What Makes an Athlete?
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image by Craig Maccubbin

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but there came a day when I finally started calling myself an athlete.

I really never thought that term would apply to me. I never played sports, organized or otherwise. Well, except for a brief flirtation with joining the junior high basketball team. One day of sprints and I changed my mind. That and I’m only 5’3”.  But except for that brief blip, I have never played on a team or competed in anything fitness related.

I do work hard. I push myself, sometimes to do things l never thought possible. Like running a 5k last year.  Running was always a big mental challenge for me, but once I set that goal I prepped and trained just like I was getting ready to compete at the Olympics. I was dedicated to accomplishing that goal.

I think that is what defines an athlete. It’s not about a team or a trophy, although that can be part of it. It’s a dedication and discipline to keep going after something, to keep striving for better while pushing yourself a little harder every day. I think by that definition I actually became an athlete a long time ago.

Do you call yourself an athlete? If not, why?

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