We always want to classify athletes as people we watch play sports on TV and get paid millions of dollars. However, after seeing years of clients put in countless hours of exercise, meal prepping, and making difficult sacrifices to achieve the goals they’ve always dreamed of, I think it’s time we redefine what we call an “athlete”.
I have had the privilege of being able to watch people drop 100+ pounds, train for marathons, work to finish spartan races, increase the amount of miles they can walk their dog, rethink the types of vacations they can take, or just be able to move around their own home without pain. All of these people had their share of obstacles they had to overcome. Regardless of how long it took or how many times they wanted to give up, they all found the inner strength to keep pushing to their own personal finish line! People always say, “I couldn’t be an athlete because that’s another level” or “it’s too hard,” but I think anyone who shows the courage to challenge their body to change for the better can confidently call themselves an athlete. The word athlete can be defined in many different ways, but just because you don’t get paid for a sport doesn’t mean you aren’t one.
For most people, just getting in the habit of thinking of yourself as an athlete can be a gamechanger. It can provide a new sense of motivation for the clients who I’ve seen make the mental change to see themselves at the “next level”. The games may not be in front of thousands of people and the records may not be displayed all over ESPN the next day, but each workout is the client’s game and when they start to view it this way, their willingness to be prepared for the next workout sky rockets and the workout isn’t just another workout it’s an opportunity to break another PR or accomplish an exercise they haven’t been able to do before. We have to remember that it’s all about making that lifestyle change.
Everyone can live an athletic lifestyle and push themselves to their next level. Watching people have the courage to get in shape for their families, for self confidence or even to fight back from cancer is way more encouraging than watching people you’ve never met on TV do something they’ve done their entire lives. After all, athletes are meant to inspire people, and I know that my clients have all inspired me as I’ve watched them find their inner athlete.