Day #2 Vulnerability Post-Athleticism

Here we go! There’s no turning back now, I guess. My heart is open so lets just dive on in, shall we?
I have no idea whether I am athletic or not. I love sports. I love to watch and play them, but for most of my life…like as long as I can remember…I was afraid to play. So I didn’t. The reason why is so stupid, but I honestly thought I was too fat to be any good and that people would make fun of me. I was too embarrassed and scared to put myself out there.
For the longest, I told myself that I was fat, and fat people aren’t good at sports. LITERALLY SINCE I WAS LIKE 5!
As a young kid, I loved the outdoors, but I loved singing, dancing, and playing make believe more. I didn’t sit in front of the TV for hours or play video games. I lived on lots of land with few neighbors. There weren’t many kids to play with, and I was an only child that actually liked playing by herself. While growing up, we had this huge tree out in the middle of our large front yard. Sometimes on summer evenings, my parents would jokingly tell me to run to the tree and back. This was all meant in good fun, but I would get SO EMBARRASSED and often times refuse to do it. You know why? Because I thought I was fat. AS A CHILD. I didn’t want anyone to see me running to that tree because people make fun of fat people running.
I played soccer, softball, basketball, and tennis throughout my childhood and genuinely enjoyed them. In every single one of these sports, though, I NEVER gave it my all because I just assumed that I wouldn’t be good anyway because I was “fat.” In middle and high school, I was on the cheerleading squad and then dance team, and I was constantly CONSUMED with people thinking I sucked because I was overweight. It held me back.
PE in elementary and middle school physically made me ill EVERY DAY because I was so worried about kids making fun of me. and they did. I would come up with ANY excuse I could to get out of it and then worry about kids thinking I was lazy and fat for not participating. I even had a PE coach in elementary school that made us do chin ups and weighed us in front of our entire class and then yelled out the number. I was DEVASTATED. I was ALWAYS the last one to cross the finish line when we had to run, and I was ALWAYS picked last for teams.
In college, I played in 2 intramural games. A soccer game in which I had the TIME OF MY LIFE and wondered why I had not always played, but I spent a lot of time obsessing over what people were thinking about the fat girl who thought she could play sports. The second was a softball game in which I was forced to play by an abusive ex boyfriend and struck out twice. I was MORTIFIED over it.
Whenever friends wanted to get together for pick up games of ultimate frisby, kickball, or softball, I always sat on the sidelines. I swore to them that I just didn’t like playing and preferred to watch. In actuality, though, I was just scared of being the fat girl that sucked.
and y’all…THAT SUCKED.
I feel so sad for myself when I think about those times. I missed out on so much and probably took 10 years off my life with all of that worrying. I’ve been so scared to participate that now, as a GROWN ADULT, I have no idea if I am genuinely any good at any sport.
and I’m DONE with that. I’ve BEEN done with that for about 2 years now.
I refuse to sit on the sidelines (literally) and worry what people are thinking about me for the rest of my life. WHO CARES if I’m any good or what people say about me if I’m having FUN?? I can’t change the past, but I can heal those wounds and learn from them.
and for the record, I’ve literally only told my mom and husband all of this before. #MagicofVulnerability
If you’re participating, don’t forget to tag @TheMSHippy and @weslie_ and use the hashtag #MagicofVulnerability! Thanks for letting me share my heart with you.

About Chelsea

Just a small town girl.

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