Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beach - Part 2

I can't remember the last time I made two blog entries on the same day.  Until today.

I wanted to follow-up on some of my comments from earlier about simply living our lives and letter our truths speak for themselves.

I remember my frustrations growing up as a child looking for "role-models" with whom I could identify, and not being able to find them. In a very real sense, finding those role models online - Dr. Becky, Andrea James, and others - played a significant role in helping me turn that corner from shame to pride, from fear to comfort, from hiding to being. It wasn't anything specific that they did other than share parts of themselves with others who were looking for something and who were fortunate enough to find it.

I don't think any of us realizes how powerful some of the simple things we do in our lives can be. For sure, when I wrote my book almost 10 years ago I never imagined that anyone else would read it, much less that it'd have the impact that it has. I very much felt and continue to feel a pay-it-forward responsibility - simply to be a good person and to share my humanity. The good and the bad, the right and the wrong, it's all there just as it is in each of us but sometimes it's easier to see it (or to learn from it) in others then it is in ourselves.

I received a recently published list of the 10 Defining Moments in Queer Sports History today. While these kinds of things are certainly subjective this list was created by someone that I like and respect so I was certainly surprised, honored, and humbled to see that my particpation in the World Team Trials last year is included. It's actually pretty amazing to realize that nobody else "like" me has an athlete tag quite like this one....

Despite the fact that my subsequent injury was NOT the outcome I had envisioned few people will ever realize what it took to get to that point.

The thing I'm proudest about in achieving that is doing it with my whole self. I'm as proud of being there as an LGBT person as I am of being an AARP member as I am of any number of other aspects of myself.  I refuse to live my life in one dimension so reaching that point with my full self was a big deal.  I hope to move it to the next level in 2012 by earning a spot at the Olympic Team trials. 

So while my participation in an event in Rochester NY this past weekend won't change the world, it was more than worth doing.  It was a path not traveled before.  My championship plaques are a source of pride for me simply for the effort it takes to prepare and the courage it takes to compete.  All I can do is hope that more of us refuse to abandon aspects of ourselves that we enjoy because of misplaced notions about gender or sexuality.  It's not easy.

I suppose none of us gets to write our own legacy, or our own epitath, but if my own can simply be "She truly lived" then I will have done my part.  Honestly, tho, I hope I've got lots of mileage to cover between now and then (God willing).  I've got lots left to do, and I fully intend to make the most of every mile.  :)

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