I was talking to a lifting friend the other day about my recent trip to the chiropractor. I was saying how nice it is to see a doctor that works with athletes and understands how an athlete’s body performs, what is demanded of it, etc. And, she said something that really struck a chord with me. She said, “Yeah, but I’m not an athlete.”
This girl is logging some hours lifting in the gym, racking up miles on the treadmill and is working at her health and fitness level. She may not compete at competitions, but I’d definitely call this girl an athlete. But interestingly enough, she doesn’t. So, this got me thinking about the term “athlete.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines “athlete” as: a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.
Well, you know what – I think the definition is even broader than you may originally think. See, if you are consistently working out, whether that be at Jazzercise, swimming or power lifting, you are demanding things from your body that other people are not. You are performing exercises and challenging your muscles. You are changing your calendar and schedules to accommodate your workouts. Your muscles are being used, worked and exhausted. So to me – you’re an athlete.
Getting my daughter ready for school the other day, Elinor said this (I swear this was unprompted.)
See, at my house, we tell Elinor that she is an athlete. I want her to know that using your body, moving and challenging herself makes her an athlete. (And partially because I believe in the self-fulfilling prophecy….say it and you believe it.) 🙂
Seriously, I know a lot of people think that if they are not competing in a sport, not “the top tier” at some sport or if they don’t have single digit body fat, that they’re not an athlete. That’s hogwash.
If you’re getting your butt out of bed every day, hitting the gym, pounding the pavement, challenging your body – you’re an athlete in my book. Start thinking of your self that way and treat yourself and your body for what it is – an athlete.
So, the answer to the question in today’s blog title, “Am I An Athlete?” – yes, yes you are. Now go out there, think of yourself as an athlete. Be kind to your body and give it the good fuel and rest it needs so that you can perform at your top athletic ability. And, just for good measure, go ahead and say it with me, “I am an athlete.”
Be an athlete.