Who is an athlete?

I had never really considered myself “an athlete”. I think I would instead classify myself as active. An athlete, well that was someone who is good at sports and I didn’t play any sports. My brother, he was the athlete in our family.

I grew up taking ballet and jazz classes, I joined the cross-country team in elementary and junior high because it was the one team you couldn’t get cut from, and as a university student I began running and going to the gym because I was no longer dancing as much and needed to do something to stay in shape.

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I find it interesting how this title and its narrow definition impacted on how I viewed myself and determined what I physical challenges I allowed myself to take. Not seeing myself as an athlete or athletic allowed me to entertain doubts about taking on new challenges and held me back from setting goals. And yet when I did allow myself to tackle a physical “athletic” feat I experienced the feeling of surprise when successfully conquering those challenges.

How often do we hold ourselves back because we don’t think we can do it, because we have labeled ourselves as “non-athletic” or compared ourselves to someone else and said that we couldn’t achieve the same?

Luckily for me, my definition of an athlete has changed over the years and has helped me accept challenges that I might not have thought I could do and has also helped me encourage those around me to take on new challenges they didn’t feel they could accomplish.

I am surrounded by athletes everyday. Each morning with the NP tribe I see athletes in motion, during Blitz HIIT classes I watch people get stronger with each burpee, squat jump and push-up, and I am inspired by the endurance, speed, and strength of the runners I get to run with. All are athletes.

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Have you been holding yourself back because you don’t see yourself as an athlete?

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