So what, Leida. I can't catch a ball for shit. I scored one whole point in my whole career on track in high school and that's only because I came in third out of three. But you know what? I'm an athlete and I'm awesome.
I'm actually a pillar of athletic prowess in a large community of other people, and I'm talking about the little me in the "before" picture. She was an athlete as much as the one in the "after" picture.
The reason why I'm a pillar of athleticism is I told all those mean coaches and parents and kids from school living in my head to go fuck themselves. I defined athlete my own way. I can still remember the day I realized I was a real athlete and that I was awesome. I actually printed out something and put it on my refrigerator so I would see it every day. This was about 15 years ago. I had been hiking and riding my bike, getting stronger and less scared every day. It hit me one day: you don't have to throw balls to be an athlete.
Since then my feet have walked every step of the way from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Lots of people have done it and they were faster than me, carried more weight (or less, as that's a contest in itself), hiked more miles in a day than me, were older or skinnier or prettier or younger or whatever. Good for them! They are awesome! I have a freakin' strong body and this body carried me and my stuff all the way from the Mexican border to Canada all alone out in the wilderness doing scary shit I didn't even know I could do. I'm strong and I'm awesome, too. An A+, if you ask me.
What else makes me an athlete? I ride a bicycle, can run for hours and hours, I hiked all the local trails with a pedometer and built a website for the community to use. The entire community thinks I'm an athlete and you know what, I am!
I can't win at anything. I never will be the best. I'm not even the top expert about all the trails on my website. But I built the site, I hiked all the trails, I gave it away and people all over the world thank me for what I've done. I am the best I can be and I'm awesome.
You are, too. You just have to tell those mean coaches and parents living in your head to go fuck themselves. They flunked the college of real life. Their curriculum missed a huge category of sports and they failed to produce whole swaths of athletes who succeed at setting goals and achieving them, pushing themselves more each time, trying new things, inventing and learning, giving back to their communities and living rich, full lives. They fucked up. They are the failures. Not you.
Athletes don't just throw balls at each other or prance around in beauty pageants. Real athletes go out and live life to the fullest. That's what makes someone an A+.