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Heather Herbeck: What I Won by Playing Sports


Heather Herbeck

Girls4Sport kayaker Heather Herbeck


What did I win by playing sports?  Well, the DESIRE to experience life . . .

D = Determination:  To ‘push through’ with blood, sweat and tears to reach goal(s).  It’s not always easy . . . sometimes you just need to grit your teeth, commit and fight!

E = Effort:  You get out of life, what you put into it.  If you believe . . . IT WILL HAPPEN.  Your EFFORT on the field (life) = your OUTCOME.

S = Success and Sorrow:  Living life means experiencing moments of transcendence as well as moments of disappointment and sadness.  Participating in sports has helped me realize that I will face both of these throughout my life.  Sport has taught me how to rejoice during the good times with my family, friends and those who helped make it happen; and, reflect on the disappointments, brush off the dirt and get back up when moments are challenging and unfair.

I = Interests:  Being active and involved with sports throughout my life has given me the curiosity and confidence to try new activities.  I call this the beginner’s mindset . . .  we are NEVER too old, too short, too skinny, too busy or too financially challenged to try something new.  How do YOU know that YOUR’E not going to be the next Olympic Gold Medalist unless you get out there and try!  If you’ve always been interested in trying a certain activity . . . Do It!

R = Responsibility:  Sports has taught me to be responsible for my actions.  If I slack off in practice, I should expect my performance to suffer.  Through sport, I have learned that effort equals outcome.  Taking the responsibility to do what you need to do, to succeed, can be difficult as you’re growing up.  I take responsibility for all my actions and I give credit to my coaches and the discipline that sport has given me, for being able to do that!

 E = Energy:  Participating in sports builds healthy and fit minds and bodies.  Being healthy means enjoying your life, family, friends, work, school, girlfriend/boyfriend, EVERYTHING . . .  SO MUCH MORE!  Being active in sports gives you the energy you need to be the best you can be to yourself & the people around you!

So, I encourage everyone – young and old – to enjoy sports!  Experience your own reasons for ‘winning by playing sports’!  And join me in living by this motto:  “The sky is the limit!”  Go out there and LIVE . . .

Heather Herbeck is a whitewater kayaker with Girls4Sport who lives in BZ Corner, Washington, in the Columbia River Gorge.  She teaches whitewater kayaking on the White Salmon River.  She’s also a personal trainer and aerobics instructor.


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