With our new Get Fit group starting up I decided to share a blog post I wrote a few years back on another site with a few minor changes. It is not "dog related" so to speak but with the beginning of our Get Fit journey I decided it may just be the inspiration we need. Take a minute or two to read it and then LET'S GET MOVING!
WHAT MAKES UP AN ATHLETE?
I have often admired athletes. Their dedication, their willingness, and, well... their athlete-ism. Like an olympic champion, I picture them standing on a pedestal, their faces red from exertion yet beaming with accomplishment. I have even gotten close enough to a few athletes to stand at the base of their metaphorical pedestal and look up at their glistening sculpted bodies. But... I have never been an athlete. I have never even considered the possibility that I COULD be an athlete. The amount of work involved in becoming an athlete is far too demanding for me to think about accomplishing much less attempt to achieve. I am not made up of the stuff of athletes...
So just what makes up an athlete? This question passively entered my mind today as I took a brisk walk. I am sure that anyone would agree that a person training for their forth successful triathlon is an athlete, but what about the person who is training for their first triathlon? Does the accomplishment of the goal make someone an athlete or is it the training?
While I walked and contemplated this question, I listened to an upbeat song that lifted my spirits and quickened my pace. The pavement began to slide by unnoticed. The beat of the song matched the tempo of my step and in light of my recent line of thought I realized that, right at that moment, I felt like an athlete. I was out there wasn't I? I was exercising beyond my comfort level wasn't I? I may never compete in a triathlon or ever even train for one but I was working toward my own exercise goals and slowly achieving successes along the way.
During my walk I found some answers to the question of what makes up an athlete. They may not coincide with a dictionary's definition of an athlete, and you probably won't find my words quoted on Wikipedia, but they work for me.
What makes up an athlete?
* A victorious attitude
* A desire to improve one's health
* A dedication to achieving a physical goal
* Perseverance even when things are tough
* Most importantly though, being an athlete is a choice. It is a choice we make daily. We choose to be an athlete when we take the stairs instead of the elevator or when we turn down the chocolate cake and eat a healthy snack instead. We are all athletes when we choose to be victorious - no matter how small the victory.
So just for today, "I am an athlete". I will put on my sneakers, I will step out into the world and I will exercise. I may only walk for ten minutes but I will be active and in doing so I will be victorious! When I am done I will log my my fitness time and I will rightfully and joyfully climb the athlete's pedestal and receive my Gold Medal! I won't be looking down into the crowd for you - you know why? It's because you, my dear neighbors, will be standing next to me on the adjacent pedestals receiving gold medals too.