I’ve had a draft about my sister, Alison, written for quite a while and today seems like the perfect day to post. See today is her birthday. Funny thing: it is also my birthday! We are not twins, but we do share the same birthday exactly two years apart. So that is our story, well it is the start of our story, I was her birthday gift alongside the red tricycle and little did I know is that we would share more than just birthdays in years to come.
If you’ve met my sister you’ve probably noticed her petite frame, those stunning blue eyes, her perfectly smooth skin sans wrinkles at 41, and her bubbly personality that can always win over a room. The reality is, Ali is a true badass. The Merriam Webster’s dictionary’s definition is, “someone of formidable strength.” That’s it. The dictionary adds, this term is sometimes offensive. Well I have no desire to offend here. While she doesn’t look like a badass, and most true ones don’t, I assure you she is tough as nails and I envy her for that.
I’m the youngest of four kids, but I’ve always been closest with Ali. We dressed alike, shared a room, did the same activities in 4-H, church, and at school. But there’s always been a strength or grit in Ali that I’ve never possessed. As high school teammates in track and field we pushed one another to excel in the throws. When I started looking at college track and field programs, convinced I wouldn’t attend the same school, I looked at other schools in her conference. But the moment a coach at the College of Wooster suggested I would enjoy competing against my sister at the college level, he secured my recruitment to Ohio Wesleyan. See, I never saw her as my competition, I always saw her as my supporter and motivator.
As college teammates we created memories that I’ll always cherish. We broke records that went into the record books as “Albrecht-Albrecht”, completed maximum effort workouts in the weight room, helped earn conference championships, and I saw her become an All-American time and time again. While I could technically lift more weight, run a bit faster, and had the longer limbs, she ultimately possessed the mental tenacity of a champion.
That tenacity makes her a badass in all she does. As a mother and wife she balances a demanding corporate job and provides an amazing life for her two amazing daughters. She finds energy to play, support, and re-center even after difficult negotiations and packed agendas each day. She shows up, challenges the status quo, and exudes a confidence that radiates her strength. At the same time, she’s a thoughtful and generous sister, cousin, aunt, and friend, and the ideal daughter to my parents; she’s a true badass.
This morning, like on most birthdays, we greeted one another before the sun came up with big hugs. With a youthful tone, I wish her a happy birthday, and she wishes me the same. My nieces laughed at our childish address but my wish for both of them is that they will find friendship and camaraderie in one another for years to come as well. As daughters of a badass they are bound to take life by storm and I hope they do it together.