Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

A Letter To My Daughter on Sports ~ Kristi

on November 1, 2012

This post came from a moment at a Crossfit gym where I looked across at my daughter and I wanted to tell her all the things that my sports had taught me.  My daughter is too young to understand all of this, but she will…

Dear Sweet Daughter,

Friday night, you and I worked out together at the Crossfit gym.  You and I raced to see who could do 100-situps first.  You were facing me; I was facing you. You beat me.  I was so proud of you at that moment.  You are so strong.  You are so fast.  You are so athletic.    All of this on top of the other amazing traits you have- you’re smart, kind, passionate, sweet, loving… (I’d go on, but I brag too much as it is.)

Today, I want to tell you about why I chose to expose you to sports.

You have always been physically strong.  There was a moment in the hospital where my mom, your Meema, presented you to me.  You picked up your head, your eyes locked mine, and we peered into each other’s soul.  I could see the strength of your being.  I have pictures of you sitting in your jumper as a one-month old.  I would tuck blankets around your little, long, and strong body so you would fit.  You held your little head up and would love to press your feet down.  So, exposing you to sports seemed natural.  

I hope to instill a love and passion for healthy competition as the world is competitive.  When you find yourself in competition, build a team.  Each player will bring different talents to the competition.  Some players will push you to be a better player because of their skill and ability; others will fill in where you are weak.  Try not to envy the other players’ strengths- learn from him or her.  Don’t belittle a player for their weaknesses- work on improving him or her.  Most importantly, work hard on your game as you have no idea how God is grooming you. 

I will probably force you to go to practices when you really don’t want to teach you perseverance.  I will spend more money on new cleats, shoes, uniforms, gear, and registration fees than I will want to count.  But, I do it because I want you to enjoy crisp fall evening soccer practices… or sweaty summers in a musty, old gym… or freezing- to-death early morning swim practices.  These will be fond memories.  You will gain special best friends and you will know their character because you have lived through the heat of battle with them.  You have seen how they respond under pressure, you will have laughed until you wet your pants with them, and you will have a bond sealed by shared experiences.   

I put you in sports because as you grow up and become a woman, the world is going to try to dictate to you how your body is supposed to look.  Honey, what they show is a myth and a bold-faced lie!  All of the videos and pictures you see in the media are photo-shopped.  The models’ “flaws” are magically erased with a click of a mouse; most of the actors and actresses have plastic surgery.  Unfortunately, unless society under goes a major psychological shift in the next five-years, you may be held to this unrealistic standard by others; most significantly, you may hold yourself to this madness.  You may beat yourself up for: having too big or too small or too round or too flat of a butt…  Or, having boobs that are too small or too large or too droopy or too perky…  Or, your feet might be too big or too small… Or, you might be too short or tall…   Or, you might be too skinny or too fat or too muscular…  The judgmental voice in your head may grow very loud, especially in your junior high and high school years, and you may battle to find peace with this voice for the rest of your life.   

I want you to play sports because I want you prove to yourself that your body is powerful, strong, healthy, and amazing.  I wanted you to push the boundaries of what you thought is possible.  I hope you realize that your mind will limit your abilities more than your body will.  If you know that your mind and body are powerful mechanisms, then I hope you choose to consciously build, fuel, and refine them through discipline and hard work.  Through this discipline and hard work, you will come to know that you are more than what the voice in your head says and the fake standards of the media’s pictures.  I hope you will see your amazing muscles as the tools that helped you score that winning goal.  Or, your height is the very thing that your coach used to gain the upper hand.  Or, the feet that seem too large are the very feet that carried you through the miles of conditioning.    Your body is your temple.  Be proud of it.  Protect it.

Speaking of protecting your body temple, I put you in martial arts to teach how to protect yourself.  Unfortunately, at some point in your life, circumstances may require you to become a warrior.  Brutal things happen to females.  If brutality happens to you, fight like hell.    Your martial art training is your defensive tool.  As you spend countless hours fine-tuning your warrior, know the older woman generation is fighting for this world to be a safer place for you (and other girls) to be.  Hopefully, we will be successful.  If not, continue on with the cause for the generation of girls that follow. 

I want you to develop your inner athlete.  I want your inner athlete to learn how to graciously win and lose; that hard work pays off; and that you can set a goal, devise a plan, and achieve ANYTHING with determination and a strong work ethic.  Sweet daughter, your inner athlete will utilize all of this knowledge for the things you will encounter in your life.  For example, she will help you survive long nights of studying in college, she will endure the pain of childbirth, and she will be able to bear the drudgery of motherhood.  You will use your inner athlete to survive the times of life that require sheer guttural strength.   She will know the depths of your strength and she will know how to conjure it up when it is time.  Trust her.  Believe in her.  Don’t give up on her.  Allow yourself to be her.

Most lovingly,

Your mom and biggest cheerleader 

Hallelujah for sports and how competition refines and improves us to be better individuals!

2 responses to “A Letter To My Daughter on Sports ~ Kristi

  1. Megan says:

    You are one amazing momma 🙂 love you both!!!


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