“I am not an athlete”, I feel I should start by publicly declaring this. I’ve always loved and engaged in sport. Since leaving school I tended to play five-a-side every Sunday with friends and would enjoy a few decent cycle rides per year. It was fun and enjoyable but my battle of exercise v excess was not quite in balance. In 2018 I decided to change my lifestyle. I started eating healthy, I taught myself that some green coloured foods aren’t so bad. I would walk to work every day. Each weekend my cycling distance grew and grew. I got fitter but walking was no longer making an impact and cycling took too much time. In June 2018 I started running and have never looked back.
“I am not an athlete”, that was my first thought when I read the email confirming my position as an Ambassador for the 2020 Try on the Tyne. In every event I have done so far, from the Cycling Sportive to Duathlon to the relatively relaxed ParkRun, I look around and see ‘athletes’. You know the ones I mean… they’re talking with passion about negative splits and fartleks, they’re fiddling with the high tech watch, focused on a warm up routine that looks like an aerobic challenge in itself… and of course lots of lycra!!
“I am not an athlete” according to the Cambridge Dictionary definition as ‘a person who is very good at sports or physical exercise’. I don’t consider myself ‘very good’, I still compete against myself. My first goal is always to finish, then not to finish last, then to challenge my previous best. When I dig a little deeper I find other definitions including “An individual who participates in sports. Characterized by dedication, focus, intelligence and work ethic”. This one I like, I think I can apply for that.
So, my name is Ross and this year I am going to push myself to achieve things that I never thought I could… and maybe, just maybe, “I am an athlete” and if you are reading this I am guessing that you are an athlete too.