The Accidental Athlete – Chapter 1

The Accidental Athlete – Chapter 1

My story as an accidental athlete

accidental athlete stephanie atwood shares the story of how running changed her life.and how running changed my life is what this book is about. The book and this first chapter were written as part of a series about empowerment.

I hope my story is entertaining enough to keep you reading. I also hope that you will read Book 2 when it is published (scheduled for the summer of 2015) because that book is about YOU.

Why an accidental athlete? In a nutshell, I was exposed to my athleticism through a very circuitous route. I thank my lucky stars, almost every day, that I was fortunate enough to learn to think of myself as an athlete. I want that for you, too.

Please share your thoughts about this first chapter. The entire book will be available soon on Amazon Kindle. Book 2 will be out shortly after and you will be able to preview it here on the website.

Leave a comment below and I will notify you of Book 1’s publishing and Book 2’s as well. Enjoy! – Stephanie Atwood

Chapter 1 The Accidental Athlete – My Story

confidence: accidental athlete book image of author stephanie atwood
In 1969 Stephanie Atwood and 10 other women joined an Outward Bound Group . They hiked and climbed in the North Cascades but the main story is the self-confidence gained through this life changing adventure.

When I was a child I had the wonderful benefit of growing up in the country. I distinctly remember those long summer days when my brothers and sisters and I would gather with neighborhood kids, form teams, and play baseball in the back lot.

I was not an outstanding ball player but all of us were included on the teams. We stayed out until our Moms would start calling (shouting, no cell phones then) for us to come home. I never really learned how to play baseball well but I learned how to be active and have fun moving. Running, hitting and kicking balls, jumping fences and ropes, and riding bikes, were all part of growing up.

We had free reign of a large area of the outdoors, in which to move. It was very different than today. It was very different even as I grew older, in my teens, and moved to a metropolitan area. The freedom and level of activity changed dramatically from country casual to city caution.

The environment also was urban and you couldn’t play baseball in the back lot. You had to go to the baseball field at the school, too far away for a casual gathering of kids of all ages. And I was 12 when I hit the urban scene. Girls kind of stopped playing the same games as boys and, for me, it was much more cool to dress like a grown up than get dirty and sweaty at 12 (mature) years of age.

The schools also encouraged this separation by having “girls” do their physical education at a lower level of intensity and often, indoors. Who has heard of half-court basketball? We girls played it, indoors.

While we exercised every day at school, we girls never ran on the track and rarely exercised outdoors. Thus, the day we high school seniors had to run a mile, on the track, as a test of our physical fitness, we girls were at a distinct disadvantage. I must have finished because I graduated. But the experience, to this day, left a very bad feeling in me. I truly felt betrayed.

For all those years of schooling why had no one bothered to show me, teach me, encourage me to push myself physically? Why had no one told me it was OK to sweat? Who was there to suggest that I pace myself to be able to run for 4 laps around the track? What were all the boys able to do with confidence while I had no idea how to start, much less finish? That experience left a very bad taste in my mouth and I was on a quest to make things different.

This accidental athlete , at 18 years of age, was about to find out what she had been denied. And it wasn’t only about not having access to the track…


5 Replies to “The Accidental Athlete – Chapter 1”

  1. I too remember those summer’s. Good fun to play. Ever remember capture the flag. I remember I walked out biked everywhere. Exercise was just normal. For me never liked just running except in sports. Walking hiking I had time to see heart and feel the world around. Cars planes just passed ny so fast. The turning point I saw sistah was when you went outward bound. Wow you literally rocked. Love you

  2. Yes, the first chapter had me wanting me to read on. I was most taken in about the “It’s okay to sweat” sentence, maybe because it described being a lady, but letting your strong, healthy woman shine!

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