At the track meet, I came up with 7 different useful "intimidation factors" -- whether you are looking for that extra edge in Special Olympics, at your local gym, or even on your 20 minute after-dinner walk around the neighborhood. Whatever the case, follow these tips and you WILL look more athletic, guaranteed.
1) Write something on your hand. One of the most endearing things was seeing my sister write, "Aim, Count, Throw" on her hand. Has anyone seen The Sandlot where the kid points before he throws? You guessed it-- that was my dad's idea. Then, she was supposed to count to 5 before throwing the ball to get some power behind it. At the gym, write the number of reps you want to do or your workout plan on your hand.
2) Sweatbands say "I'm serious." Honestly, we all make judgements about people who wear sweatbands. We assume a) they have an excessive perspiration disorder or b) they are serious athletes. I thought it would be cute if my sister wore some sweatbands in the 800m event. No matter if you are sweating bullets on the elliptical machine or taking a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, sweatbands will give you that "don't mess with me" vibe.
3) Rip off your pants. This is not what it sounds like. Remember those tear-away pants that professional basketball players wear? Pretty intimidating, right? There just something about stepping up to the start-line and whipping off your pants before lodging yourself into the start blocks. Imagine doing this as you enter the gym... or before departing your driveway for an evening walk. Let's just say your neighbors will take notice.
4) Bring out your inner biker-babe. There was one young woman at the Special Olympics 400m walking event wearing a skull-patterned bandana around her head. No one dared to step on her heels. Even if you're not a beer drinkin', motorcycle ridin' type of girl, a biker bandana will certainly add an extra "intimidation factor" to those around you.
5) It's okay to be shady. I'm talkin' sunglasses, and not just any sunglasses-- mirrored, metallic sunglasses. Wear them, rain or shine. No one will be able to tell what, or whom, you are looking at. The best part is if you start talking to someone, they won't know where to look. It's inevitable that they will feel awkward staring at their reflection. This will result in them uncomfortably darting their eyes between your face, the ground, the sky. Yes, you now seemingly have the upper hand.
6) Tape up your wrists. Here's a secret: I did this in 6th grade to appear more intimidating on the basketball court. Did it work? Well, I like to think so. Who cares if you actually have a wrist problem or not? A little athletic tape to "strengthen" your wrists will make it look like you're about to do something crazy athletic, like bench press a person or something.
7) Bro-tank your shirt. Honestly, if you haven't read my post on How to Bro-Tank Your Shirt, then you should do that ASAP. A bro-tank is inherently intimidating because it alludes to the idea that you either a) ripped the sleeves off your shirt out of aggression, or b) are handy with craft scissors. Regardless, you will look like an athletic beast.
Congratulations to all of the Special Olympics athletes and volunteers. It is truly a magical organization, and I am so grateful that my sister was able to participate. Today I challenge you to live by the Special Olympics motto: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."