By: Mystique Ro
When the time comes for me to introduce myself, I always fumble with the responses I am willing to give. Depending on the day and what is going on, heavily influences the response I give. You may be thinking, an introduction is something very elementary.
I would 100% whole heartedly agree with you save for the fact, my name is an X-Men character, I am mixed-so the ‘what are you question’ quickly comes up, how old am I question follows close, baby face?- because I don’t look old enough to eat a Hot Pocket at the sampling table labeled “CAUTION: HOT”…
The simple response I give is: ” Hello my name is Mystique, like the X-Men character” *smile aggressive enough that the statement doesn’t beg any further questions.
What usually happens:
“Hi I’m Mystique…yes like the X-Men character…no I cannot turn blue…these are my real eyes- brown...
“Hi, yes I am old enough to sample this hot pocket. How old am I? … Ma’am I am 23.”
“Hi my name is Mystique. What am I? Well I would identify myself as Homo Sapien, the female, aka human. …Oh I know what you mean? Well I’m mixed, Korean and black.
Now mind you, this is just my name. What I do for a living… my response becomes more creative- not because I have to make things up, but because I have to explain.
When I was a full-time track and field athlete, that was pretty straight forward, obviously I was a sprinter. I would move past the jokes about how I was “too short” to hurdle or I ran like a robot because in the end, I just ran and jumped, and threw implements… ( I was a heptathlete).
Trying to explain skeleton to someone who has no idea what the sport is, is like taking a trip down Sesame Street. I always preface my introduction one of two ways.
- ( If the person knows about Luge and Bobsled) –> “Skeleton is just the opposite of Luge, so sliding head first down the bobsled track.
- (If the person has never heard of sliding sports)–> “Imagine a penguin sliding down a tall iceberg, kind of like a water slide, only it’s going 70+ mph…”
Personally I like the penguin imagery better. I like sharing what I do, essentially it’s my part-time “job” ( takes up half of the year). It’s fun seeing people’s eyes enlarge in disbelief. I laugh off the “your crazy…that’s insane” comments because to an extent that’s true.
More or less I get a good laugh and make someone smile.
The next question that comes up is, “does that mean you’re a professional athlete?” Once I started competing in international competition ( literally six months ago), I would just tell people I was a Team USA athlete. I felt that was open ended enough that there was no need to pursue with more questions. To be quite honest, I never really saw myself as that (at least at my current status). When I get better and things start to fall in place, ehh maybe. I think the title “Professional Athlete” is for the most part reserved for athletes making six figures and thousands per event.
Unfortunately Skeleton athletes don’t make that…at all..haha. But I enjoy the process of learning and seeing different parts of the world.
And this all starts with ” Hi, I’m Mystique…Yes just like the X-Men character…”