“If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

I first heard this quote when I began to listen to the Doc and Jock Podcast. For those that are unaware, this is a famous quote by Bill Bowerman, Nike co-founder and legendary track and field coach at the University of Oregon.

So what does it mean to be an athlete? Well if you ask me, I’d have to say that it’s a person that performs physical activity outside of their daily tasks for the purpose of health/wellness, enjoyment, or sport. In general, an athlete tends to perform these tasks listed below.

Things athletes do:

  1. Lift weights. Sometimes athletes choose to lift weights as their sport of choice, but is often times used to augment other training. Regardless, it is important to help the athlete perform better!
  2. Eat well. Athletes eat a well-balanced diet full of nutrient-dense food. The athlete will not perform optimally if their diet is rich in highly-processed junk food.
  3. Drink water. Athletes stay hydrated during the day and while performing their sport of choice. Dehydration is a major road block in performance as it can cause a cascade of physiological problems.
  4. Recover. Athletes ensure proper rest time when appropriate; this allows for tissues to heal so that they can adapt to the next physical demand.
  5. Mentally prepare. Athletes visualize what they want to accomplish before they perform the task. This helps them better follow through with that task!
  6. Get coached! Athletes have someone to help them complete the first 5 tasks. There is nothing wrong with having someone there to guide you on the right path and keep you on track!

As you can see, you don’t have to perform incredible feats of athleticism to be considered an athlete. Try to incorporate these tasks into your lifestyle, and find a coach to help you do so!

*On a side note, if you’re looking for something interesting to watch that talks a little bit more about Bill Bowerman and running at Oregon check out the movie Prefontaine.

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