Can Only An Athlete Be Athletic?

It is so funny; I often have to convince my clients that they deserve to train like an athlete. That they are worth it! But as today’s world has most of us convinced that the average person is less worthy than an athlete, I have my job cut out for me. I need to reinforce with my clients how each individual is just as deserving as the next. Some of us think that athletes are better than us, that they deserve more than us and that we should take care of their needs first. That we should wait until they are done with something before we can use it, whatever it may be.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love working with a lot of athletes, as most of them have a strong deep desire to excel in all that they do, to work very hard to improve themselves and persevere to achieve their dreams. So why is it that when you, not a traditional athlete, work very hard to improve yourself, have people look at you like you are doing something wrong or better yet doing something crazy. Doesn’t everyone want the best, need the best or better yet deserve the best? No matter whom you are. I am often asked why I train my clients so hard, so intensely, since most are not what you would consider a traditional athlete and therefore should not need to work that hard. I usually answer them by asking what they ever got by not working hard? Other than selling themselves short or giving up on personal goals.

I remember years ago, when I started working out my wife. I worked her out very hard and let me tell you that she would quickly tell me when she thought that I was letting up on her. It truly was important both mentally and physically to get the most possible out of every work-out. At times, people watching us work-out would come up to me and insinuate that I was pushing her too hard and that I should be letting up on her. My wife would laugh and tell me not to worry. The irony of this story is that some of the same people, who had earlier questioned our work-out intensity, quietly came up to me and asked me if I could work them out, as they wanted the same results that my wife had seen. I would just simply smile and say, I don’t think so because you think I worked her too hard.

I train many people at a couple of local gyms in my city. Because of my high intensity training style and reputation of working with pro-athletes, my middle aged clients are often asked what they are training for? What is their reason?

Here is an example of a typical conversation: Gym member: “What are you training for? My client: “Nothing really.” Gym member: “Oh! Why are you training so hard?” My client: “Because I enjoy being pushed.” Gym member: ” Really? But isn’t that stuff just for athletes?” My client: “Not really, and besides my trainer help me realized that I was an athlete!”

What is an athlete? Is it only the person that plays sports? Is it only the person training for a contest, a race, a tournament? Or is it anyone that uses his or her body in an ever changing world. A world that can throw you a curve ball at any time. Look around your world, what do you do that would be athletic? If you are a mother or raise children, then you are one of today’s athletes. You bend over and jump up. You lift heavy unbalanced loads (your kids, groceries, vacuum…). Your eye hand coordination and foot speed are tested all the time. Look at your life and what athletic thing you do in a day? I know that you will see that you cross train every day. You run, you sprint, and you lift weights. You are an “urban athlete”, an athlete that handles as much pressure as any “real or traditional athlete”. The money that you make might not be as much, but it is just as important to you and your team (your home team or your work team). If your body is not up to par and you can’t perform your daily tasks, this negatively affects your ability to function. So why don’t you train like an athlete? You deserve it, as you are an athlete and anyone that says that you are not one has no idea what you do.

They have no idea what an Athlete is.