There are a few reasons that I’m an unlikely personal trainer. I had never touched a barbell until my mid-twenties. Casual tennis was my only sport growing up. I never regularly attended a gym until I was in my late twenties (and even that was spotty). But these are not the reasons that I very specifically do not call myself an athlete.
As a late bloomer in the fitness world, I perhaps have a different perspective. From my vantage point, I think that we do ourselves a big disservice by trying to complement everyone by calling them athletes.
We are all humans. And humans need to move.
To me, athletes create this “otherness” around exercise, fitness, and movement. We can separate ourselves from athletes because the vast majority of us will never get paid for our athletic endeavors, our livelihood doesn’t depend on it, and we don’t need to invest the time and energy that it takes to really excel at a sport. It’s easy to say that we are not athletes so therefore we don’t need to prioritize the time to move our bodies on a regular basis. But the truth is that every cell in our bodies requires movement to function optimally. What if we framed exercise and fitness as something for humans.
Some humans like to move fast, some like to move slow. Some jump, some run, some swim, some, walk, roll, climb, and stroll. But we were all made to move. If you find the title empowering, go get ‘em you athlete, you! But I will continue to explore ways to move my body joyfully and fully embrace my humanness.