The 17 Commandments of Rowing: My Journey From Hate To Happiness
By the time I finished my freshman year at college, I was so angry with life that I wanted nothing more than to just go home and die.
I had been raised in a Christian family where God was always present in everything. When it came to sports, however, there were no signs of God anywhere in sight. Sports were seen as something evil and sinful; they were considered “sinful” because they involved physical exertion.
As I grew older, I began to realize that the reason why sports were viewed as sinful was due to their association with Christianity.
If sports weren’t associated with religion then what did? Wasn’t it possible that if people didn’t have anything else to do, they would actually enjoy themselves instead of being miserable all day long?
After realizing that I wasn’t going to get any enjoyment out of sports anymore, I decided to change my attitude towards them completely. Instead of getting mad at them, I started to appreciate them. That’s when things changed for me.
I realized that I could no longer hate something that was part of myself. Nowadays, whenever someone mentions sports or anyone else for that matter, my first thought isn’t anger or hatred but rather appreciation and love!
Now, whenever I enter a race or begin a long workout, I no longer think that I have to do it. I want to do it, because I’ve finally found the love for it. This thought has helped me in more ways than one as I love the feeling of my legs pushing me on and on as well as loving the process of pain and suffering.
What are you lacking in your life? Is it something materialistic?
If so, then you need to change your mindset.
Are you holding on to a negative mindset that is preventing you from finding the joy in the things you do?
If you answered yes to either question, then I suggest that you make an effort in changing your outlook towards life. This can be done by changing the way you speak to yourself everyday. If you keep telling yourself that you suck at something, then that’s what you’re going to believe and subsequently become.
However, if you change that and tell yourself that you’re an excellent athlete, then eventually you’ll start believing it. I’m not saying this technique will be easy at first, but with time and patience, everything will turn out just fine.
This might sound a bit weird, but trust me it works! The best way to learn this is by actually speaking these affirmations out loud to yourself several times a day. You’ll be surprised at how effective this really is, especially when you combine it with hard work and determination.
The next time you’re in the middle of a long race or an excruciatingly hard workout, don’t curse your parents for burdening you with such a horrible talent. Instead, be thankful that you’re blessed with such a talent!
It’s all up to you now. The choice is yours to make.
J.A. Panfil is a runner for Team USA Minnesota.
He is a recent Graduate of the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Communications. He has always had a passion for running and plans to make a career out of it.
The Young Athlete
By: Heather Alvarado
There are so many young kids that start out in sports with the wrong mindset. When I was younger,I wanted to be just like my older brother. He played baseball.
And I did to, but I got tired of it really quick. I wanted to quit so bad but I didn’t want to upset my brother or father, so I stuck it out. I continued to play, but I really wasn’t all that interested in it.
Then when I was about ten years old, my mom made me and my brother take Karate. My brother did not like this at all. He fought it with every bone in his body.
He would skip the classes, and come up with every excuse in the book not to go. Eventually though he went and even got a yellow belt. I on the other hand loved it. I was excited every Saturday when it was time for class. I would go without hesitation and was always one of the first ones there. I got 2nd degree black belt in it.
As I got older, I took a break from all sports and activities. And for my sixteenth birthday my brother got me into running…I fell in love instantly.
I ran everyday, and I mean everyday. I ran in the morning, after school and even on weekends. I ran a 5k every weekend for about 6 months straight.
Eventually I got bored of that to, so I stopped for a little while. Then my brother told me about a story he read about this guy who lost his leg in a car accident. He was an athlete before he lost his leg and was told he would never walk normally again.
He set out to prove them wrong and became an amputee runner. He ran a full marathon on his prosthetic leg. My brother urged me to run again because it would make me happy and it changed that man’s life around.
So I took up running again…only this time not just a part of my routine, but my whole routine.
I gave up all sports but running. And I fell in love with it all over again. I was no longer bored or tired of it, and everyday I looked forward to it.
When I was a senior in high school, my mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had to undergo chemo and radiation. She lost all her hair during this process, so for her birthday I shaved my head as an act of support. I was terrified of losing her; she was always my rock.
But when I saw the smile on her face when I showed her my newly shaved head, I knew everything would be okay. She eventually beat the cancer and is now doing very well.
Now I’m a sophomore in college and run for my university’s track and cross country teams. I love the sport more than ever, and everyday I look forward to it. It has taught me valuable lessons that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
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