I believe that some people were just born with a natural inclination toward being athletes. They move effortlessly with grace and speed, throw a perfect spiral, fire off 3-pointers like it's their job, or hit a baseball like they came out of the uterus swinging a bat. For whatever reason, there are people who don't have to work for it nearly as hard. That's not to say they don't put in the time and energy to hone their talents, but the truth of the matter is most of them are born with a certain amount of ability that just isn't teachable.
And then there are the rest of us.
I grew up next door to three of my closest (male) cousins, which meant all we did was play sports. Unfortunately that didn't happen until I was a little older, so by the time I had developed enough skill to actually be decent at anything I had already given up on everything. I was one of the kids who got stuck in the outfield picking dandelions during the early years because I just didn't really understand what the hell was going on. And if I could say I was blessed with any minuscule amount of natural athletic ability, it definitely didn't show up until later in life.
My son is what you might call one of the booger-pickers. That's not to say he won't try--he even gets to make a play on occasion if he's in the right place, at the right time, with the right mindset. But he has the flattest feet I have ever seen in my life (runs slower than a 7 year itch), throws a baseball in a way that I would categorize as "awkward at best," and his coordination is sketchy. Connor is not a natural born athlete; that boy has to work for everything he gets. But I'll tell you why I absolutely love to watch him play--the kid has moxy and spirit like you wouldn't believe. He loves to go out and be part of the team and cheers his little heart out at every single game. I know I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, but every time I look at that kid and I see how kind and respectful and full of life he is, I know that being his mom is one place I have succeeded exponentially.
Connor is a diehard when it comes to Crossfit. He love that shit. The kid begs me to take him to the 5 or 6 am classes with me, and has literally come into my bathroom in tears in the morning because I didn't wake him up. When he does get to come along during an evening class of coaching, it's like Christmas come early. During the Lakefest parade, he singlehandedly burpee'd his way down half of Market St and most of Main alongside the float and by the time it was over there was so much black on his face that he looked like a prisoner of war. At my wedding he was more excited to tell the people he knew from the gym about his new Nano 2's than anything else, and he gave rousing edition of burpees to AC/DC "Thunderstruck" that left half of us in awe and the other half like "wtf is that kid doing....?" The last time he did a WOD with box jumps he asked me to get him a plate. I wasn't sure why, but I gave it to him anyhow and the motive soon became clear--he wanted to stack it on top of the box to make it a higher jump.
Today his efforts have paid off in a new way--Connor was voted Crossfit Crave's Athlete of the Month for November. He. is. STOKED. And he deserves it! Connor never complains, and he always wants to show up. Booger-picker or not, that's the kinda guy I want on my team. I'll take a badass personality and phenomenal attitude over a jerk with talent any day of the week.
Thanks to the Crave family for making his day!