Friday, September 10, 2010

Taking gender away from athlete

I was having a discussion with some people most of whom are on the trans-spectrum and I was asked how can I compete as woman and not have that innately bother me and destroy my self-image anymore. I never really thought of it as that. For me I am not a female athlete, I am just an athlete, a thrower. I never really thought of myself as a female or a male thrower only as a thrower. When I enter that circle it is the only time I can be completely gender-free and be completely free of the gender stigmatizations. While I may compete in the female division, most of us aren't there trying to prove our femininism or our status as a woman we are trying to be great athletes. I have had to prove my "femaleness" at meets but even with that the circle and the competition are my forms of heaven. I am free to be what I want to be, I control everything in that space, I can be me without any worry of what is "it".
For me sports were always my way of getting away. I had trouble dealing with my identity because I didn't know what was "wrong" with me until I was much older and until then I felt alone, helpless and completely lost and disgusted with what I saw myself as. No matter what the sport I was competing in I was able to escape during those moments, because I could be seen as an athlete and nothing else. I am an athlete, and when i am seen as such I feel whole. Being an athlete is gender-less to me, it is my way is stepping away from the constraints of being male or female or being lost in translation somewhere in between. An athlete is so much more then male or female it is character description, a sign of passion, a way of life, a religon, a cult it is so much more than male or female.
An Athlete is an athlete simply put and for me that is freedom.


So the last few months has been crazy. I have been dealing with a lot of inner and outer turmoil all around my identity. I am still at this PT clinic, I still hate my job. I love you my patients and working with them but working with my boss is what I imagine working for Stalin would be like. I need to take control of this, grab a bull by the balls and stand up for myself and leave this job. I just afraid to be jobless no matter the time period. My job has been really testing me psychologically, being called she all day long, having it over emphasized so that the patients have no doubt "what I am", being called a cold hard person and told I need to let go. Well what am I supposed to let go of when I can't be myself in this environment? I am tired of being told I eat too much, I am athlete we eat!
My inner turmoil I feel like has in-part been fueled by how hard work has drained me, and in part due to how much pain my body has been experiencing recently. I have been fighting a lot with myself on what to do with the rest of my life. I have been doing a lot of thinking about transitioning and I have started therapy which has helped a lot. I have been struggling with the fear of leaving everything (at least that is what it feels like) behind and transition which I am more and more wanting and needing. I started to realize that I have been putting my life on hold for 6-8 meets a year, that I am miserable every other day of the year. But I am also torn because I really want to be a trans activist a trans-athlete activist, but at the same time I am wondering if I may make a bigger impact as a transitioned man competing in the men's field. It is scary though sports is my safe place. I also started to realize that I am driving 2 hours once a week to go to Therapy, I don't know if I would be willing to do that if there wasn't something that needs to change.
I want to make it last my dreams in track, but I am wondering if it is really starting to hurt me both physically and mentally.