Why is it that we tend to only think of people who are famous as ______________. Picasso was a famous artist. But do you paint? I’d say you’re an artist. Aretha Franklin is a famous singer. Do you have a good voice and ever perform for others? I’d say you’re a singer. Bobby Flay is a famous chef. Do you cook delicious meals? I’d say you’re a chef. Lance Armstrong is a famous athlete. Do you bike, or run, or lift weights, or swim, or CrossFit, or ___________? Then I’d say you’re an athlete.
But for some reason, we have this qualifier that you have to be famous or be paid to do X in order to be X. That’s just not the case. Here’s what Dictionary.com has to say about the matter:
ath·lete [ath-leet] noun
a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.
If you are working out consistently (including going through P90X or TurboFire or are a dancer or a consistent walker even), you may not be gifted but you are “training.” And you’re most certainly “participating” in an “exercise”. So by definition you… are… an… athlete.
And it’s time to starting thinking this way. Why? For one it builds confidence. I HATE negative self-talk. Thinking of yourself as an athlete is the opposite of this. Golfers are trained to visualize the path the ball will travel on its way into the cup. Basketball players are trained to visualize the ball going through the basket before they shoot it. This positive reinforcement has been scientifically proven to help. Likewise, I want you to have positive reinforcement about yourself, and that starts with seeing yourself as an athlete.
Secondly, as an athlete, you need to treat your body as an athlete would. And I’m not only referring to exercise. I’m referring to nutrition. You must learn to eat right. You wouldn’t put salt water in the gas tank of your Ferrari. Why are you putting bad stuff in your body, which is infinitely more complex and valuable than that expensive Ferrari of yours. That’s why a great meal replacement drink like Shakeology is so important. That’s why you should be drinking plenty of water. That’s why you should cut back on too many treats and when you’re eating out, learn how to eat out the healthy way.
I’m also referring to rest. I’ve heard it said that overtraining by 10% is far worse than under-training by 10%. And I believe it. Your body is doing vitally important things in your sleep/relaxation on your off days, like rebuilding muscle fibers to come back stronger. So get proper sleep and take rest days.
Thirdly, as an athlete, you have an excuse to buy the cool workout clothes you want but don’t think you’re worthy of. So here’s the takeaway:
You are an athlete. So think like one, eat like one, and rest like one.