Facing My Barrier: Being Athletic, and Overweight
Note: Giulia Carino was one of the winners of an essay contest this summer. This was her winning essay. She got to shag balls with other kids during the Home Run Derby at the MLB All Star Game in San Diego. I saw her make at least one great play. She was able to hold her own with the boys. Way to go Giulia! Thank you and thanks to your mom for allowing us to share this important message. We all need to remember this! Your courage and skills will help you achieve your dreams. Attagirl!
I want to start off by saying that I have had a very fortunate life. I am healthy, I have a great family, and I have great friends. When I saw the topic of the Breaking Barriers essay contest, I realized how grateful I am for my life. However, there was one thing that kept coming back to me that is an obstacle I faced over and over again. That obstacle is my weight.
I play a number of team sports. Thanks to the Slaterettes, I never felt like I couldn’t play baseball because I was a girl. In addition to baseball, I also play field hockey, and I am on my local competitive swim team. Being a girl never held me back, but my weight has. I realized that I am one of the heaviest people on all of these teams. I sometimes feel like people watching underestimate my capabilities just because of my physical appearance. Some people look at overweight people and say, “Oh, she probably can’t compete in that sport, she is too fat,” which is not true. The world shouldn’t stereotype overweight people as people that aren’t good at sports. I play as hard as I can in all the sports I play. I was recently placed on my field hockey club’s elite team and I noticed I was the heaviest girl on the team. My determination helped me get on that team. I worked hard and practiced hard, and my hard work paid off. Also, I recently came in second in the “running” category of my baseball league’s Pitch, Hit, and Run competition for my age group. I may not look fast, but I am!
People are always talking about how girls should be thin and perfect, but I realize that it is more important to be strong than to be skinny. Determination plays a huge part in my performance and helps me continue to compete at a high level. I’m committed to all the sports I play, and I play and work really hard to show people that heavier athletes are just as good at sports as skinnier athletes. I strive for excellence in all my sports.
In conclusion, I believe that it doesn’t matter what your weight is, as long as you are committed and work hard to do the best you can for yourself and your team. Athletes come in all shapes and sizes, just like people.