by Coach Vanessa Dickens
So your resume does not list athlete on any bullet point. You might never bring home an income from physical exertion. Your Instagram won’t have a million followers.
Maybe you’re an engineer, an accountant, or a stay-at-home parent. But if you are there competing against yourself, you are an athlete.
I don’t kid myself and think I am an athlete in the same sense that Katrin Davidisdottir or Tia Clair Toomey are athletes. But unquestionably, undeniably, unapologetically – I am an athlete!
I am a CrossFitter. Some days I don’t get to WOD (workout of the day). Some days I am so spent from working that I cannot muster the energy needed to give it my all in a workout. Some days I will give everything I have to my workout and be left dying on the ground in a sweaty mess. You can find my collection of shirts from the various gyms I’ve visited and competitions I’ve participated in, folded in a drawer.
I am an athlete because I have paid the same price as all the athletes that have come before me: blood, sweat, and tears. I have made my offering to the fitness gods. I’ve torn my hands to shreds, I’ve soaked every inch of clothing on my body, I’ve cried from the pain of my exertion. My sacrifices, while on a different order of magnitude, still resonate with the same frequency as the professionals. They give their whole lives for sport and, as such, are athletes first. I give my all when I can and still earn the title of Athlete.
‘Athlete’ is not a term just reserved for the privileged; ‘athlete’ is a term bestowed upon the worthy. One is not born an athlete.
Do you have a physical goal? Are you actively pursuing that goal? Are you making improvements towards your goal? Are you bleeding, sweating, and tearing? Yes? Then you are an athlete.
To be an athlete, you must have passion.
Look at your PRs. Are you improving? Look at your WOD times. Are you getting faster? Before you couldn’t run around the block, now you can run without stopping. Before you couldn’t lift the bar over your head. Now you can lift the bar and more weight.
Do you do everything in your power to guarantee that you are better than yesterday? Yes? Then hello, Athlete. I am also an athlete. It’s a pleasure to meet you.