Once I Know. . .
The world completed the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. As per usual, they were not without triumphs, tragedies, and controversy. The commentators often reminded we were lucky to be in our warm couches and not confronting the frigid temperatures or wailing winds. Except, how lucky were we to have chosen comfort over something else?
Sitting on that same couch, my dad asked, “If you could be good at any sport, which one would you want?”
“Hmmm. I need to think.” I only said this because I had a growing desire to be more creative than my childhood favorite, figure skating.
“Downhill skiing,” he responded while I ran events in my head. I couldn’t think of anything beyond what I had always said.
“Figure skating, I guess. That’s my go to. It’s pretty.”
I shared the same choice in a work icebreaker the next day. “I choose the pretty sport. I want to be pretty.” Except that always answer wasn’t comfortable the second time I said it either. Icebreakers were meant to share a bit of ourselves. What did I not know about myself?
After the Pyeonchang Olympics in 2018, I wrote a blog post based on Shaun White’s comeback quote after winning gold in the half pipe.
“I knew I had it in me
But I still had to do it.”
This year, I again watched men and women fly. There simply was no other word for what they did. At the end of the men’s competition, Shaun White sailed down the center of the constructed sloping curves, helmet off, waving goodbye. His words from 2018 wouldn’t leave me.
The original blog post focused on a fitness foundation for moving forward. When I wrote the blog post, I was still in the early stages of transition back from Guatemala. I was still searching for a full-time job that would allow me to share and develop my skills. I hadn’t even dreamed of the house renovations nor much of the wardrobe that defined me now. In that moment, I knew I had to keep moving forward, but I was surviving wearing ratty, old expectations.
I knew I had it in me . . . The question today in actuality is, ‘what do I have in me?’
“I want to revise my answer,” I emailed to a friend who was in the meeting where I chose the pretty sport. “If I could do anything, I want the halfpipe. I want to fly.”
The sport was pretty but for other reasons. The sport was pretty, and it was something else. Freer. Braver. A shifted perspective of seeing what I’m capable of, what I want to be capable of. And if I know I have it in me. Then, I have to do it.