Athlete?

There’s a big question I’ve been pondering lately, but before I get to it, I have a little housekeeping to do.

1) Weight Loss Chart. It’s September! It’s the end of summer… and back-to-school time… the start of the new television season… and time to update my chart with the results of my most recent weigh-in!

I stepped on the scale Saturday morning, and I’ll let my chart show you the number I saw:


Up two pounds.
I’m a little bummed that my downward streak ended, but I’m not surprised. My exercise suffered in the last half of August, and last week, I went 4 days in a row without working out, due to long hours at work and general fatigue. In total, I only worked out 18 days out of the 31 in August. That may be the lowest monthly number since I started keeping track, but I don’t wanna flip through my notes to confirm it, because that’d be depressing if true. What I’m trying to hold on to is the knowledge that, despite my long hours and the draining demands of my new job, I still worked out 18 times. I’m proud of that.

Two pounds is no big deal, anyway. I’ve lost 164 pounds total (and kept it off), and I’m still in the same 8-pound range I’ve been in for the past year.

Next month will mark the 1-year anniversary of me being at my lowest weight ever – 232 pounds. I’m now 6 pounds above that, which makes me really want to set a goal to lose 6 pounds during the month of September so I can get back to that weight.  Six pounds in 1 month is doable (that’s 1.5 pounds a week), although it’s gonna be difficult. I think I’m up for it, though.

I know you like seeing my entire chart…. so here you go!

2) Currants. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fresh currants before. I don’t think I’ve ever seen currants in any form other than dried and baked into a scone, actually. Until I saw them at the store the other day. I picked up a carton of them and thought, ‘this is what currants look like?’

They remind me so much of the trees and bushes that were all over my neighborhood growing up that were covered in small bright red berries – except we were always told never to eat them, because they were poisonous. But what if they weren’t poisonous, and we had a hearty currant supply that was just going to waste year after year? Talk about missed opportunities!

These currants are thin-skinned, juicy, and a mix of sweet and tart.

I liked ‘em. I ended up putting entire branches – like the one pictured above – in my mouth, and then pulling out just the branch part, like when cartoon cats put a whole fish in their mouth and pull out just the skeleton.

Currants aren’t cheap – that container cost $6 – and they’re definitely very delicate, but I’d probably buy them again.

Now… on to the big question…

Well over a year ago, I was talking to my friend Amy, who is a runner and a triathlete. She had invited me on multiple occasions to join her runners club, which I could never do, as they met when I was on the other side of town taking a class with Richard Simmons. I can’t remember many of the specifics of our conversation, but we were talking about exercise-related endeavors. At that point, my running goal was to make it past all the strip clubs in my neighborhood without stopping (this was before I started competing in any of the races cataloged on this page).

At one point during the conversation, Amy said something to the effect of: “Athletes like you and me…” and I gave her a quizzical look. She stopped and said, “You know you’re an athlete, right? Because you are. You are totally an athlete.” Her tone was so matter-of-fact that it struck me as bizarre.

That moment has resurfaced in my brain over and over and over again ever since them. That moment was so bizarre to me because I had never, ever considered myself an athlete, not once in my entire life. My childhood was spent on soccer, water polo, and lots of swim teams, but I was never very good at any of those sports. I’ve always thought of athletes as people who were naturally gifted when it came to sports. The last team I was on was my high school swim team, and when I think back about that team’s roster, two distinct lists form in my head: the talented, fast, agile swimmers who seemed born to work their way up and down the pool, and who seemingly didn’t have to think much about it. The other list, which I was on, was made up of the others – swimmers who worked hard and put in the hours, but only saw marginal improvements, barely contributed to winning meets, and were never the go-to guys when it came time to beat another school in a specific event.

I can make lists for all the teams I was on, and I’d be on the second list every single time. I think about my history with sports, and have always come to the conclusion that while I have participated in athletic endeavors, I’ve never been an athlete.

But maybe it’s time to change my tune. I say that because, in the past year, I’ve accomplished some pretty awesome goals that have been very athletic in nature. I completed an open water swim just a few weeks ago – and came in 2nd in my division. I’ve run two 10Ks, and both my times were under an hour. And I’ve climbed a helluva lot of stairs, 226 stories between two different events. These weren’t casual events, either – I trained hard for every one of them, and during the actual races I pushed myself to move as fast as I possibly could. My point is that these events would be hard to complete if you weren’t an athlete.

So maybe I’m an athlete.

I should say that again with more conviction.

I. AM. AN. ATHLETE.

Much better.

Keep it up, David!

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2 Responses to Athlete?

  1. Amy says:

    David, this quote is for you. I am so proud of you for finally having the courage to believe that you are an athlete.

    “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.”
    – Muhammad Ali

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