Throughout my childhood I was cut from teams, I made errors that let my team down, I was frustrated to tears when a skill I was working on eluded me, I ended up in last place, I wasn't "picked" by my friends, I was laughed at for making mistakes, and I even lost control of my emotions and regretted the way I showed up as a teammate. All of this, however, was categorized as "uncharacteristic" because I always believed I was, in fact, a great athlete. If the current evidence didn't directly support my story, I knew it was only a matter of time because I had practiced my story all my life.
When I was about 25 ...AFTER I had already become an NCAA Division I athlete - I asked my mom about a foggy memory from childhood where other kids were doing school work and I was outside with 3 other kindergartners bouncing a red ball back and forth. At the time I was elated that I was so fortunate to be selected to play instead of read ...but now as a teacher I started to recognize why I had been selected.
I immediately called my mom, "Was I in an Adaptive PE class when I was a kid?" My mom confirmed, "Yes - the teacher contacted us and said she had some concerns about your coordination and recommended that you have it addressed by a professional." It was quiet for a minute and then we laughed and started joking about writing a testimonial for whatever program that was.
I have to wonder though ...what if I had told my self a more "realistic" story about being in that class at 5 years old? If I go back to all of my athletic setbacks and failures, what would they mean in the framework of my concerning lack coordination? What limits would I have put on myself? What would I have believed was possible? So the question is, which reality is real? The FACT that my gross motor skills qualified me for Special Education or the FACT that one night back in 1997 you could have turned on the TV and watched me play volleyball in front of thousands of people while paid commentators broke down my performance for the viewers at home?
You see - the truth of our stories can get a little complicated. Is your story holding you back? Want to change that?
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