On Being An Athlete, Again 

By Stephanie Armstrong

Growing up, I was an athlete, and that was a fact.  Blowing bubbles in the bathtub turned into swim lessons that turned into record-breaking relay teams by age six.  At eight, that relay team was nicknamed the “8-and-under wonders,” and by age ten, we prepped our faces with neon Zinka “war paint” and yelled at the top of our lungs, “We mean war!!” before we raced … in our low key summer league swim meets.

A myriad of PRT’s (Pacifc Recordable Time), NRT’s (National Recordable Time) and Q (Qualifying) times later, the athlete in me crashed and burned.  That is a story I will tell another time, but the short version is that come my sophomore year of college after riding some incredible highs through swimming, I left a top D1 program with two bad shoulders, a knee surgery, depression, and an eating disorder.

The years that followed were the dark years.  The true love I once had for athletics was replaced with obsessive exercise to manage my weight and lapses where, exhausted, I didn’t exercise at all.  I was an athlete no more (or so I thought).

Read more of Stephanie Armstrong's article at I Choose Love.