An Each day Athlete Is Even now an Athlete
We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from espnW here on FitSugar!
By Risa Isard
On June 23, 1972, Title IX was signed into law, leveling the playing field for female athletes. To mark the 40th anniversary, espnW explore the impact of this landmark legislation.
You might not know me, but chances are you know someone like me. I’m that girl who grew up playing hoops in the driveway with my dad and brother every night after dinner. The one who played rec soccer for 10 years, starting out on a boys team. The one who persuaded her middle-school gym teacher to let her run the monthly timed mile against boys, then wrote her target time on her arm – in permanent marker. The one who took field day just a little too seriously.
The one who is thankful every day for Title IX.
Growing up, I wasn’t an elite athlete, but I had passion to spare. I ran, jumped, threw, and kicked on a daily basis and eventually I found my calling in high school track and cross country. I was good (I earned seven varsity letters), but not good enough for the next level.
So when I arrived at Duke nearly four years ago, I found myself wondering something that had never crossed my mind before: was I still an athlete?
Answering that question was no easy task. As I read about various elite athletes, I recognized our shared pasts. Like gymnast Jordyn Wieber, I used to pull old cushions into the middle of the family room and do cartwheels, somersaults, and front handsprings. Like many WNBA stars, I was the only girl in neighborhood basketball games. I lacked their natural ability, but I came to realize that we are connected through dreams and experiences. We all began by thinking of ourselves as athletes and scheduling our lives around sports at a young age. That doesn’t just go away.