November 03, 2010

What is an Athlete - Featured Writer Jennica Hirrlinger

I can't believe it's already November.  The leaves have fallen off the trees and the crisp clean air means it's time to prepare.  Yeah, snow!  The bicycle hooks will soon be filled with the bicycles of my three little ones along with the bicycles of me and my husband.  It has been a very fulfilling year.  CX season is still in full swing so those bikes will remain unpolished for a little longer. 

My good friend Jennica has done it again with her featured story.  I always love reading what all of your thoughts are.  As a female race women are truly powerful individuals.  Man, I would LOVE to see what life could be like if we all put our hearts and minds together for a special purpose.  Keep rockin' it this month girls.  GIRL POWER.

What is an Athlete - Featured writer Jennica Hirrlinger

I recently saw a news story outlining how a high school girl chose an autistic student in her grade for her date to their senior prom where it was probable that she would be voted Prom Queen. This young man was so excited for an evening out with this beautiful girl that he slept for a week prior with his tux layed out on his bed. The other students responded to this unusual situation by voting them prom royalty as their King and Queen. The newscaster went on to mention a few other similar incidences occurring across the country and summed it up saying, "Some of today's young people are changing the definition of beauty..."

I was considering this story as I went to work the next day and saw all the different kinds of people running or biking for exercise that morning. It used to be that only super fast, naturally talented, traditional-type athletes trained for and participated in races but today, pretty much anyone can and does register. Marathons and triathlons are some of the fastest growing, most inclusive sports in the world right now. Have you ever seen such a wide-spread support system?

With the exception of only few traditionalists, most people are thrilled to see the growth and to help pass on their knowledge of these sports and training techniques. Some elites even stand at the finish line, long after they have completed their race, cheering until the last competitor has crossed over.

I gave a talk once where I used my bike and my tri gear as visual aids to illustrate my point. A few months later, a neighbor approached me and thanked me...saying that, because of my talk she and her family were inspired to start running and they had planned to compete in a 1/2 marathon! She seemed super excited about it and was thrilled about the weight that she and her family had lost already.
      (Jennica is always doing something active and fun with her kids and other's in the neighborhood.  Cute pic at the local sand dunes)

It has been a couple of years since then and I still see them out running as a family. They are not, what some would consider traditional athletes but they are none-the-less ATHLETES. They are a brave, skinny, amazing, dedicated family of athletes. They, and so many others today, have changed the definition of the word athlete.

And that, is inspiring to me!
Jennica Hirrlinger


Dawn said...

This is great....I too see so many athletes now that years ago wouldn't have ventured out at all!
Inspiring people (as yourself) need to encourage those who feel they Can't....if they desire to...CAN!

Great article!!!

Jillicious said...

glad to see you back in the saddle again, jennica!

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