Aug. 6, 2020

Who am I and why I’m doing this

The podcast is not about me, so if you want to learn about me, you won’t get very far by listening to the episodes; they’re about the world’s top female-identifying athletes. That said, the more research I do and the more I learn about building trust, the more I hear that I have to put myself out there too, so here it goes…

I’m a 32-year old who is passionate about elevating and empowering women and girls. I’m a former D3 athlete (soccer) who has run the NYC Marathon and received her yoga instructor certification, someone who honestly feels incredibly athletically-unqualified to be the host of this podcast. However, I’m hopeful that my normalcy will make the framing of our conversations that much more relatable for the other non-Greek Gods out there like myself.

I am an athlete and love everything about sports, but given who I’m speaking with, have humorously realized how clinging to ‘atheticism’ as any part of my identity is just funny. That said, my love and appreciation for sport was one of the main reasons I wanted to create this podcast. Growing up, many of the hardest and most rewarding times of my life were on the field (soccer), mountain (ski racing), and on the track. In fact, before losing my Dad to brain cancer, the single most challenging period in my life was when my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) paralyzed me during my college soccer experience, transforming the game from one of joy to one of constant anxiety and fear. I share this because in my life, sport has provided me with countless opportunities to reflect and grow. It’s been the wheelhouse in which I’ve had some of my greatest joys, but also the home for embarrassing and cringe-worthy self-realizations. Sport gave me the opportunity to share meaningful experiences with my family members; my parents taught me to ski when I was 3 and my Dad who was my soccer coach growing up — he never missed a game. Sport has been one of my greatest teachers, and given the many more hours these athletes have dedicated to perfecting crafts than I had, I know that the lessons they’ve gleaned will be that much more powerful. I want to learn from these women without having to give up my cookie dough ice cream, impromptu trips and hangouts with friends, and 8.5 hours of sleep a night (not as if I had the opportunity to).

Lastly, as mentioned in my ‘purpose’ above, I want to help instill hope in a time of uncertainty and pain. Our world is locked in a state of constant change and chaos, and people from all corners of the world are alone and in need of hope. Many are really hurting right now, and are angry, very very angry. And rightly so.

I want to help create space for hope. These athletes carry their own Olympic/Paralympic torches, and I want to help illuminate their lights. This is how I can be of service, even if it’s in making just one person’s day a teeny weeny bit better.

As far as why I am writing a blog, this is proof for the Harvard Kennedy School that I did in fact use their generous grant money the way I promised. I’m also hopeful that I’ll be able to share any kernels of wisdom I pick up along the way.

Originally published on Flame bearer - Medium