Against all odds, I joined my a kickball league this summer with my office. If any of you know me, “athletic” is likely not the first word that comes to mind when you think of me. But I did it anyway–in large part to get to know my coworkers better, but also because I have told myself that I’m not athletic for most of my life.
In the end, it was a pretty good season. We made it to the championships but fell short of league victory. And better yet–I actually made it on base during one game! This had never happened to me before (seriously).
I bunted and just ran. I almost had to knock down the first baseman to make it, but in the end I was called “safe” by the umpire. Then began the awful waiting–for the next kick, for a kick that wasn’t a pop fly. My adrenaline was up so high, I could hardly listen to the first base coach’s advice! It had made it on base!
That inning ended with me still on first base, but I walked back to the dugout with a happy sense of satisfaction in myself and pride in my team.
I’m still not convinced that I’m an athletic superstar, but this kickball league was a small example that I am in fact [somewhat] athletic. It goes to show you just how much the stories we tell ourselves shape us. I’ve held off joining athletic teams and trying sporty things because I’ve always had this story running in the back of my mind: “I’m not that athletic; I’d just be an embarrassment.” I’m not saying that I was the star of the team by any means, but I do know that I would never have made a base-kick if I listened to the story I had been telling myself all my life.
What about you? What stories do you tell yourself that stop you from trying something new?