The Integrated Journey

We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment. – Marcus Aurelius

Friday

30

November 2012

11

COMMENTS

Athletes vs Exercisers.

Written by , Posted in Uncategorized

It’s dawned on me recently, that there are many parallels between what life in the gym and life outside the gym.

The difference between an athlete and an exerciser is simple. The athlete is dedicated to their goals – they will manipulate their diet and choose salad instead of a burger when they go out. An athlete will train when they don’t want to, sleep early instead of going out so they can wake up at 6 to make time for the gym. An athlete has goals that don’t change from week to week, and they will do whatever it takes to reach their goals. If that means gaining weight they’ll do that, if that means losing weight they’ll do that too. The goal comes first and everything else needs to support the goal, things that don’t support the goal are removed from the equation.

Exercisers workout because they find it fun or social. They come in and do what they want and listen to their feelings above all else. When there’s a problem it’s often someone else’s fault. Exercisers change programs more often than they go shopping, because they’re looking for something and when they don’t find it they figure it’s the programs fault. There’s always a reason why they can’t achieve their goals, they’re too busy, the timing isn’t right, they have too many outings planned this month.

Most importantly is the following observation:

For exercisers the problems and solutions are always external.

For athletes the problems and solutions are always internal.

Now, for the gym this doesn’t really pose a problem. Ideally you realize which of the two camps you fall into and you adjust your training accordingly, after all not everyone needs to have physical goals beyond being healthier than they were yesterday.

But in there are many parallels that extend beyond the gym and into peoples personal lives. They difference is that if you take that exercise mindset and apply it to other parts of your life (business, career and personal relationships included) you’ll end up like chaff in the wind. Tossed back and forth by your circumstances rather than taking charge and moving forward to your goals.

Which one are you, and what are you gonna do about it?

It’s never to late to start living like an athlete.

11 comments
Beri
Beri

I think it’s more that there is a difference between exercising and training.   When you’re exercising, you are using your body in a way that maintains your current level of fitness and ability.  When you’re training, you’re working on progression and improvement.   These are both things you do, not things you are.  And I doubt casual observation at the gym makes you capable of judging who is doing what.

ScoutFinch
ScoutFinch

You came to a lot of conclusions - even judgments, so it wasn't really an observation.  An observation is, "I noticed some people at the gym are social while others are transfixed on their workout."  You published an opinion.  Even if you consider it a "theory" - If you don't want to have it tested, checked or challenged ("This post was not intended as an argument") - then maybe you shouldn't publish it!  No apologies necessary - for your opinion, or those who disagree.  Hopefully it was all food for thought.

Alex
Alex

I would say an athlete engage in specific sporting events, where as "exercisers"  just work out at the gym with the goal in mind of fitness without an application for it. Often athletes can be more "talented" but lazier, and often "exercisers" can be more determined but lack the intelligence that comes with competitive strategy. Some even turn exercise into a sport, and become athletes at crossfit or weightlifting etc. That person would be an exercise athlete. As for defining one or the other by how they problem solve, you've clearly oversimplified the issue. This reads more like one of those "inspiring" viral pictures with no meaning, rather than an educated thought. Using words like "always", and broadly categorizing groups of people (many of whom are hybrids) sets up your argument to be false should there be simply one exception. There was a solid point to be made, which was lost in the attempt to make it a universal message.

Alex Cibiri
Alex Cibiri

Alex, Thanks for reading. Correct. I definitely oversimplified the issue. Just as everyone is some hybrid of introvert and extrovert and not exclusively one or the other. I make no apologies for wording this as a 'universal message', I'm sure one could write an entire book on the issue. The example of the lazy athlete and talented exerciser are part of what I was trying to get at. A 'lazy' athlete would be an exerciser by my analogy above. In short it's not how you see yourself it's how you act that defines you. This post was not intended as an argument, merely a simple observation that popped into my head so I wrote it down raw. For that I make no apologies.

Eatme
Eatme

You should get a dictionary.

alterego
alterego

You know how many "athletes" I've come across, that love their sport & do it whenever they can, but you can't get their lazy butt to do real workouts that might improve their game? Nor are they disciplined enough to take anything serious that might be construed as work outside their game?

Alex Cibiri
Alex Cibiri

That's a solid point, there are lots of exercisers masquerading as "athletes". Awesome idea for another post. Thanks!

Xiusun
Xiusun

So athletes can't have fun? I feel sorry for the athletes.

Alex Cibiri
Alex Cibiri

I never said athletes can't have fun. They just don't get 'fun' get in the way of their goals. As a disclaimer athletes and exercisers will often have different definitions of 'fun'.