What makes you an athlete

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2011 10:54 PM GMT
    Hey guys. So I'm a former competitive swimmer turned couch potato (through college) and now just trying to stay in shape. Work out fairly regularly... Alternate between weight training, cardio, plyometrics and swimming. Anyhow while sharing with a friend who is a competitive cyclist my recent successes in the weight room and the pool, was quite rudely told that I should not get too excited as I am still far from being an actual athlete

    Not that I had considered myself an athlete prior to this conversation.

    My question is at what point can you call yourself an athlete?

    Is it physiological, for instance having a resting heart rate bellow 55 bpm, is it sport specific, or is it purely about winning meets?
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    Dec 02, 2011 2:09 AM GMT
    I think what makes you an athlete is actively training for and competing in a sport on a level higher than a hobby. I'm not sure how your friend defines it though, since different sports require different levels of physical prowess and skill.

    You can be athletic though.
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    Dec 02, 2011 3:59 AM GMT
    If you participate in a sport, exercise or game requiring physical skill you are an athlete.

    Your friend sounds like a jerk who is making a mistake about quality. You may not be an elite athlete but it sounds like you're still an athlete.
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    Dec 02, 2011 4:04 AM GMT
    If it's about heart rate, then I'm an athlete without trying. I can easily get down into the 40s, and I've gone as low as around 38 BPM. But that's hereditary and has nothing to do with athleticism.

    There's no standard definition, but I'd define an athlete as someone who plays a sport at a competitive level. It would probably requires several hours a day of training. I usually train at the gym 1 hour for six days a week, and I wouldn't consider myself anywhere close to an athlete.
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    Dec 02, 2011 1:29 PM GMT
    your friend is a twat.
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    Dec 02, 2011 4:08 PM GMT
    An "athlete" is someone who actually participates in (and not just watches) sports. If you participated in sports before but you no longer do, you WERE an athlete, but you are not NOW an athlete. For example, I wrestled competitively in high school and college, but I no longer wrestle now. Although I currently participate in other sports, e.g., martial arts, I cannot call my self a "wrestler" or a "grappler" now because I no longer engage in wrestling as a sport.
  • DanOmatic

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    Dec 02, 2011 4:24 PM GMT
    I think DOMNUS hit it about right. To me, when somebody defines himself as an athlete, it implies that he's seriously engaged in training and competing in a particular sport--in the present tense.

    But you can be "athletic" without being an athlete, but that's more a description of one's physical attributes, rather than what one does on a daily basis.
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    Dec 02, 2011 11:50 PM GMT
    Thanks guys.... I definitely agree that being athletic and being an athlete is not always the same thing. It just felt like he was saying theres a level that you should reach if you want to be taken serious, and I was nowhere near it. Not everybody has the time to train several hours everyday and yeah that shouldn't be seen as a bad thing... Oh yeah the "friend" btw is a total twat!
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    Dec 02, 2011 11:57 PM GMT
    In Ancient Greece, athlete meant "one who competes for a prize."

    I always wondered if that could mean competing with yourself too. Why not?
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    Dec 02, 2011 11:58 PM GMT
    Playing a sport and sticking with it/staying committed.
  • DanOmatic

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    Dec 03, 2011 12:05 AM GMT
    It just felt like he was saying theres a level that you should reach if you want to be taken serious, and I was nowhere near it.

    You mentioned that your "friend' is a competitive cyclist--for some reason, cyclists seem to have an over-inflated sense of their supposed awesomeness. And I say that as a cyclist! There are a lot of douchebag cyclists out there; most of them think they're the next Lance Armstrong.
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    Dec 03, 2011 12:07 AM GMT
    Because I'm on RJ icon_eek.gif LOL
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    Dec 03, 2011 12:11 AM GMT
    NC3athlete saidI think DOMNUS hit it about right. To me, when somebody defines himself as an athlete, it implies that he's seriously engaged in training and competing in a particular sport--in the present tense.

    But you can be "athletic" without being an athlete, but that's more a description of one's physical attributes, rather than what one does on a daily basis.


    I totally agree. I wouldn't call myself an athlete because I play sport. I would describe myself as being active. If I were in serious training, trying to make a professional team or was in a professional team, and my sport was my job, then I would call myself an athlete.