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To All the Non-Athletic Athletes

To all the workouts that I never loved.

I’m not what folks consider “sporty.” I am not athletic and never have been--sports has always been something that I felt very awkward at. I always wanted to be like one of those cool girls who were shockingly good at basketball or skateboarding that broke all the stereotypes, but I just didn’t have it in me.

My sister, on the other hand, is a top notch athlete. I say that she took it all away from me. So if you ever pick on me, I'll send her over to put you in your place. Growing up, everything that she did, my mother made me follow in her footsteps. My sister participated in judo, and so did I. She worked her way through the ranks and became an orange belt. I, on the other hand, with an upcoming tournament told my mother that if I won first place in my white belt category that I would quit.

This is not a photo of me. This is my badass sister, Lisa.

My cousins played Japanese American basketball all throughout their elementary and high school career. My mother would often get approached to see if I would like to participate, which was always a hard no from me. I’d attend games and watch from the bleachers and hear parents yelling and cheering their child and teammates on. That just triggered my anxiety.

The most accurate depiction of what I'd look like playing basketball.

I never liked team sports. I can’t handle the pressures of letting a team down by my poor performance. I also don’t like anyone shouting at me, even if it is a cheer, from the bleachers. It all just freaks me out. So I applaud those who can handle a sport.

I can’t even seem to be “good” at bowling--I score double digits and gutter balls. I think the whole sports thing makes me completely self-conscious.

I "danced" throughout high school as my sport (whether I was a good dancer is up for debate). Throughout college, I stayed active by playing taiko, convincing myself that this had to equate to some kind of cardio workout.

One of the most massive and beautiful odaikos I ever had the honor to play on.

But I have now changed my perspective of being “athletic.” I follow actress Jameela Jamil, who has been open about her struggle with body dysmorphia, and came across one of her Instagram stories that highlighted that her thoughts on working out. It was a photo of her working out with a piece of cake in her hand, emphasizing that she works out for the endorphins.

Something clicked in my brain after that. I began to adopt a new ideology. Instead of having the need to be “good” at something or strive for some crazy workout goal, I have tried to adapt to physical activities that I have found enjoyment in regardless of how dorky I look.

So for those who consider themselves as "not athletic" and are self-conscious, know that I see you and that I am with you. Let's find a physical activity that best fits our definition of fun.

Here are some fun things that I have tried and enjoyed while breaking a sweat:

1) The Fitness Marshall

2) Emkfit

3) Les Mills Fitness On Demand (paid monthly subscription) OR the free Les Mills Reebox Collab with Nina Dobrev (Cardio Video & Dance Video)

Article featured in this issue:
April 2021
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To All the Non-Athletic Athletes

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