I like to run, but I am no runner. If I am able to finish a 3-4 mile run without stopping, I feel as achieved as Lance Armstrong after the Tour de France. Maybe not the noblest athletic accomplishment, but it keeps me in shape and that is all I need.
Two weeks ago, my older sister Liz came home for the weekend. I haven’t told you too much about her, so here is a quick debrief. She was an élite varsity hockey player throughout her youth. During her senior year of high school, she decided to pick up rugby as an off-season sport. As a first year, Liz made the rugby varsity team. By the end of the season, she was known as the girl who taught the team to take the body and was invited to Rugby Nationals. In college, she was the only freshman who regularly played on her D1 hockey team. If you aren’t noticing the pattern, let me be a bit more obvious….she is an athletic all-star.
In the last few years, Liz has decided to take a break from sports to focus on her studies. In these recent years, she has made a drastic change in her exercise regime…as in she never works out. I mean never.
But let’s get back on track. So Liz came home a few weekends ago, and decided she was going to take my little sister on a run. I recommended that my sisters take my running route. About half hour later, my sisters come strolling in the house. My younger sister looked like she was going to puke. Liz looked like she just got done walking the neighbor’s Maltese. Liz continued to tell me that not only did they run the entire route, but
they she also sprinted the last several blocks with relative ease.
That next week, I was feeling a bit protective and frustrated. I run every other day and that run hardly gets easier. I am lucky if I can run the entire route, without stopping, once a month. How can she so effortlessly complete something I have to try so hard for??
Isn’t that the irony of life?
School has been my strong suit, while Liz has had to work hard and study often to get good grades. We have grown up as close sisters. Competition and constant comparison has been inevitable throughout our twenty-year relationship. I envied her athletic ability the way she yearned for my intellectual aptitude. Yet, no matter how much I practiced and no matter how much she studied, she always remained the athlete and I always remained the brain.
Even though it sucks to acknowledge this during my three-mile runs, I have grown to appreciate that sports are not my forte. I may not be able to lead an Olympic marathon (or 5-K), but I can write. That is what I am good at.
Mr. Alan Bjerga, a journalist for Bloomberg, spoke to my class last week. After a grand speech, he made an enlightening comment, “Recognize what you are good at. What is it that you know? Find out and hone that skill in your life.”
Back in the day, when neither of us were honing our true skills.
I can’t lead the way in exercise science, but I can tell compelling stories about ideas, experiences, and people. Where would the excitement and uniqueness of life be if everyone was good at everything?
That’s my revelation from this month. In other words…If you need someone to write your papers, call me. If you need a personal trainer, please direct all questions to my dear older sister Liz.
Infinite x’s and o’s