From Last One to D-1

Sportique is partnering with Fit Kids Foundation, a Bay Area charity that creates opportunities for kids to stay active and build positive relationships, self-confidence, and independence.  Our blog contributor, Katie, is a college athlete who is also a stellar photographer. Here, she reflects on the importance of fitness and sports—and how both are deeply embedded in her roots.

I never thought I was anything special when it came to being athletic—I was usually one of the last kids to finish the mile during P.E. class and I dreaded going to soccer or basketball practice. All I wanted to do was eat ice cream and watch TV. I felt like I didn't have the kind of body for sports, but still, I got out there.

To anyone who has been thinking about picking up a sport or already plays a sport and isn’t sure they want to continue, here's what I have to say:

During some of my most stressful moments, I knew what I really needed was a little bit of exercise. When I put all my effort into sports and attended practice, those were some of my happier times as a kid.

Some of my favorite childhood memories were with my soccer team.

By the time freshman year in high school rolled around, I attended my first day of rowing practice. That's when things really changed. 

I felt like I had found my people. I felt like, 'This is where I belong'.

For the next four years I worked my hardest to become the best athlete I could become, sacrificing my social life and having plenty of early morning practices. After four great years rowing with my best friends, it paid off.

I would have never guessed that four years later I would be recruited to a Division I rowing program at the University of Southern California. All those days I wanted to quit but powered through and went to practice were well worth it.

I may not have thought I was the best athlete growing up, but the real athletes are the kids who showed up everyday to practice, ready to kick butt and get better. Although there are many things that make an athlete, the most important is loving what you do. You can’t play a competitive sport everyday of your life with multiple practices a day for multiple hours unless you really enjoy doing what you’re doing. All it takes is that passion and drive to be the best version of yourself as possible...and you’ll be surprised what you’re capable of achieving.

The USC Rowing Team hard at work.

Fit Kids is a Bay Area organization that's on a mission to promote a healthy and active lifestyle in underserved communities. High quality fitness programs and nutrition tips plant the seeds to harvest an early love of sports and fitness in our youth. Let's help Fit Kids continue working toward their goal!

Photos | Katie Hubert

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