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Today I was reminded  of something my college swim coach said to me my Junior year: “Every team needs someone like you.”

What she really meant was: “Every team needs someone who sucks, but is there anyway.”

I was a terrible swimmer by college swim team standards; had there been any swim program to speak of that year I wouldn’t have made the cut. As it was, I was a “body,” and my mere presence counted for a point or two each meet, so there I was.

In February of this year I started working out again (after a VERY long time) with a “cross-fit-like” program at a gym near my studio.

I am not a small woman. I started out wanting to lose weight, but after two-plus months at it, I don’t think I’ve lost a single pound. That’s okay; losing weight is now about fifth on my list of reasons why I’m still at it, after “feeling better mentally,” “no more lower back pain,” “able to pick up and carry Liam safely,” and “sleeping better.”

Still, I’m the worst in the class. When we run around the city block, my fellow runners pass me at alarming rates. How did they get so fast?

But they also cheer me on as they go by. Hearing things like “good job!” and “keep it up!” does, indeed, help me keep it up. Their encouragement is super helpful for me and probably fun for them, too, since they get to be both encouraging AND kick my butt!