I have always wanted to be an athlete.
In school I played soccer and tennis, and loved the uneven parallel bars and rings in gymnastics.
When I was in my teens and 20s I went white water kayaking, climbed rocks and rappelled off cliffs, I skied cross country and downhill, as well as roller skated my heart out, cycling was always a blast.
Later, I took up running for a time and bought a road bike with the idea that I’d complete a sprint triathlon by 45. I trained, but not with as much enthusiasm as I’d expected to have. It was short lived, and my interest in becoming a faster runner, faster cyclist, and just plain fast swimmer fell by the wayside. 5ks, half marathons, and century bike rides were put on hold.
Today, I love camping and hiking, paddling my kayak and paddle board as the quest for sport excellence has continued.
But I fall short in these endeavors. I am not a natural born athlete. Although all of these activities are enjoyable, I had to give up my dreams of Olympic glory…or any glory at all for that matter.
It occurs to me these days that I don’t have to have a goal when it comes to sport and recreation. I can simply enjoy it for what it is. I don’t have to have the best bike helmet, or the coolest running shoes, or even state of the art water craft to simply enjoy the whole point of the experience: To be outside, at one with nature, reveling in her glory.
And though I may make it one day to a race, I don’t much care if I do. Competition has never been part of my style as I’ve always cared more about the journey than the destination.
And here in the second half of my life, honey, its all about the journey.