I was always the smart child in the family, not the athletic one. My younger brother has and will always outshine me in any athletic discipline. He has the typical athletic physique: tall, toned, and muscular. When I tried playing lacrosse, he picked it up a year later and was just as good, if not better than I was. We would race around our backyard as kids, and being the older, stronger brother, I assumed I would be able to outrun him. Unfortunately that never happened. I would be able to get a good lead for a few seconds with my longer strides, but soon enough he would be right there next to me and then pass me at the last second to win the race.
My preferred area was the academic realm where I could really put my brain to good use and outsmart him. I never was outwardly competitive, but I would always look at his grades when no one was looking to compare against mine. It made me feel better about being less fit knowing that I was doing better than him in school. I tried getting high grades and lots of honors in grade school, but not to wow and impress my parents. Instead I strived for these high goals because I knew that when he would take the class that he would not be able to do as well as I did. So I waited four years until it was time for him to take the same class, and just as I predicted he did not do nearly as well as I had done just four years prior. When I was younger I would rub this in his face and make him aware than I was clearly superior than he was in academics, but then he would come around and beat me yet again in a race in the backyard.
Years later as I began to mature and grow up, I realized that school was not about outshining your younger brother and that losing to your younger brother in a race was an acceptable loss. I started to better understand my body and what it was built for, such as not sprinting, power sports and more long distance, endurance sports. I discovered that running was a great release for me, and found myself going for longer and longer runs to help relieve stress and settle my mind. And now that I am in college I feel like I understand my body more. I know what to expect of my body when I push it to its limit. I know that I need to take extra care with my ankles and knees. And I can admit now that while my brother will always have me beat on the sports field, I will always have him beat in the classroom.