If you are anything like me, everything is a competition. I’ll see a girl walk past me with healthy beautiful hair that looks great on her. I will automatically think to myself, “Wow, I want my hair to look like that, but better.” So, I would start taking biotin, treating my ends with a hair mask, and buy better shampoo. Yes, I know I might be a little crazy, but when you apply that mindset to a sport, it all makes sense.
I am not only competitive, but I am the average height for a male (5’10” for those who didn’t know) and have thighs that could save every starving child who is hungry. All are great qualities to have as an athlete. The drive to be better, abnormal height, and a muscular build is what every coach wants on their team.
Growing up I was made fun of for being the “tall girl.” I was 5’5” in the fifth grade, 5’6” in the 6th grade, 5’7” in the 7th grade, and it kept going up from there. By the natural height and size, like any other giant kid, I was characterized as an athlete, which I absolutely loved. Now when it came to joining the cheerleading squad, going to the school dance, or just doing girly things, it was awkward. It didn’t feel right, not because I didn’t enjoy getting my nails done or going shopping, but because of how society characterized cliques. It was hard to fit in as a girly girl because apparently it was wrong to be an athletic tomboy who liked to wear a dress.
In my mind I officially decided that I would go with the athletic tomboy image, because I was good at it and that was what people perceived me as. I got to high school, where it all changed. I made an effort to try and be myself, which was a girly girl and an aggressive athlete. I managed to participate in pageants and competitive volleyball at the same time, but when senior year came around, it was time to make some big decisions.
My goal since middle school was to play Division 1 volleyball. Once spring of senior year came around, I made that happen. I was going to a Division 1 university with a full scholarship to play volleyball. It was one of the most impactful decisions I had made in my life.
After my accomplishment, I looked back on all the times boys made fun of me for being taller or bigger than them. I came to the conclusion the people who joked about my appearances were simply insecure about their own. I had finally accepted myself for who I was no matter what I did or looked like. I didn’t let the mean things break me, but rather motivate me. I followed my heart and after my accomplishments all the jokes and teasing I received my entire life didn’t matter anymore.
If you struggle with what you look like or don’t quite know who you are yet, it’s okay. You are allowed to be two different types of people or enjoy different genres of activities because that is what makes you unique, because if we wanted to be like everyone else, how boring would the world be?