Being comfortable in your own skin

I was reading my friend Bil Moore’s blog post about being real and it really got me thinking about life and how I’ve acted and ultimately changed over the last 10 years. Coming into a college setting I wasn’t the most confident person and as much as I tried to outwardly portray a certain type of person, I knew in my heart that wasn’t the real me. Especially once I started to gain playing time, I had this idea that I needed to act a certain way, interact with people a certain way and present myself a certain way. Looking back on those years I’m not sure that I let my real identity shine through all the time.

The weird thing about playing sports at a major University is the way that people react and interact with you. Especially when the team you play on has a lot off success. You start to gain a bit of notoriety and people start to look and treat you differently. You begin to feel invincible and that you can almost do whatever you want whenever you want to do it. You’re world turns into a fantasy land and it puts a lot of your core beliefs to the test.

It took me time to fully understand who I am as a person and not just be classified as an athlete. It’s very calming to feel comfortable in your own skin and not be afraid to be yourself in front of other people. We only get one shot at life and it goes by fast, don’t waste time worrying about how other people look at you.


7 responses to “Being comfortable in your own skin

  • Terry Brock

    This is the difficult part about being a member of a “team”: high school and college players tend to feel like in order to be a part of a team, they have to change. In actuality, a team should be a group of individuals who work together towards a common goal. In sports, there are so many pressures, particularly for men, to ascribe to a certain subset of masculinity. Personally, I think it is the responsibility of coaches, captains, and ADs to make sure their programs are accepting of all types of individuals. Its these types of values that will be valuable for athletes once they’re done playing.

    Thanks for the post, and the personal stories!

  • bob crane

    Mr. Grakos,

    I have the questionable fortune of working with one-L Bil. The blog post you mentioned was a good observation on his part

    I was a senior at MSU when Magic, Special K, Donnelly, J, Bobo, “hands of stone” – Rob Gonzales, “Iceman” Berkovich, Shoes and company tore up the court. Look at how members of that team have grown beyond the glory of 1979

    At a reunion of close friends at the MSU-Minnesota Game this past weekend I noticed only a few out of 75 who were working their College Era personas. The others may have grown more. They have continued to define themselves in the hear and now. As Rush Guitarist Geddy Lee would say: “that’s the beauty way to go”

  • Scott Westerman

    You’ve always been so much more than an athlete. It shows in the terrific work you do for MSUAA, in your relationship with Jess, and the admiration and respect you’ve earned along the way from so many people who never saw you play.

    It’s amazing how limitations are often things we put on ourselves. You are a great example of living a life where everything is possible. It’s fun to watch you bloom and grow in the MSUAA garden.

  • Robin Miner-Swartz


    Great post — beautifully, succinctly put. And I completely agree. The feeling of being in your own skin and feeling fully who you are is better than any superficial success in life. It’s always so invigorating to encounter another completely authentic person in your path, and for that reason I’m glad to call you a friend. 🙂



  • Mrs. Bograkos

    Awesome 🙂

  • Bob Bao

    Timbo, I’m shocked to hear that you still have skin left after all those dives on the Breslin floor. Did you get a graft or what? 😉

  • Dave Isbell

    Tim, I just have one question for you: “who are you?” 🙂

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