‘I can be anything I want to be’


I find myself singing a lot — something I hear my 6-year-old sing everyday when he thinks no one is around. “I can be anything I want to be,” is the line he repeats the most and the one that now plays in my head daily.

It’s exciting to see an individual before their own mind or society’s stereotypes put limits on what they think they can accomplish.

These few words are so far beyond what my son can comprehend. But, I think it applies to everyone who has ever considered venturing beyond what they believe is possible for themselves.

Everyone has self-imposed limits of what they see themselves accomplishing athletically. But the thing is, anyone can be an athlete. You may not perceive yourself as one, but everyone has that potential.

Melissa Joulwan once wrote: “An athlete is someone who takes joy in movement. Who knows they feel better after their workout than they did before. They enjoy the first trickle of sweat because they know that the reward for stretching won’t be too far behind. It’s also someone that knows you don’t have to be on an organized sports team to be strong, to have enthusiasm, or to be a winner.”

There is absolutely no mention in the previous quote of a top-10 finish or a personal-record time achieved. No relevance to personal performance relative to others.

I have been involved in athletics for many years. Dating back to organized team sports in competitive hockey and then following University, I channeled my desire for fitness into endurance sport — mainly triathlon. So one could say for the most part I am comfortable in various athletics. But that’s not to say I can’t or do not want to continue searching for something out there that adds a little fear of the unknown, a chance of failure even. The challenges are out there for all of us if we want to take them on.

Your technical ability to play or pick up new athletic endeavors is irrelevant. Whatever level of activity you’re at, there’s always one higher that you can strive for. We’re all in the same boat in terms of being fortunate enough to have things out there to stretch our imaginations and physical limits if we let ourselves go for it.

Life gets too boring if you let these preconceived notions decide what you get to enjoy trying. So when you’re second guessing whether you should set a new athletic goal — be it your first triathlon or first 5 km run — remember these eight words, “I can be anything I want to be!” And sing it at the top of your lungs!