Friday, October 5, 2012

Don't Be An Athlete, You'll Look Like A Boy

I met my mother's side of the family late in the game. I mean, LATE in the game. Most kids at the age of 12 (or whatever age I was) knew their grandmother, their aunt, their cousins. Most of them grew up with them, played with them.

Not me.

But when we Schmidt Sisters finally met our estranged family after a road trip from Michigan to Massachusetts, we fell in love with them. Well...most of them.

Laura before an Intramural college game
For a long time, I believed Laura would grow up to play in the WNBA. She was an awesome basketball player, and most of my middle and high school memories consist of playing with her, or hearing about her games. That is, until she went to Germany on a foreign exchange program and (playing basketball) tore her ACL overseas. The dreams kind of faded after that. She still played, but didn't push herself as hard. Now, a few more intense surgeries later, she takes things kind of easy.

Meanwhile, Jacci and I had always been runners. Sure we'd play other sports, but the thing that really drove us was pounding out 3.1 miles on trails.

The three of us found our calling in sports. It calmed us, made us happy, and gave us a feeling of support which was lacking from our home life.

After that first visit to my mother's family's, my sisters made a pilgrimage to Massachusetts about once a year. The one year Laura couldn't make it, Jacci and I decided to travel south for a week, stopping wherever we wanted. We lived in a car, I got stung by a jelly fish in Virginia Beach, and then headed north to spend a week with my mom's family.

My family!
It's dark but from left to right:
Walter, me, Lucy, Mom, Martha, Edge
Cousins, and all around awesome people.

Our aunt fed us, our cousin probably took us on some huge adventure, and for a faint time in our lives, we felt real familial love.

Then, our great aunt invited us to her house, and though the family said, "Think about what you're doing," we said, "Sure! We'll come for a couple nights!"

After hanging out for a few hours, Jacci and I put on our shorts and shoes, and set off to go running. Only before we got out the door, our great aunt stopped us. "What are you doing?" (read that with a thick Polish accent).

"Going running," we said.

Jacci, in her wedding dress...
Picking me up..
"Nonsense. Don't be an athlete you'll look like a man, with the broad shoulders and flat chest. You're already starting to look like a man," she said pointing to Jacci. Then she turned to me and said, "And you, you look like a little boy. No more running. No boy will want you if you look like a boy."

Jacci and I stood in the kitchen of our great aunt's house, not sure to believe what had just been said. Later that night we'd also get lectures about using deodorant, bras, and shaving our legs (the moral was to not do/use any of these things). Needless to say we barely made it 24 hours in that house by the time we returned with our bags back to our aunt's.

At the door we were greeted with our cousin, Adam laughing and calling in to the house, "Who said today?"

"What?" we asked.

"Oh, nothing. We were just taking bets on how long you girls would last over there..."

Turns out our great aunt has a knack for scaring family members away.

As previously stated, Jacci still runs. She ran when she was pregnant, and she's incredibly active. Laura takes things a bit easier, but I still consider her an athlete, too. And I...I've been training for the road race on Sunday. As of September 26 (when I actually wrote this post) I ran my 5K in 23:57, which falls into my "Realistic Goals" category. I'll let you guys know next week how the race actually turns out!

As far as looking like a boy goes...well, in high school I always had a hard time fitting into prom dresses because either my shoulders or my hips were too wide. But sometimes, I look like this:

I think that means I can pass for a girl, right?

Moral of this post, like the one where I told you guys that Harry Potter is Demonic, is to be yourselves. Run if you like to run. Write if you like to write. Sacrifice kittens if you like to sacrifice kittens...

Actually, yea, don't do that last one.
But be happy. Be yourself. And wish me luck for my race, because I'm still running :) (Please)

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


10 comments:

  1. Oh wow. Yeah, no point in arguing with the great aunt. You definitely pass for a girl. So keep running!

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  2. Yup. Do what makes you happy. Great post! And LOL on the *scary* aunt. No deodorant? Seriously?

    :D

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  3. Yeah, I'm a big believer in being who you are. Just say no to peer pressure!
    But, um, don't kill kittens.

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  4. HA! This is great! I had a grandma who could be a little "harsh" at times. She told me I stunk (perfume) and told my little brother he looked terrible and shouldn't dye his hair. Funny. Still miss her though. And I totally agree... BE WHO YOU ARE! Do what you love to do!
    PS... I love sports too!

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  5. Good for you! And best of luck on your race. :)

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Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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