Someone made the comment to me the other day, “You don’t look like a biker.”
They were referring to my size.
While it was rude, it makes for a good blog post.
I guess they weren’t too far off. I don’t look like the typical mountain biker. I don’t ride the typical mountain bike. I ride a pedal assist bike with a chargeable battery. I don’t clock hundreds of miles like this biker who made that comment does. I bike when I can find a sitter and Craig can get off work.
I’m allowed to identify with something I love. If I bike 2 miles or 2,000 miles, I am my own person. I’m my own identity. Even if I don’t “look like one.”
If I have 2 readers or 2 million readers, I’m allowed to identify as a blogger.
If I have 2 nieces or nephews or 20 nieces or nephews, I’m allowed to identify as an Auntie.
I’m a small business owner if I sell $20 or $20,000 of inventory.
If you sew 2 quilts or 200 quilts, you’re allowed to be a quilter.
It brings up a deeper conversation that I’ve found myself contemplating lately: labels.
I’ve never been athletic. I’ve never been successful in sports. I was picked last. I didn’t like working out because I honestly didn’t know how.
In the past two years, I would consider myself pretty active. I work out at least once a week, usually more. I love to bike and hike. I love to be outside. I get more movement in than most adults I know. I really like yoga. I love to bike.
Someone at work had mentioned “here comes muscles!” when I came into the room to help lift a patient. I gave her a strange look, no one had EVER described me as the muscular one. I questioned what she meant – she knows I’m in the gym regularly, that I’m a biker, that I’m outdoorsy. She knows I drink lots of water and I don’t eat junk food at work. She knows the new narrative that I’ve created.
She doesn’t know the Kalissa who was picked last on the softball team. She doesn’t know the Kalissa who dreaded running the mile in PE every semester. She doesn’t know the Kalissa who
I’m allowed to be athletic even if I’ve never identified as athletic before. I’m allowed to change the narrative and I’m allowed to change my adjectives. I’m allowed to change my interests and my priorities.
I’m a biker. It doesn’t matter what I look like. It doesn’t matter that my bike sometimes has a battery. It doesn’t matter if I’m also a biker with a tiny bit of a beer belly for after bike ride brews.
In this new year, you’re allowed to be something different. You’re allowed a new narrative. You’re allowed a new identity. You’re allowed to be someone different than you have been in the past.
That’s all. Be who you want to be. Your identity is defined by you, not by others.
Also, you heard it here first: I’ve got three new shirts up on my Etsy shop! They won’t last long!