By Alyssa Berkowitz, Real in Return
Growing up, I was the child who preferred a good book to a birthday party. Teachers were always urging me to “break out of my shell” or would come up to me to express concern when I would sit quietly by myself during group activities. I was called “shy” and “awkward” well into my teenage years. I had a small group of close friends, and never yearned for the popular limelight. I felt uniquely me, and I dealt.
It wasn’t until college, where bored nights led to the discussion of the popular Myers-Briggs personality typing, that I learned there was a name to describe the way I felt as a child, and still feel today. I am an introvert: a person who gets energy from inside herself, as opposed to an extrovert who gathers energy from external stimuli. As an introvert, I am someone who is almost constantly streaming an inner monologue through her head and someone who prefers to stay out of the center of attention. However, I also happen to be an entrepreneur. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about being an entrepreneur, it’s that we find our success through our voices.
By Alyssa Berkowitz, L'gasher Et Ha'paar (Bridge the Gap)
Every runner knows that training for a race is a process of elaborate planning and goal setting. We start by training our bodies: logging miles and building strength. Next we train our minds: we become familiar with the intensity that comes along with rigorous, habitual training and learn what to do when we “hit a wall.” We blister, know down to the minute when we will need to eat, and know what activities we enjoy after a training run. I have been a runner for close to five years, but never once have I trained for setbacks. That is, until now.
What do I mean by "training for a setback?" This weekend, I ran my third half marathon ever, the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half, which is the first of three I plan to run in the next four months. At mile 9, which is usually where I hit that lovely sweet spot where tenacity and focus push me to the finish line, I felt a sharp pain course up my ankle. I winced (trying to ignore my pain), and finished, only to end up in the doctor’s office later that day with a torn ligament. As the doctor taught me to walk with crutches, I watched the dream of breaking personal records and trying new courses vanish before my eyes. A setback in every sense of the definition.
PresenTense NYC Fellowship
Igniting social change in the NYC Jewish community.