Thursday, August 13, 2009

Labels in life



So, after doing more writing about fitness, health and myself than ever before this last few months, I have been thinking about all the ways that I have described myself. Bylines, profiles, blog posts, dating sites, pitch letters all kinds of ways to try and convey who I am and what I do.

I found myself last week trying to describe to someone my journey with fitness:

"So in high school and college I was a runner...well I ran, I wasn't really a runner. Now I am a runner, I would consider myself more of an athlete now. Well, a novice athlete anyway, I am definitely at least athletic."


Here are some labels I have been slapping on myself and my correspondence lately:

fitness lover
athlete
single girl (new label for me!)
runner
RollerGirl
writer
freelancer
athletic
christian
open book
volunteer
receptionist
bike rider
organizer
black sheep
volunteer
mentor
healthy
conservative
night owl
etc...

Describing myself can be a challenge. When I'm in a position where I need to convey the things I can do, believe in and have a passion for, what can result is a vast list where things seem too vague or very narrowing.

Maybe I am just to salty about things like this because I struggled so much when I was younger with wanting to be different and special, and ended up having a love/hate relationship with labeling myself. Am I happy and proud to be a rollergirl?(retired as of April!) Yes! I am SO proud and so thrilled to wear that hat...yet sometimes I want to shout that I am so much more as well! I usually want to wear the special name badges and yet get defiant and refuse to let them define me.

Am I a runner? All the way, but I don't wear running shoes and race tees when I go to Target. I am in vintage skirts, girly shirts and bows. I am a runner who wears rainbows shirts and gold ballet flats when not running. Am I an athlete? I think so, it's one of the vague descriptors that isn't as solidified as I would like. I have not yet lived up to the definition of that title that is a skipping record in my head. But if it's a work in progress I will claim it and call dibs on it while I strive for it and make it my own.

Regardless of what we are labeled, of what we label ourselves, or of the phrases we use to describe ourselves to others (whether en route or camped out there) one thing we can not do is let any of that limit us! If you want something--go get it! Ask about it! Step out in faith and out of your comfort zone...and let other people tell you yes or no, before you tell yourself you can't have or be something.

So this athletic, tattooed, Christian, retired rollergirl, with a wicked running habit and dreams of motherhood, is going to take risks everyday. Risks to be everything I know I can and reach for the things I never thought I could grasp. I'll just keep growing that list of labels knowing I am all of them and much, much more.


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