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From: Clarissa (
Subject: Non-athlete-->athlete wannabes?
Date: July 14, 2005 at 11:56 am PST

Hi everyone,

I'm currently making another attempt at getting in shape. To keep myself motivated I decided
to walk a marathon (or possibly half-marathon) at the end of November. I joined a group that
does six months of training together and I'm enjoying it (of course, we're only at 7 miles so
far!). Next summer I'd like to do a sprint triathlon--that's a half mile swim, 12 mile bikeride
and 3 mile walk/run.

I'm lurking/occasionally posting at The name seemed right for
me! However, even the newbies there seem way ahead of me. Not so much physically (well,
there's alot of that too!), but psychologically. They seem much more can-do, just do it, jump
right in.

A thread a couple of days ago at the tri site really started me thinking. A guy asked, why
women-only tris (like Reebok and Danskin)? The best answer, the one that resonated with
me, said something I hadn't thought of before.

====Here's the part of that thread from the other board that I'm talking about:====

Title IX passed in 1972. That means for every woman older than 33, the idea that they, as
women/girls, deserved the same time and money and attention re: athletics was not
something they grew up with. So it's not that they can't do stuff, or that they are lesser
athletes, it's just that MANY women are missing a psychological part of "athletics" that many
men and younger women have possibly taken for granted I can;t imagine not growing up
doing sports and what that must be like to just start out as an adult. I was taken seriously
and cheered on by my parents starting at age 4 when I played Kiddie Kick. My dad was out
there all the time validating and bragging about me, I have always felt like a woman, a strong
woman, and I never felt I had to "soften" myself or dumb myslef down to be less threatening
to men (there was an old thread about exactly that happening still! Imagine how your mom
felt in 1940!) .

There is a huge amount of confidence and faith in oneself that athletics provide.But it's a
chicken and egg thing, it is hard to join a sport or team if you have no confidence that you
can do it or that you even belong there. I am 32. I grew up with little league, soccer, ice
hockey, at the local level, school level, collegiate etc. When I try a new sport, I feel pretty sure
I'll pick it up and have fun, and if it's hard, so what? I am used to working hard! I know how
to fall down. I know how to react if by accident during the course of play, I get jostled. I know
that my worth as a person is not affected if I am less "feminine," if my makeup runs, if I get
dirty. It was a given to my parents that I would do and play sports. My mom, on the other
hand, at 50 years old, decided she wanted to learn to roller blade because it looked fun. her
concerns? she would look fat and silly. she would fall and be embarrassed. she wouldn't learn
very quickly and she would drag everyone else down. being an "athlete" was not something
she ever thought she could do, bc it was not ladylike. She never learned to fall down, she
never learned that being dirty doesn;t make the boys run away (maybe it did back then!) And
she certainly didn;t know what it would be like to be physical and sweaty around strangers.

======= That's the end of the quote from the other board.=======

Ok, I fit this profile (maybe not so much fearing I'm not ladylike as knowing I'm a klutz and
getting picked last for teams, etc.) I have trouble psychologically even finding the starting
iine (maybe even the race!) while the others are nervous, worried, but chomping at the bit.

Are there others out there that feel this way? I'd love to start an ongoing thread on this board
to encourage each other. The other board is great for rah, rah stuff and specific info (and
they're VERY supportive and friendly) and I'll still be checking in with them, but I need an
emotional base to come home to. I'd love it to be here.

If there are a couple of us, we could commiserate and cheer and encourage. And eventually
find the starting line!!!

I'm a middle aged, overweight nonathlete getting fit--calling all others in whatever stage of
fitness you are and whatever sport you're trying to get the courage to join--anything, tris,
biking, swimming, walking, running, softball, kayaking, ANYTHING.

If you're out there, I'd dearly love to make contact with you!

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