Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It Still Counts

I have an online group of friends, all of whom currently or in the past did weight training of some kind and two of whom still compete at the national and international level. One no longer competes due to health problems, I never started competing due to health problems, and a third got interested in running and other sports instead. After some time spent competing in the javelin and marathons, she is now doing triathlons.

Oh, and she’s my age.

There isn’t a large proportion of women in the over 40 age bracket, let alone over 60 age bracket, who do competitive lifting. In absolute numbers, there are more than you may think, but some of my friends have shown up at local meets and been the only person in their age group.

So as you might imagine, they each have been reluctant to accept awards for being the best lifter in their age group when they were the only lifter in their age group.

Until one of our members spoke up and said something like the following:

You were the only woman there in your age group because most women aren’t willing to do what you do. You trained for this competition for months, you made arrangements to be there, and you showed up willing to compete against whoever else showed up. You took the risk of bombing out in front of an audience. So if no one else was brave enough to do that, that’s not a reflection on you. You earned that trophy, and you have every right to be proud of it.

I offer this to any reader who has an accomplishment they are downplaying at the moment. I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is, you have every right to be proud of it.

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