If you were a teenager in the 1980s, you know The Breakfast Club movie. I loved that movie and I’ve watched it many times over the years, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually “got it”. I know, it wasn’t that deep, its pretty obvious really when you read the final quote in the movie:
You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…a basket case… a princess… and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely, yours, The Breakfast Club.
I’m not sure I really identified with anyone of those labels, but through the process of elimination, I guess I’d fall into the brain category. I never really thought I was that smart, but ask others that I went to high school with and that’s probably where they’d put me.
Up until recently I never really thought of myself as an athlete. Yes, I lived an active lifestyle – over the years I tried lots of activities: running, strength training, spin class, etc. I never called myself an athlete because I didn’t look like an athlete (whatever that is, that is a whole other post I suppose). When I ventured into the triathlon world, I never talked much about my “athletic accomplishments” and certainly never called myself a triathlete. I think I finished 5 triathlons before I even started to call myself a triathlete. And I hesitated and shrunk when I used that term to describe myself.
A couple years ago I was at a training session for work and didn’t really know too many other people in the group, so when I had to introduce myself and tell “an interesting piece of information” about ourselves, I summoned up the courage to call myself a triathlete and mentioned that I had finished 5 triathlons. Well, much to my surprise, no one laughed. No one snickered. In fact some people were thrilled and thought it was really interesting and impressive. I even had a few people approach me during the break to ask more about triathlons – how I got started, how did I learn how to swim, etc.
Slowly, I started referring to myself as a triathlete more often and started talking to people about my hobby. I don’t recall ever getting one negative comment – well, maybe a few “you people are crazy” but I consider that a compliment! Yeah… it takes a little bit of crazy to get up at 5am to go swimming on a weekday and for a 4 hour bike ride on the weekend. But, that’s a good crazy!
So… there is supposed to be a point to this post. I didn’t think that far ahead, I just started writing so, I guess the point is, like The Breakfast Club – we all have various personalities and talents – don’t pigeon-hole yourself into being one thing. Try something new, go out and find something that you love to do and just go for it… Maybe you’re like Brian who was The Brain but failed his shop class project – I’m sure if he kept trying, he would have figured it out and found a new hobby. It doesn’t matter if you’re first or last, the fastest or the slowest, just go chase your passion!