical activity as an athletic event. Plus, it gives me goals and a specific real-world goal rather than the more generic “better health/die later/feel better” which only goes so far for me. 

 

I really wonder exactly how productive we can be with a family and desk job. What’s the max? I’ve burned out a few times over the last several years and I wonder if the guilt of “I should do more” is making that even worse when we already have so many things on our plates. 

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Good point TGP. A lot of our identities are very much self-perceived. When I started playing the violin I had soooo many people look at my case and ask “do you play the violin?” 

 

I never could figure out how to respond. It ended being a disclaimer just to inform people that I didn’t consider myself a violinist (“I just started lessons.” “I’m a beginner.”)

 

It took more than year before I could just say “yes, I play.” And I was shocked when I said it, because it was the first time I believed it.

 

The truth is: I was a violinist the moment I picked up my instrument. I didn’t see myself as one until I said “yes”.

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So I found another article, which I like a bit more (and is more positive towards the idea of exerciser): https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2016/06/27/07/06/the-terms-athlete-and-exercisers. It also gives me a bit more to think on, and potential strive for, in regards to being an athlete. 

 

3 hours ago, Machete said:

It's all arbitrary labels anyway, but when it comes down to it, I'm okay being a hobbyist/exerciser. Maximizing enjoyment is my priority, and I think that's a worthwhile goal.

 

I get your point. I think for me, having never really been an athlete, it's definitely a goal. Will I ever get to the point that I will get paid for my athleticism? Probably not (especially as I get older!). That being said, it doesn't hurt to strive towards that goal. Because at some point, I want to be competitive. 

 

Baby Sylvaa story (I've told this one before, so if you aren't new, apologies): I'm smart. Like, MENSA smart. I'm not trying to brag, it's a fact relevant to this story, and it is what it is. I grew up with this message from my family that it didn't really matter what else I was, because being smart was my identity. So I wasn't really encouraged to care about "normal kid" things. For example, it didn't matter how good I was at sports, because I was smart (side note partly for Tank: this also has an impact on how I view myself as we've talked about previously in threads. I've been conditioned to not think of myself in any way except smart.). As I've gotten older, I've had to come to a realization that being smart isn't enough. So I'm truly still working on creating my own identity around who I want to be instead of who I've been told I am. And it's very hard as an adult to try to figure this stuff out. I've always been attracted to the idea of being an athlete; these are the people I look up to and aspire to be. So that's where this passion for me personally has started to come from. 

 

3 minutes ago, Mae45 said:

It took more than year before I could just say “yes, I play.” And I was shocked when I said it, because it was the first time I believed it.

 

The truth is: I was a violinist the moment I picked up my instrument. I didn’t see myself as one until I said “yes”.

 

Responding to a number of people by quoting this. I had a conversation with a former colleague of mine who ran. He had just run the Philadelphia marathon and I was just starting my first C25K program. He actually got a bit disgruntled with me when I said I wasn't a runner. When he asked why, I said, "because I walk". And he looked at me and informed me that everyone walks sometimes. He said that even many marathoners will walk while taking a drink (because drinking and running is an easy way to choke). That it isn't the walking that makes you not a runner, it's the running that proves you are. And I've tried to take that to heart. I might not be good at running, but I am a runner. :D 

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7 minutes ago, Sylvaa said:

Responding to a number of people by quoting this. I had a conversation with a former colleague of mine who ran. He had just run the Philadelphia marathon and I was just starting my first C25K program. He actually got a bit disgruntled with me when I said I wasn't a runner. When he asked why, I said, "because I walk". And he looked at me and informed me that everyone walks sometimes. He said that even many marathoners will walk while taking a drink (because drinking and running is an easy way to choke). That it isn't the walking that makes you not a runner, it's the running that proves you are. And I've tried to take that to heart. I might not be good at running, but I am a runner. :D 

 

lol! I’ve actually had debates with people on the runner/walker/jogger definition. 

 

I consider myself a runner (slow, but a runner none-the-less) and I’m okay being a walker. However, never call me a “jogger”. I consider that an insult...I don’t know why..

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Your coworker is right!  Being an athlete isn’t really that high of a bar and I think you’ve more that earned the right to call yourself an athlete. I say that having been an athlete and a coach for a major chunk of my life. Now, maybe there’s a sport you want to try. A lot of people have trouble feeling like athletes if they aren’t in a sport with competition brackets, or if there isn’t a team, or if that team doesn’t work together at the same time. 

 

I hear you about the smart label. It’s really rough is being easily one of the smartest in school and then growing up to realize life isn’t just about all. My family was similar and I got into sports to rebel against my family’s singular focus on smarts. And being smart doesn’t, on its own, teach study skills, or social skills, or leadership skills, or empathy, or emotional regulation, or give awareness of a LOT of things that matter. 

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6 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

So I'm truly still working on creating my own identity around who I want to be instead of who I've been told I am. And it's very hard as an adult to try to figure this stuff out. I've always been attracted to the idea of being an athlete; these are the people I look up to and aspire to be. S

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! Yessssssssssssssss I LOVE IT!

 

this one truth that can get lost in the journey so it must be written: at the core of you is a wonderful person. However you choose to be in life, and whatever you decide to be, you are already Great! Enjoy the journey, :love_heart:

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6 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I don't know if I qualify for Mensa, but I also grew up with smart being my identity. Good for school, but not for much else.

 

You should check out a testing center near you. I’ve been procrastinating for years. My exams are just under the cutoff point so I would have to test out. I don’t know what the benefits of membership are though. I’m a member of Torr, and everything they tried to talk about in the forums went way over my head. And I say “tried” because there was so little engagement. It’s as if the level of social skill was on par with the Autism forums.

 

1 hour ago, fleaball said:

105575.jpg 

 

DUN DUN.

 

I’ve told this story before, but I did run into a severed head wrapped in packaging tape by the river during one of my runs years back.

 

But yeah, that’s the thing about identity; when you say you’re a “basketball player” does that mean you play in the NBA? NCAA? Weekend pick-up games at the Y? What’s the cut-off? Same thing with being a “bodybuilder.” Do you have to compete? Do you need to achieve a certain FFMI? “Hardcore” motivational gym memes likes to stroke the egos of its readers by saying stuff like “exercisers work out and diet, athletes train and fuel their bodies” so guys like me can read it and tell ourselves “Yeah, that’s totally me! Dur hur!”

 

This is why I enjoy the class system here—it’s not who you are but what you do that defines you.

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13 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

So I found another article, which I like a bit more (and is more positive towards the idea of exerciser): https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2016/06/27/07/06/the-terms-athlete-and-exercisers. It also gives me a bit more to think on, and potential strive for, in regards to being an athlete. 

I really like this letter. I grew up being a athlete in gymnastics (26hrs per week when I stopped at 13), and being an elite athlete is really unhealthy. I'm lucky enough that I did not have any eating disorders, but I still feel the effects of it fifteen years later. While I can build up muscle incredibly quickly and have some good movement patterns, my back is a mess, I always have to be careful of the hip I broke, I will never grow as tall as I was supposed to be, etc. In Dutch we have a distinction between "normal" athletes (sporter) and "elite" athletes (topsporter). This distinction follows more or less the same lines as the letter linked above, and it is a pity there is no English equivalent for it. 

 

I currently see myself as an exerciser, looking for a better health by the means of walking, running, yoga and climbing. I don't currently have any well-defined goals, so I'm definitely not an athlete at the moment ;).

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11 hours ago, Machete said:

You should check out a testing center near you. I’ve been procrastinating for years. My exams are just under the cutoff point so I would have to test out. I don’t know what the benefits of membership are though. I’m a member of Torr, and everything they tried to talk about in the forums went way over my head. And I say “tried” because there was so little engagement. It’s as if the level of social skill was on par with the Autism forums.

One of my colleagues does qualify for Mensa based on his Miller Analogy Test scores. He went to a meeting once to see what the group was like and said it was a bunch of guys arguing about Kirk Vs Picard. He did not return. I don't know what the benefit to membership would be if I did qualify.

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23 hours ago, Machete said:

I’ve told this story before, but I did run into a severed head wrapped in packaging tape by the river during one of my runs years back.

Wait, WHAT?!?

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11 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

One of my colleagues does qualify for Mensa based on his Miller Analogy Test scores. He went to a meeting once to see what the group was like and said it was a bunch of guys arguing about Kirk Vs Picard. He did not return. I don't know what the benefit to membership would be if I did qualify.

Wait, Mensa is a thing? Like for real? 

 

I never took an IQ test,  but I did score in the 88th percentile of the MATs. I’m smart enough for me. :D 

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11 hours ago, Snarkyfishguts said:
On 4/24/2019 at 9:51 PM, Machete said:

I’ve told this story before, but I did run into a severed head wrapped in packaging tape by the river during one of my runs years back.

Wait, WHAT?!?

 

I also have questions. Also, I'm so glad you are back (at least partly) on the forums! 

 

11 hours ago, Snarkyfishguts said:

Wait, Mensa is a thing? Like for real? 

 

I mean yeah. But it's really not that exciting. Like seriously smart people are pretty weird. So many of them led such a strange childhood that most aren't very well socialized as adults and a lot lose their identities after getting out of school. But yes, you can submit results of IQ tests to them and join. 

 

It's raining pretty hard here today and my puppy is freaking out. I also tried to make a cup of coffee by turning on the coffee pot side this morning. TGIF at least! 

 

The end of the week hit me hard. I stayed up way too late Wednesday night watching the Caps / Hurricanes game and ended up dragging for most of Thursday. I got through at least one of the super important work tasks I needed to accomplish, but still have a pretty big list ahead of me (she says as she writes up a post through the work day).  

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2 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

I stayed up way too late Wednesday night watching the Caps / Hurricanes game...

 

Do you think anyone picked a bracket where all four #1 seeds got eliminated in the first round?  To say nothing of the Lightning getting swept after absolutely dominating the regular season...

 

At this point the only team left to root for is Dallas.

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3 minutes ago, DrFeelgood said:

At this point the only team left to root for is Dallas.

 

I'm rooting for Columbus at this point. Sorry. :D 

 

But agreed - this year has been crazy! I'm super excited for the playoffs to continue.

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18 minutes ago, Sylvaa said:

I'm rooting for Columbus at this point. Sorry. :D 

 

I'll always cheer for whoever is up against Boston. :D

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5 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

 

I also have questions. Also, I'm so glad you are back (at least partly) on the forums! 

 

 

I mean yeah. But it's really not that exciting. Like seriously smart people are pretty weird. So many of them led such a strange childhood that most aren't very well socialized as adults and a lot lose their identities after getting out of school. But yes, you can submit results of IQ tests to them and join. 

 

I qualified on a test some years ago and didn’t join. I occasionally think about taking a new test and submitting to join, but the following thought process always occurs:

 

1. Is it worth the time? I’ve never really felt that drawn to what they actually do, especially since I can buy and make puzzles and the like. My friends are pretty smart, too. So what’s the draw?

 

2. Is it worth the risk? My old scores are no longer usable. What if I’ve dropped like 60 points in IQ? It’s an exaggeration yeah, but the point remains. 

 

3. I wish it was a more active organization that pulled smart people together to accomplish something. If it was, it’d be worth the effort and risks. 

 

As of now I see it as another reason to sit on my butt during another qualifying test and a big chance that I’ll receive an ego-blowing low score. That fear is pretty strong since my whole childhood identity was based on being big and smart. I’m /slightly/ above average in height now, so...

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Weekend Update Post:

 

TL/DR: NTB and I did the Terrain Race and I think I'm outgrowing them.

 

Long Version: Saturday was my baseline Terrain Race run. @NeverThatBored and I signed up a few months ago during the free TR sign ups. We did this same course last year and it was pretty fun. IMO, TR's are a lower to mid-level OCR. There will be certain areas that will challenge newcomers, but most of the obstacles can be completed by anyone who tries. 

 

My brother also signed up for this race. We had made plans to drive down together and he was supposed to be at my house at 8. At 8:15, I texted him to find out he had just woken up. Then 10 minutes later, he let me know he wasn't going. So mad - I hate having plans change at the last minute like that. Luckily, I was able to let NTB know beforehand so she wasn't waiting for me FOREVER. 

 

So according to the e-mails we received, a ridiculous number of people signed up for the race. Like over 10K I believe. TR did some things differently this year to offset the free racing and to try to help counteract crowds (there was an offsite parking venue with shuttle service - I took advantage of this as storms had rolled in the day before and the offsite was paved - and a $5 fee for day of packet pick-up - packet pick-up the day before was free). Even with the large number of people, it was pretty easy to get checked in and get a bag checked. The check-in line I used didn't charge me the fee, so that was a pleasant surprise. 

 

This year, the race itself was more laid back than previously. They were not checking start times, so we technically could have picked whatever wave we wanted. We did get in our assigned wave with no issue and it wasn't very crowded. By the time we got on the trail, it was well marked, however I heard that some other people did not feel that way. There also weren't crazy lines at most obstacles. There were only two that I remember having lines. The first we skipped, the second we waited on. Even with the waiting, it only took us an hour to finish the full race. 

 

I need to work on grip strength obstacles (I'm not even going to actually consider them upper body). I don't trust myself to be able to do them, they tend to be low to the ground, and it's super easy for me to just put my feet down. I also need to practice getting over walls by myself. I think that, as long as I put in the work, I should be able to be faster with better obstacle completion by the July TR. 

 

That being said, the race itself just seemed to be missing something. It might be in part due to the changes with new ownership and free racing. It might be that maybe I AM in better shape than I give myself credit for. I'm also not sore, barely bruised, and ready to get back in the gym. I've got problems.

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Sometimes you just have to let things go!
I guess your body, as well as your mind, are in better shape for that race. And you're craving your next adventure!

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Dear Diary,

 

Yesterday, I signed up for another Spartan. I'm volunteering so the race itself is free. Am I going to be ready for a Mountain Series race by July? Why do I always think things like this will be a good idea? Guess I'll find out soon exactly how much I've improved.

 

Also, what if there were no hypothetical questions?

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On 4/29/2019 at 10:49 AM, Sylvaa said:

Weekend Update Post:

 

TL/DR: NTB and I did the Terrain Race and I think I'm outgrowing them.

...

That being said, the race itself just seemed to be missing something. It might be in part due to the changes with new ownership and free racing. It might be that maybe I AM in better shape than I give myself credit for. I'm also not sore, barely bruised, and ready to get back in the gym. I've got problems.

I'm almost 100% positive they're abandoning the competitive space and going for the recreational "experience" event. There's nothing wrong with this, but it's something that those of us who have run them before need to understand when we show up.

 

1 hour ago, Sylvaa said:

Dear Diary,

 

Yesterday, I signed up for another Spartan. I'm volunteering so the race itself is free. Am I going to be ready for a Mountain Series race by July? Why do I always think things like this will be a good idea? Guess I'll find out soon exactly how much I've improved.

 

Also, what if there were no hypothetical questions?

You're an athlete. You're going to be fine. (Do you think I read your thread to get caught up? :))

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On 4/30/2019 at 2:51 PM, Sylvaa said:

Why do I always think things like this will be a good idea? Guess I'll find out soon exactly how much I've improved. 

It will be a good idea! Wait and see :D

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On 4/30/2019 at 1:51 PM, Sylvaa said:

Dear Diary,

 

Yesterday, I signed up for another Spartan. I'm volunteering so the race itself is free. Am I going to be ready for a Mountain Series race by July? Why do I always think things like this will be a good idea? Guess I'll find out soon exactly how much I've improved.

 

Also, what if there were no hypothetical questions?

You GOT this! I believe in you!

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