Athlete ~ Athletic ~ or Active Woman? What's your title?

fitness goal setting healthy living midlife athlete Jul 18, 2021

I have a serious question for you ~> do you consider yourself: (A) an athlete (B) an athletic individual, or (C) an active woman?

I ask, because I’ve been debating all week with friends, family, and even my kiddos on if women like myself - you know that “average” midlife gal that works out, maybe competes in some local events / competitions like mud runs, races, Spartan-type events throughout the year, logs a few miles or swims a few laps each week, maybe does Crossfit or Pilates, or Zumbu . . . basically taking care of herself by moving her body each day - is she an athlete?


Not surprisingly, when I posted this same question on Facebook this week I got all kinds of responses. Most referred to themselves as active women, some did say they’d call themselves athletes, but most of those were ladies that compete in events and /or physical challenges. 

Some even noted that they were former athletes and are just fit, athletic women now that they are older.

I really feel that how you define yourself comes down to mindset! 

It's how we view ourselves, our mindset surrounding our capabilities that does or doesn’t allow of us to refer to ourselves as athletes.

So what is an athlete by definition?

(Wikipedia) An athlete is a person who competes in one or more sports that involves physical strength, speed, or endurance. The use of the term in several sports, such as golf or auto racing, becomes a controversial issue. Athletes may be professionals or amateurs.

(Dictionary.com) An athlete is someone who trains for and competes in sporting events, as a professional or just for fun, like an athlete who bowls on a team, runs in local 5K races, or wins a gold medal at the Olympics. The noun athlete comes from the Greek word athletes, meaning “contestant in the games.”  Anyone who competes in sporting competitions can be called an athlete, but usually the term is reserved for people with a high level of dedication, skill and fitness. If your income comes from participating in your sport, you are a professional athlete.

(Cambridge.org) a person who is very good at sports or physical exercise, especially one who competes in organized events.

It seems like the word “competes” pops up a lot, but does that make what we do as active women any less awesome?

Can a woman who workout every day, logs a few miles each week, swims laps at the local YMCA, does a weekly dance class, hikes, kayaks, does yoga ~> can she call herself an athlete even if there is no medal at the end?

I mean I get it, I see the mindset.

I definitely feel “different” when I’m training for a specific event or race. I feel like I’m an athlete with a solid plan aimed toward preparing myself for the event.

But when I’m "off" or not training for a specific even, and just moving my body for enjoyment and health, I guess I do just mentally think of myself as being simply active.

So how do we flip the script? . . .

. . . do we flip the script? Do you have to be training or competing or participating in an organized sport or event to be called an athlete?

Does the verbiage matter if we're are living as our healthiest version? 

It's a interesting question and I'd absolutely love to hear your thoughts on the topic!!

Please comment below on what you call yourself and why?

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