What Makes an Athlete?

Last week I was schooled by my Twitter friends on what makes a person an athlete.

Last Tuesday evening, I posted on my Facebook that I had gone for a 6 mile run and it felt great. It was nice to be back to running (this was before I decided to take my running break for my shins). My coach’s wife commented on my status that I was a better athlete than her because I went out running and she went home and drank a beer. She also told me last year after I finished my Olympic distance triathlon (2nd to last) that I was better than her because I did it. It didn’t matter that I came in almost last, I did it.

It shocked me that Chrystel said this to me. I admire her SO much. She is a much FASTER athlete than I am. She can kick some serious ass in the pool. I remember doing a Sprint triathlon with her last year and she kicked some serious booty in the pool and was alot faster than I overall. She can run a heck of alot faster than me too. Not to mention, she’s got a killer body too.

This is where I got schooled: I posted this on Twitter too stating that she is faster. I’ve always thought faster = better. My awesome Twitter friends told me that it’s not all about speed. Speed doesn’t make you an athlete. Going out and trying and doing YOUR best makes you an athlete.

I just remembered, I’ve been doing triathlons for 3 years now. I’ve never called myself a triathlete. I don’t know why, but I’ve never felt like an athlete. I don’t feel like I’m good enough to call myself an athlete. Like I said earlier, when I think “athlete” I think of my coach, I think of pro-athletes. But, a couple of weeks ago, I was driving in to the cycling class at Salt Lake Running Co, and I called in to one of the radio stations and they asked what I was doing up that early & I just remembed I said “I’m a triathlete and I’m headed to spinning class!” Maybe if I keep telling myself I’m an athlete I’ll start to believe it.

I guess this could kind of go on the same post. It shocks me every time still, but strangers keep coming up to me in the gym, that I see at the gym ALL THE TIME, and they tell me how awesome I look and they think it’s awesome that I’ve lost so much weight and I’ve kept it off. It still shocks me, ’cause I didn’t think that many people that I don’t know, recognized me and watched me and paid attention to me.

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