Lisa asked me, over e-mail, not wanting to "out" me as a former cheerleader:
Just wondering, now that you're into athletic competition, how you feel about those years when gym class was a nightmare. I'm referring, of course, to the choice of cheerleading as your sport. :-) Do you ever think back and wish you'd done things differently?
First off, I'm not embarrassed by my former life as a nerdy, somewhat uncoordinated, high school cheerleader. Cheerleading was fun, gave me much needed confidence, helped me become more coordinated, and though you may not believe it, the halftime dance routines and cheers required quite a bit of endurance.
As for the triathlon sports, I'm content to have fallen on them as an adult. I did some running as an 8 to 10 year-old, but even though I'd place second, third, or fourth in races regularly, I never did come in first. And, with all the pressure from others around me at the time, I never could really be proud of myself, even though I was a good runner. Then when I broke my leg at age 11, I found a convenient excuse to stop running.
So, I'm perfectly content to have fallen on running, biking, swimming, and triathlons as an adult. I'm not training or competing for anyone but myself. I'm content to say that I can swim half a mile in open water, then bike 13 miles and run 3 miles. I'm thrilled that I have actual muscles. That I can drop and do 15 "male" pushups. That I have all the energy I need to get me through my day. That I can fit into the same clothes I wore in college. That when I went through some of the most challenging moments of my life over the past six months, I had an outlet to channel my various emotions into. And, that I can compete in a local triathlon amongst talented athletes and actually do okay compared to them.
I'm proud of all those things that I've accomplished and wouldn't change a thing about the path that I took to get here.