Friday, December 09, 2005

Changing Gears


Imagine you’re an athlete; a good one. You play, train and compete with intensity. You have a vicious appetite for winning. However, you are plagued. Something goes wrong. Injury, family troubles, the girl next door, war, WORK, all these things limit your ability to compete. Eventually, you realize your fate and go with the flow. But a part of you is still in it! Something burns with desire. You might see kids playing basketball and you notice a weak lay up. After work, while driving home, your kids point to a couple of cyclists and you smirk with competitive contempt.

The next several blogs will take you on a journey of people who have thrown in the towel, only half way.

The first entry is from my sister Lauren Thompson. For those of you who did not see her play basketball, you might as well find comfort in the fact that you have seen nothing exciting in your life, EVER. She was intense! She would dive after the ball, scrape her knees on hardwood, grab the ball from the other girl and sprint towards the home net for a field goal. Even division I recruiters were interested in her abilities. However, injuries kept her from taking her talent to the top. Her story is below.

I have always been plagued by injuries. I’ve suffered from 9 broken bones, 14 casts and the emotional trauma of not being in the game. After high school basketball, track and volleyball and soon after learning my calf muscle was too big for my tibia, I opted for non-impact aerobics. I felt like a complete loser the first time I tried WALKING on a treadmill. I tried aerobics: to much gossip; the stair stepper: could anything be more ridiculous; home exercise: yeah, right; nothing seemed to make any sense to me. I really didn’t care about a specific goal; I just wanted to be doing something. I wanted to sweat. I eventually found the elliptical trainer.

Now, the weird thing is I loved it. It was easy on my joints, the fluid motion seemed to relax me and I could stay on that thing forever. At the gym, I even found the perfect one. It was next to the best TV’s. How easy it was for me to get my Oprah and news without changing a channel. If someone happened to be on the elliptical trainer, I would politely ask them how long they planned on excluding the rest of us for its wave like motion. After a couple of nasty looks, the elliptical occupant typically removed themselves. It was mine to enjoy and I cherished it.

I had always thought about buying one. However, I realized that those things belong in a gym. I’ll never be able to afford one. Then one morning, while I was getting ready to go to work, I looked at myself in the mirror. To a girl, this can be a frightening time, if you are being critical of yourself. It was one of those times. Was I getting fat? Who would want me? I haven’t been to the gym in a week! OH MY GOD!!!

Buying an elliptical trainer has been the best purchase I’ve made. Other than an old running injury that comes around, I’ve been injury free. I ellipticize six days a week. Depending on my daily stress, the intensity I work out on is variable. I love having my own gym inside my apartment and setting up my workout space exactly to my liking. Injury free and staying in shape, not sure it gets better than that!!!!

6 comments:

Shelby said...

I just have to say that I relate to Lauren's story. I used to be very competitive soccer player in high school. I played varsity, club, and ODP all at the same time. It is amazing how time goes by and you forget about what you used to so involved in. Lauren, if you read this, I have had that same defining moment. Looking in the mirror and thinking OMG what the heck are you doing..Go to the gym and stop being lazy. Good to know I am not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Shelby,

What a wonderful comment! I hope you are going strong...

Walker

Jon said...

Walker,

You're sister is beautiful...and obviously a natural athlete.

Anonymous said...

Jon,

Thankfully, I was her brother. She had an amazing role model! I deserve most of the credit...

HA HA HA

Walker

JONAS SPROWLES said...

The family T - can you imagine what it was like growing up in that family? MAMMA T - "Walker get off the roof - Lauren stop killing the neighbor's in hoops - its time for dinner!" - where in Walker would repel down the aluminum siding in time to be tackled by his sister and they would race and wrestle their way to the sink to "wash up" - then Lauren would take the high road after declaring victory and Walker would be relegated to eating 15 plates in a victory of his own. Man - what great sibling competition - you have both gained so much from each other.

Christina said...

Lauren,
You are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your story...