You’re Not an Athlete

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If you have a body, you’re an athlete.

People love to quote this bullshit.

Oh. Is it too soon to say it’s bullshit? Sorry.

Fitness marketers love this definition of athlete, because it so simply sells the concept of the “fitness lifestyle,” which necessitates the purchase pro-grade accessories for mundane daily activities like walking your dog.

If you think you need $100 pants to practice yoga or workout, you are a sucker.

A complete dupe.

You are not an athlete.

If every person with a body were an athlete, then “athlete” would just be a synonym for human. Being athletic would just mean doing the things humans do, like eat, shit, sleep, and fuck.

Those things don’t make you an athlete though.

It’s the same idiocy behind saying “everyone is a winner” when we can all pretty clearly see that somebody got first place… and that somebody else came in dead fucking last.

And there’s no shame in being last. Somebody has to be. That’s the nature of things.

And if you’re last in one thing, you might be first in something else. Or maybe just somewhere in the middle – because by definition, 70% of us are average.

Of course, not you. No. You’re well above average in everything.

Of course.

But that’s bullshit too, and you know it. It doesn’t taste good (and it won’t convince you to buy special pants at 5000% markup), but it’s the truth, and you can’t hide from it.

An athlete is a person who plays a sport. That’s the simple definition.

And I don’t mean “the sport of fitness” either, because that’s another load of complete BS.

Fitness is not a sport; Fitness is your ability to excel in a sport.

The idea that a sport of fitness could even exist is circular logic. It’s a mirror pointed at a mirror with empty air reflected back on itself into infinity.

Or oblivion.

Sports have objectives. They require competitive interaction. That’s why chess is more of a sport than bowling.

How many pull-ups I can do doesn’t impact how many pull-ups you can do, therefore, fitness isn’t a sport. We can’t truly compete in pull-ups; we can only compare, and that’s not the same thing.

If you want to have the body of an athlete, you need to become an athlete.

For most people, that can be achieved in three to ten years, depending on your background.

You can fake it in less time. For a while.

But then you’ll get hurt.

Athletes get hurt too, but they’re competing interactively with other athletes. If you’re getting injured as a “fitness athlete,” I have sad news for you: you’re just a human, not an athlete.

But being human is OK. For one thing, you can spend less on the pants you wear to yoga class.

You’re just a human doing yoga.

Or working out.

Or running.

Or playing a recreational sport.

You don’t have to define yourself by these things or measure up to anyone else’s standards.

Define yourself instead by the impact you have on those around you – the people you care about. How does being strong and healthy improve your contributions to your family and community?

That’s the real value of being fit.

If we were all athletes, who would organize the neighborhood barbeque? Who would take care of your mother in the hospital? Who would teach your children to read?

Nobody – they’re all busy at the gym, practicing the sport of fitness in $100 pants.