What is Considered an Athlete?
Many people see athletes as an individual who trains, participates, and excels at exercises, sports, or activities that require strength, stamina, and hand-eye coordination. This is not true. To us, an athlete is someone who loves physical activity and is passionate about performing that activity. You don’t have to be performing at an elite level or even be getting paid to perform. As long as you have the focus and the dedication to perform, you are an athlete at every level. As the co-founder of Nike Bill Bowerman put it, “If you have a body, you are an athlete”.
Don’t let the media’s perception push you away from trying out something new or chasing competitive goals. An athlete doesn’t have to have a crazy physique, jump like a kangaroo, run as fast as a cheetah, or swim like a fish. Anyone can become an athlete so long as they put their minds to it. We need to change the norm of what is defined as an “athlete”. Because with enough motivation to reach your goals, you too can achieve what may seem impossible in the moment. You too, can be an athlete.
Passion is what drives us. If you aren’t passionate about what you do then you’re not motivated to do it to the best of your abilities. You struggle to improve on your existing skills or achieving your goals. You struggle to get over those humps and tough times. You struggle to continue to perform the next day. With passion you have the ability to overcome these obstacles. Your enthusiasm and urge to perform pushes you onto the next challenge every day. It allows you to feel more engaged. It allows you to perform. It allows you to be an athlete.
Don’t let the professionals discourage you from performing. We can’t all perform at the levels they do, but as long as we remain passionate in what we do, and do it to the best of our abilities, we can still compete. We can still have fun. We can still be athletes.