Do you define yourself as an "athlete"? If so, do you use words like, "I'm a"... swimmer, runner, triathlete, IRONMAN, marathoner, sprinter, jogger, or cyclist in your definition? A week ago, a guy asked me, "Hey, are you some kind of athlete or something." I quickly replied without hesitation, "Yeah, I'm a runner." Seven days later I was still thinking about that question and how I answered it. Okay sure, I was obsessing, but what else is new?
So in my moment of over analysis, I wondered if the word "runner" really defined me? Is that who I am as an athlete? A runner? I mean, I swim, bike, run, lift weights, and I cross train with all sorts of crazy activities. In short, I do a ton of "athletic" things as I'm sure you do too. So if that is the case, does saying, "I'm a runner" accurately define us as athletes or should we be more creative with the definition to get closer to who we really are?
Well, I've had 7 days to think about this and I'm still not sure what word defines me best as an athlete. The deeper I looked, the less tangible the words got. They were like: Competition, Challenge, Inspiration, Adrenaline Junkie, Suffering, Winning, Losing, and "Not a Quitter". Those 7 days didn't get me any closer to a true definition and checking Webster's dictionary wasn't any help either.
As "Athletes" we do the things we do for our own personal reasons, and I think that is what defines us. You are not just a "runner". You are a competitor who hates to lose, but you don't care if you do as long as you gave your best. You're not just a triathlete, but you love the endorphins you get from the brick workout just as much as you love a short swim session. Sure, you're a "Marathoner" but you ran it to support your mom who has breast cancer and now your an inspiration, not only to your mom, but also to yourself.
So the next time some guy asks, "Hey, are you some kind of athlete or something." The reply should simply be, "Yes."
I'm an athlete.