I am an athlete. If asked to define myself it would be one of the first nouns I would use. I’m at a phase of my life where being and becoming the best athlete I can be is one of my priorities…maybe this is inherently a life-long priority and hence why I’d describe myself as an athlete to begin with. Hmm, an interesting circular realization.
But, maybe in an effort to justify a self-centered endeavor I went a little bit more introspective. WHY, am I an athlete? Some people are probably athletes purely for physical reasons-it feels good, you look good, it’s healthy…. My reasons are mental (this is where Ari would agree and joke that a lot about me is mental). But, I love being an athlete, and an endurance athlete at that, because of the mind over body aspect.  We are a team, my mind and body. We work together and sometimes one has to manipulate the other to get the desired result. Sometimes you have to turn your brain off and just pedal, or run, or lift, or jump, or whatever. Just go through the motions-focus on circles. Sometimes you really have to coax and sweet talk your body into just one more hill, one more rep, one more minute. You aren’t cramping, you aren’t hot, you aren’t tired. You feel good, pain is good. I love the will-power it takes to do something hard, when your body doesn’t want to, and I also love those moments when you are exercising and you are completely zoned out, just letting your body go on auto pilot doing an activity that you do so often that you don’t even need to think about it. It’s fine-tuning and mastering the mind-body relationship that I love. That’s what being an athlete is to me.