I might add that like any sport that anyone is really good at, that, while talent, and genetics, are crucial, sports science is what's seperates the men from the boys.
Those who are elite have a level of discipline, patience, focus, openness, and teachability that you won't find in lay folks. Elite athletes develop goals, plans, and know how to execute them. They're patient. They're coachable. They're observant. They're open minded, and...when they fail...they get right back up, take a different approach, and go at the goal again. They live for the challenge and a new personal best. For folks who don't have those traits, it's often hard for them to understand those who do.
If it was easy, anyone could, and would, do it. It's not. It's a discipline that involves all the things I mentioned.
For folks that are "wired" with all the above, they do well in a sport so heavily disciplined that plays out over months, years, and decades.
I would say a beginner is someone who is out studying everything there is to know and is putting his time in to reach a first set of milestones.
I would say an intermediate is someone who not only studies, but experiments, and has met with some degree of success over a period of months and years.