“Yeah, but you’re a really good athlete.”

“This is Abby, our resident athlete.”

“I’m not nearly as athletic as you are.”

I’ve gotten all of these comments in the last few months, and I’m still getting used to them. I grew up thinking of myself as fairly un-athletic. I was in chorus in high school and sucked at gym class. I’m not fast in anything.

Over the years, I’ve come to see myself as more of an athlete. I started working out at gyms, signed up for a few events, triathlons and 5ks mostly because someone asked me to and I liked being the kind of person who said yes to a challenge. Somewhere along the way I became an athlete.

I know it’s true, because, when I swim, I often outlast multiple lane-sharers

I have started riding my bike to work.  My idea of an awesome vacation is 6 days and 20km of open water swimming. I can sign up for a 10K, run 4 times in 5 weeks, and still finish.  Then 2 months later, complete a half marathon, with only a few short runs in between.  I had to walk, and it took forever, but I did it.

Let’s address that last point a bit. The Inaugural Annapolis Half Marathon, had an excellent premium and it was inaugural.  When the date changed to November – I jumped on it.  I had about 8 weeks, and a decent base, so I thought I could do it.  Except, I didn’t train; I only ran 3 or 4 times, never for more than 4 miles.

The week of the race – I decided I was just going to do it.  Start off 9 and 1s and try to finish – walking if I had to. I did it.  I had to walk a good portion of the hills, but I finished.

I have a medal to prove it.

Awesome. More evidence that I am turning into a pretty good little athlete. Except the next day: Not Awesome. I could barely walk. It hurt to stand up, it hurt to walk, it hurt to go up and down stairs. So I learned my lesson. If I really want to consider myself an athlete, I need to train. I can’t just sign up for things and wing them. I know I’ll keep signing up for things, knowing how my family likes to talk me into it, so it’s time to start training.