Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lessons from Bruce Jenner

This is a blog about athleticism. Who is one of the best athletes of all time? Bruce Jenner. And so this post is totally appropriate for this blog.

I just finished watching another Bruce Jenner special and this is what you get...

I always wanted to be an athlete. I looked up to my high school English teacher because she was an avid softball player. I looked up to my friend from my high school job because she would go for bike rides, like on roads and stuff, who did that back then? Athletes. I admired my sister who was an avid water polo player through high school. Basically, I stared this idea of athleticism in the face for years and yearned for a place on that team. But I was always too fat, too slow, too scared of others, too afraid of the stares, too self conscious, too focused on the fact that 'I can't' and so I never tried...

Until one day, I decided I could, and then my journey began.

On a very basic level I can empathize with Bruce Jenner, and I can honestly say that the Kardashian's aren't all that bad either. If you have not been following the Jenner story, a brief synopsis is this... He is 65 years old, he has been hiding the fact that he has felt like a girl/woman for his entire life, dressed up as a woman on occasion since he was 10 years old, and has now decided to begin his transition to become a woman.

Whether you believe people are born gay or not, whether you are a christian or not, whether you have an understanding for the transgender population or not, there is something to learn from any human story. I don't care whether you are sympathetic to people who live a different lifestyle than yourself, I think it is safe to say that as humans, we all want other humans to live healthy, happy lives.

Bruce Jenner has struggled his entire life, but he has decided to 'come out' so to speak, and live the life that was intended for him. He has waited 65 years to be himself because he struggled with the idea of fitting into societal norms that he put his own happiness to the side. He was a good dad, and will likely continue to be a good dad. You know how I know he is a good dad? Because of the way all of his kids have reacted to his journey. Sure there have been tears, and sadness, but he has given every one of the people in his life the opportunity to react. I'm not saying they all reacted appropriately, but that doesn't matter, they all got their opportunity to share what their experience was with the information they had learned.

I have so much more to say, but I think I need to keep processing it all, but what I can say is this:

My athletic journey doesn't compare to the Bruce Jenner story, but there are some parallels... What I have learned from following the story: 1) It is never too late to be who you want to be; 2) there will always be that perfect reason on why you shouldn't be who you want to be, if you choose to give power to that reason; 3) we all have the power to determine whether we are going to take the leap to be ourselves, and that can be hard for some people; 4) AND if you surround yourself with all the right people, in his case his family, you will come out the other end with unconditional love.

So to my family and my dearest friends, you should know that my unconditional love applies to you. There is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you, even if I struggle with that new information... I will always come out the other end with love and respect for you.

Now, let's go for a run!!!

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