What Does It Take to be Called an Athlete?

Have you seen the new ad from Under Armour featuring Misty Copeland?  Holy amazing!

Click the link below.  Amazing!!!

Click the link below. Amazing!!!

 Click here to see this amazing video.   It’s only a minute!

 So often, when the image of an athlete comes to mind, it’s easy to picture a favorite player from a favorite team, the looks of determination (and sometimes agony) of a track athlete heading towards the finish line, or the calm, yet powerful images of a boxer while training (or when smashing someone’s face in).  But one thing that this ad certainly conveys is that athletes can be anybody doing any activity.  It also points out, very matter-of-fact, that if you are told it’s not possible… think again!  When I think of  athletes, these are some of the images that comes to my mind…

Ernest chose a bike instead of surgery to lose more than 200 lbs.

Ernest chose a bike instead of surgery to lose more than 200 lbs.

Read Ernest’s story here.

Photo courtesy of www.mid-day.com

Lance… Photo courtesy of http://www.mid-day.com

I know… he can be a total jerk, has made some super bad choices, but the dude still won the biggest cycling race not one, but seven times…. after nearly dying of cancer.  The good in me believes in the good in Lance.  He’s got a lot of life left to live.  Still not convinced… check out Esquire‘s latest article.

Seriously... this looks hard!

Seriously… this looks hard!

As a teacher of students with disabilities, I’m often in awe at my students’ efforts to overcome some very serious obstacles.  If you have been around a person with a disability for much time, you will notice that they have very little negative self-talk.  I’m often reminded that when I think a workout is too much or that something aches, my issue is really just peanuts in comparison.  Okay… last video.  Have you seen this Guinness Beer commercial?  Happy tears are in your future.

Last… when I think of athletes, I think of these ladies.  I’m very fortunate to live in a community with some very talented female runners.  None of us are pros (although some are close to it), but despite family commitments, work commitments, illness, injuries and the many other things that take up space in the our lives, time is still made to set a goal, put in the time, and with a little support from others – smash it!

Setting goals and getting by with a little help from one another.

Setting goals and getting by with a little help from one another.

What image comes to mind when you hear the word athlete?

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