Monday, May 07, 2007

If you let me play sports
I will like myself more;
I will have more self-confidence,
If you let me play sports.

If you let me play,
I will be 60 percent less likely to get breast cancer;
I will suffer less depression.
If you let me play sports,
I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me.

If you let me play,
I will be less likely to get pregnantbefore I want to.
I will learn what it means to be strong.
If you let me play sports.
If you let me play sports.
This was the text of a Nike advertisement from a few years back directed to women, and it's one of the few ads that has stuck in my mind - - I think it conveys a powerful message about the benefits of participation in sports - for all young people, but young women in particular.

I wish I appreciated this message when I was young, but it wasn’t until I was in my 30s and 40s that I started to work out, run, surf, ski/snowboard, and golf. I’d felt all my life like I didn’t belong when it came to athletics; that I was too uncoordinated and untalented to participate. I was the last one picked for a team on more than one occasion. Maybe it was just a matter of becoming less self-conscious; realizing that no one laughs at the gal running slow, that no one scoffs at the lady trying to learn to hit her driver at the range . . .
In fact, I have found that people are just the opposite - encouraging. And I’ve just recently come to believe that I may actually be able to become good at something athletic. For the first time in my life, I am really trying to improve at a sport - golf. Taking lessons, hitting the range, making an effort to get out and play.
My instructor tells me that I need to start swinging like I know I’m going to hit the ball, instead of swinging like I think I’m going to miss it. By gaining that confidence in my swing, I am hitting it farther, and becoming more competitive.

So, now when I hit the range, I tell myself to swing through the ball, extend my arms, and swing hard. Hit it like I know I can, and that is a beautiful thing.


Blogger NY KAT said...

My fear in golf was that I was going to hit the ground instead of the ball. I've learned to overcome that and my game has improved dramatically. It's all about practice and with practice comes more confidence.

I definitely agree with the text from the Nike commercial. I grew up playing soccer, basketball and running track. Sports were my life and I'm positive that that is part of the reason that I stayed out of trouble.

4:24 PM  
Blogger sage said...

Surfing eh? the ad had a good message and we're all better people when we do something physical--I often joke that I work out so that I can backpack without pain! Truth is, the exercise is often what keeps me sane.

5:52 PM  
Blogger GetFlix said...

I agree with the philosophy of your post, although we all achieve a workout in different ways. For me, I've always been involved with work that requires some sort of physical effort.

And I do enjoy playing golf. I don't think people understand that it's more difficult than it looks.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! I remember that Nike ad and always thought it to be so true. Thanks for reminding me of it. Visiting from Michele's!

11:01 AM  
Blogger kookla@work said...

So, that's what my problem was. I didn't play sports. But I did start working out when I hit my 20s and I do have to admit, I gained alot of confidence since then!!

12:57 PM  
Blogger v said...

Great post! And congrats on the golf game. To be quite honest, I'm a little surprised. I had you pegged as a bit of a jock, lol. I mean I thought you must've played sports in high school.

PS - Skiing and Snowboarding are beyond fun.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Prunella Jones said...

I enjoy walking and hiking but thats about it. All sports in which a ball has to be hit, kicked, dribbled, or thrown are beyond me.

9:18 AM  
Blogger M-M-M-Mishy said...

I'm not much of a sporty person, but I just found my new workout. Nintendo Wii? I was sweating after a few minutes! It's crazy.

10:49 AM  
Blogger EditThis said...

I also really liked that ad when I saw it on TV. I grew up playing soccer, basketball, baseball, and any sport I could get involved with. I'm sure it DID help keep me out of trouble.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

"start swinging like I know I’m going to hit the ball, instead of swinging like I think I’m going to miss it"

Love that!

1:04 PM  
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