My training, racing, things that go through my head, memorable moments, and such.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I’m going to smash out this blog post as quickly as possible because I literally have ten billion hours of homework to do for next week, and don’t actually have time to do this. When you've got an idea though, you’ve got to get it out!

I was doing a solo mission hard run this morning, and I began thinking about the positive influence sport has on girls. There are a lot of factors of human development that don’t come from sports, but one that does is confidence. Not any sort of confidence either, but physical confidence. Badass confidence.

Let me explain. Boys are raised to be badass. Sure some of them suck at it, but in general I would say (biased opinion obviously) that girls are overall less confident than boys. They aren’t expected to be badass, or tough, and often aren’t really expected to face their fears. If a girl doesn’t want to do a sport, most times no one really tells her to at least give it an honest shot. This type of girl goes around thinking she sucks at sports, and might go on to excel at different areas or might not. A lot of girls only discover a certain amount of confidence in themselves after they go and get (pardon the term) ‘shitfaced’ for the first time in high school, and then realize they can be out-going and awesome (when drunk). They then proceed to party every weekend until they are thirty because no one helped them to find their confidence/inner badass in other ways. At this point they probably also have liver disease. 

I don’t want to make it sound like sports help you be skinny and fit into society and therefore give you body confidence either. Athletes come in all different shapes and sizes. If, however, you have pushed your body to the limit, and know what it can do, then you can respect it. I don’t believe in mind-body separation. I believe it is one and the same. There are always ways you can work on yourself as a whole. You can choose to focus on being smarter, or being stronger, or being faster, or being better at singing… the list goes on. Whatever body-mind set up you were given can always be improved in one way or another. But you are your body, and your body is you, and your mind is you. They are both you.

Sports help girls to find themselves. Class bitch with spray tan bullying you? Whatever, you know in the back of your head that “hey, I can take her” (not saying you would- I’m not advocating violence here!). Sports help girls find their inner badass. I don’t think you can get that from other areas of life (not including alcohol which shouldn’t be the only way you feel good about yourself). That is why I think sports are important to girls.

 Now on that note, I was thinking about how Badass the U23 Women’s team is this year. (I wanted to do all the women representing Canada, but see above on billion light years of homework.)

First up is Jo-Bro. Pretty much total badass. So independent, amazing runner (looks to me like she is one of the top Guelph girls this year- that is impressive), and fierce. She looks like a china doll, but I wouldn’t want to get in a fight with her because I’m pretty sure she would eat my face.
Running in snow means you are tough

Second off we have Dominator. Domi’s legs can move faster than anyone’s I know. Take the best sprinter you know and put them in the position where they have to run to transition out of a hard swim, and Domi will win. It blows my mind. She also is kind of scary because you would never know how much steel she possesses when you talk to her. She ‘s like a ball of pink cotton candy with a rock inside.

She was born badass
Ellen looks sweet, and sounds sweet and is sweet. However she dunked me in Kelowna, and then swam over me. She also swam the men’s world cup standard long-course, and the extra scary part is if she could stay injury free she probably could get the men's run standard too. So basically Ellen is as fast as an elite male triathlete. Ya, makes me want to quit too. Stay strong sisters.
Anyone who can look fierce in a grad dress is the real deal

AliHoops is badass because she is short but you definitely don’t remember that when you are talking to her. She seems to have always had a very strong sense of self. Alison is amazing at peaking at the right times. She dominates Worlds. She is solid and in control, and I’ve had a lot of people tell me they are kind of scared of her. Which in this case is a good thing.

Finally there is me. I wouldn’t say I am going into this race with peak form. My body decided to be done with training a couple of weeks ago. Luckily there is a taper, and I’ve been popping iron supplements like it is candy (I do exaggerate just so you all know).  And I can be badass sometimes too. I like to sing a little Ni**as in Paris so “don’t let me get in my zone."


Gregwh said...

The "What are you lookin' at" expression in the prom dress photo is my fav. Good article Alex.

Andrea said...

Amazing post - you just managed to explain something that I have struggled to put in words for years! I'm sharing your article with all the badass girls on the rowing team. I might even need to assign it as mandatory reading next time I'm teaching a sport in society course. Really really enjoyed it. Thanks.

Alex Coates said...

Thanks so much Andrea! I'm so happy you enjoyed it, because I never quite know what anyone thinks when I write this stuff. It would be pretty neat to have my crazy blog featured in a class! Thank You!