Monday, July 18, 2011

Intimidation or Inspiration?

by Kris Pitcher

There is a misunderstood "fragility" around regular people when it comes to athletes or competitors of any kind in a gym. A gal was telling me about an athlete at her big box gym. This athlete will be going to Kona to compete in the Ironman. This is a big deal, Kona's invitational.

The lady telling the story does her physical therapy in the pool every morning. Some days, she walks with more pain than others. Her quality of life is dependant on her doing her therapy, amongst other things. She said this triathlete was in the pool doing some tremendous amount of meters - I don't even know how many... a lot.

She said, "If she can swim all those meters, surely I can do my therapy every day." She asked me why the big box gym didn't advocate for her by putting her in the newsletter, on the website or somehow sharing her inspirational story. Hmm? Good question.

The challenge is, gym X thinks athletes like this nondescript lady who's been invited to compete in Kona are intimidating to this regular exerciser doing her therapy. Now, this athlete likely has a full time job, a family and all the responsibilities the rest of us do - plus she's an Ironman athlete. I call inspirational.

In all fairness, maybe the big box gym doesn't know about her. Sometimes athletes are modest. But from experience I would say the voice of a few who might be intimidated speak for the many who find themselves inspired by people like this Ironman athlete.

This is my opinion, we're not all that fragile. I think we are inspired by the success of others. We are encouraged to see someone pursue their dreams, to push their limits, and to check things off their life list. Intimidated? Change your lens and take another look.

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