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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 23, 2014

What Is Your Inner Athlete?

By Mark Sisson
72 Comments

AthleteVisualization time… Take a moment and picture a world class athlete in your mind. What image is coming? If you’re like most people, you’re probably visualizing a tall, lean, muscle-bound (or at least very muscular) man or woman, the epitome of brawny human form. On the flip side of this exercise, of course, that means you’re likely not thinking of anyone who’s short, stocky, slight, overweight, exceptionally tall, etc. And yet athletes, even world class athletes, come in literally all shapes and sizes. You may have seen these pics (a few of which are embedded below) making the rounds recently (or remember them when they were first published by Howard Schatz about twelve years ago or so). On the surface, the idea of body “variety” isn’t all that novel of an observation, but I’m still struck when I look at these photos.

The pictures themselves drive the point home in a way that the general concept can’t touch. The broad diversity and profound individuality of body shapes, forms, and musculature jumps off the page, and yet all of these people are world class athletes. (Inherent to this message, too, is the diversity of sport itself as physical endeavor that uniquely cultivates the body). It’s fascinating, I think, to see what the human body is capable of – not some “perfect,” standardized, conventionally “ideal” physique but a real body with individual uniqueness and stunning utility. In this case, it’s a wide spectrum of body types. When you look at these folks, it makes the fluffy enhanced images on magazine covers look that much more ridiculous.

Athletes

Athletes

It also makes me think how many people assume they aren’t “athlete material” because they don’t believe they have the body for it – or so they’ve been told (directly or indirectly). Sure, most of us will never be professional athletes. Most of us are not and never will be 7-foot tall basketball player material. But the fact remains: if you have a body, you’re an athlete. The identity and intention dwell in your genes themselves. Whether you’re a 5 foot tall rhythmic gymnast waiting to happen or a lanky dude who’s built for covering long distances quickly, there’s a niche for you. You embody in some way the athletic mission of our species.

Maybe you haven’t figured out what that embodiment is yet. It’s always eluded you, or you always shunned the prospect so entirely that you struggle against identifying with it at all. (What too often passes for physical education in this country can do this to people – as much of a shame and an irony as it is.) We tell ourselves a whole lot of self-limiting stories, and this arena might be prime territory for that unfortunate tendency. Let me say point blank: find your athletic embodiment in your lifetime. You won’t be sorry you did and will likely always wonder if you don’t.

With that in mind, find your niche. Find your sport. Figure out – or flat out decide – what kind of athlete you are or want to be. There’s no need to play perfectionist and opt out because you can’t be Lebron James or Lindsey Vonn. We don’t let ourselves play defeatist that way in our careers, hobbies or social lives. (Right?) Why on earth would we hold ourselves back from enjoying cultivating our bodies to their full and creative potential because someone on the T.V. can do a skill better (that they get paid millions of dollars a year to do of course)? It should be about vitality and fun. It’s about self-actualization and the unique thrill of it.

When someone tells me they’re not an athlete “type,” I often tell them they haven’t found the right sport for their inner athlete. Maybe they bristle against the athletic “type casting” their build suggests to people, or (again) maybe they rejected the athletic potential of their bodies period. Maybe they shrug off the possibility now because of age. (Another lie to discard…) The fact is, your body is so much more than your build – or your years.

Here’s a novel thought perhaps – an extension of what those photographs suggest. Do what you want to do. Do you think you have to be lean and willowy to be a yoga guru. No, you have to be committed and passionate to be a yoga guru. And guess what? You have to be committed and passionate to be a soccer player or a wrestler or a dancer or a body builder. The same holds for every activity and sport. If you can show up with a good attitude and consistent determination, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself and develop within a sport. It might not be the “natural” fit for your body, but it can be the best, most fulfilling choice for your personality. When we do what we love for exercise, it doesn’t feel like work. How much more ideal can it get?

Primal exercise is a flexible set of general principles that mirror the basic patterns of our ancestors’ exertion – period. How you fulfill these in your modern life is entirely your choice. Be whatever Primal athlete makes sense to you and you alone. By all means, make it as fun as possible. Your fitness should enhance more than your physical health but be a meaningful, self-affirming, self-exploratory part of your life. It’s the best of all Primal worlds.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Let me know your thoughts on the photo collection and the journey you’ve taken to find or develop your inner athlete.

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72 Comments on "What Is Your Inner Athlete?"

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Florence
2 years 8 months ago

Such a wonderful post. It’s so important to respect different body types and stop pigeonholing. Also I love the emphasis on finding the sport that is right for you. For so long I said I wasn’t athletic because I hated running, but now that I’m finding the joys of yoga and walking, I’m redefining how I think of myself.

Paige
2 years 8 months ago

oooh, I love this mindset! Right now I hike, spin, and lift weights, but I’m taking skiing lessons next week 🙂
I also played volleyball in college, and keep saying I need to get back into it..I miss it, and it definitely did NOT feel like work training for it and playing it.

Caitlin
Caitlin
2 years 8 months ago

I know what you mean! I played volleyball too in college. It still amazes me what I could eat and still maintain a 9% body fat. But it didn’t feel like work…well, sometimes…lol. After two kids though sometimes I barely have energy enough to get out of my pjs.
I used to ski and snowboard too, but not this year with this awful drought here in Cali.

Groktimus Primal
2 years 8 months ago

I thought my thing was kicking the football but Lucy keeps pulling it away and I land flat on my back 🙂

ninjainshadows
ninjainshadows
2 years 8 months ago

There’s always those snowball wars though, Charlie Brown.

wairimu
wairimu
2 years 8 months ago

Mark is really pushing me to excersise more.. I start pilates tomorrow. Who knows, I might be sprinting by February!

leida
leida
2 years 8 months ago

Wow, inspiring.

‘Tis true. Whatever I do on land, I am clumsy, pathetic and weak. But when I swim, I feel graceful, lean, strong and confident. Even if I am nowhere near any kind of competition level.

But, funnily enough, it is FAR easier for me to go do land stuff, as it has less of prep requirements. You do not need to dress down, make that jump into the cold water and share equipment.

Funny, huh?

Whitney
2 years 8 months ago

Love this post – I agree it’s so important to find your inner athlete! As it turns out, my inner athlete just loooooves to run long. I was a sprinter in high school and took up marathoning kind of by accident in my 20’s. Even though I follow an otherwise-primal lifestyle, I just can’t and won’t give up the sport I love!

Diane
Diane
2 years 8 months ago
I remember one day many years back after I had started hiking to get in shape to go on a trek to see Mt. Everest, I realized that I was actually an athlete. I was so amazed at this realization I wrote it down and posted it on my fridge. I had always been the worst one in PE classes in school but here I was actually achieving a level of proficiency at hiking that was above average. I was faster than a lot of people, I could go farther, I didn’t get tired, I was strong and I felt… Read more »
Tom B-D
Tom B-D
2 years 8 months ago

RIght on! That’s a success story in four paragraphs. It doesn’t have to be about competition or “sports.” Sometimes I enjoy games (tennis, ping pong), but depends on whom I’m playing with…but I ALWAYS enjoy a long hike, and if it’s not very long, I can find ways to “get physical” by climbing, crawling, etc…all in Nature, what could be better?

MT Angel
MT Angel
2 years 8 months ago
I totally agree with you! Have you ever read the Calvin comic strip where he calls PE “state sponsored terrorism”? The only thing they let you try in PE class that doesn’t involve throwing/catching/hitting a ball is weightlifting. I still remember that unit with horror. He said he’d set up the benchpress for a “lighter weight” to do lots of reps, but it was 90 pounds – more than I weighed at the time! Not everyone has hand-eye coordination to play ball games. Why don’t they have units on rockclimbing, biking, hiking. I love hiking, although I’m not as good… Read more »
Ingvildr
Ingvildr
2 years 8 months ago
I 100% agree on schools teaching lifestyle athletics. Team PE was absolute misery for me, in part because of undiagnosed asthma. My junior year I did take Individual/dual PE where we did things like bowling and archery and I really enjoyed it a lot more. I did really well in weightlifting in school and was one of the strongest girls in my class. Running, I was always dead last and too slow and clumsy for team sports. Now as a mom with two grown children and one in school my favorite activities are hiking, biking,backpacking and camping. Living in Northwest… Read more »
WelshGrok
WelshGrok
2 years 8 months ago

Fancy rock climbing but don’t like heights? – Try bouldering.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
2 years 8 months ago

+1

Melissa
Melissa
2 years 8 months ago

I LOVE this!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE

Ben
Ben
2 years 8 months ago
I just so happen to be a PE teacher. One of the most popular classes we offer at my school is called “Lifetime Activities” where we do all sorts of things like you listed. Outdoor activities, including our high ropes elements, geocaching, snowshoeing, and hiking are half the program. The other half are skills like table tennis, and then actual beneficial lifetime activities such as weight training. It’s the greatest job in the world. PE is no longer just team sports, and as we develop better PE teachers in our field (they ARE coming) PE will continue to grow into… Read more »
Mo
Mo
2 years 8 months ago

That is fantastic to hear! I am one of the earlier PE participants who was humiliated by what I could not do, but now have a fully-physical job…just not in sports. Thank you for teaching the next generation!

Kristi Horine
Kristi Horine
2 years 8 months ago

I always considered myself a book worm, nerd type – turns out I’m actually a pole dancer, Crossfitter, silks aerialist and acro-yogi. I’m an athlete even though I only compete with myself.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 8 months ago

“How you doing?” 😉

2Rae
2Rae
2 years 8 months ago

ahahahaha, good one Joey

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 8 months ago

Nice post. In high school I was a math-lete. My physique was very lean and wiry, I would have been great at building thatch roofs.

Annakay
Annakay
2 years 8 months ago

I could never run to save myself and did not like sports very much at school. I didn’t mind the school gym and did a little bit of swimming but that was all. It wasn’t untill my late sixties that I discovered the most primal of sports, Archery. It’s something people of all shapes and sizes can do. We even have three generations of the one family shooting at archery club. It involves quite a bit of slow walking and pulling the bow exercises the upper body. Very enjoyable.

Jade
Jade
2 years 8 months ago

I read somewhere…”We are ALL athletes, just not all of us are in training”.

My passion is long distance running.. that’s when I am happiest..when I am truly me.

Flying Primal
Flying Primal
2 years 8 months ago

Mark, ok…I’m inspired! I am female, broke my wrist on my 61st birthday a few days ago, and have been really feeing like I can’t do a thing. Well, Mark you have set me straight. I believe and I have begun…now writing this to let you know…pecking at keyboard with one finger. Don’t know what kind of training I will do, however I believe it will come to me. Thank you.

Joshua
Joshua
2 years 8 months ago

Ok, it’s one thing to say that people with these shapes can be the best at what they do, but to say it is because of it is a different thing. So these folks with less than ideal shapes would not be even better with less/more fat given identical work ethic?

BFBVince
2 years 8 months ago

Form follows function. No greater example than these pictures.

SumoFit
2 years 8 months ago

Only up to a point. Rulon Gardner will never look like Brandon Slay, no matter how hard he trains.

The smart “athlete” works with, and makes the most of, what nature gives him/her.

WelshGrok
WelshGrok
2 years 8 months ago
I don’t agree as they both look pretty similar body types if you take away the body fat, but I get the point & would say that it could be said of Alexi Lalas & Brandon Slay. I think the point is if you’re built for long distance running maybe you should try that, but if you love wrestling, go for it; just don’t waste your energies trying to look like Rulon Gardner and work on the strengths your physique is geared to (like speed & agility maybe). It’s all good – Grok’s tribe would have benefited from the tall… Read more »
2Rae
2Rae
2 years 8 months ago
I just want to dance! My husband went to college with a 50 yo guy with short fingers who learned to play the piano like he had long fluid ones. We both went ot high school where the best basket ball player was about 5 foot 5 inches at the most. He was better because he wanted to be, learned that being that close to your center of gravity was an atvantage that he could use agains all the other players. When I was young I love to run everywhere. Now that my knees have been run into the dashboard… Read more »
SumoFit
2 years 8 months ago

Mark, this is definitely one of your best posts!

It strikes a chord with so many of us who were either really bad at PE, or were good at it but hated it. I have commented on one of Mark’s previous posts that PE classes are one of the biggest reasons people end up disliking physical activities.

I would draw the line, however, at calling myself an athlete, as the word comes from the Greek “athlein”, meaning “to compete for a prize”. I prefer to call myself a “mover” which means what it says.

Luke
2 years 8 months ago

I tend to gravitate towards sports and physical activities that I don’t have a natural strength for. But as you mentioned mark doesn’t matter if your gonna turn into lebron james as long as your having fun.

Exploring new sports is fun and you might just find that niche. Pro curling could be just around the corner!

WildHorse
WildHorse
2 years 8 months ago
Ya know im sat here 37 years young 😉 and have been undiagnosed for hypothyroidism since I was fairly young (mother had it and results always came back ‘borderline’) Now they change the ranges and everywhere else the numbers go down, but in UK they increased it to 10…gee thanks…. So i decide to treat myself, and its been a journey, and T3 25mg with some isocort is working for me. Within a month of starting that, I had the will and energy to take up mountain biking and Im really enjoying it (tho weather at mo is pants) I… Read more »
Closet Librarian
Closet Librarian
2 years 8 months ago

I’m a dancer. 10 years in ballet, 14 years in oriental dance, and now teaching oriental dance at the Y.

Susannah Riley
Susannah Riley
2 years 8 months ago

before going primal i wouldn’t even think of touching any sort of weight but I now incorporate a lot of strength training and have learnt to love using my body for what it was designed. Thank you Mark for opening up my eyes in this way and encouraging others to USE their bodies. I’m starting at my local CrossFit gym this weekend too!

Jill
Jill
2 years 8 months ago

Maybe this is a really dumb question, but I don’t understand how two weightlifters have dramatically different body types. Not bodybuilder versus weightlifters, I understand that fundamental difference. My question is why are Tara Nott and Cheryl Haworth so different? According to the photo they both do “weightlifting”. I understand they are in different weight classes, but is their training also fundamentally different. Are they both Oly lifters? (Sorry, I’m not familiar with either athlete).

Mel
Mel
2 years 8 months ago
Cheryl and Tara are both Olympic weightlifters (that is, the snatch and clean and jerk), and they have both been to the Olympics (among other international events). Cheryl is in the 75+ kg weight division, and Tara is in the 48 kg division. (According to Wikipedia, Tara has trained at the OTC in gymnastics, soccer, and weightlifting!) O-lifting is great in that if you are shorter, you have a lower center of gravity and also less distance to travel to get under the bar. I just took up O-lifting after 4.5 years of Crossfit left me with chronic knee pain… Read more »
Laura
Laura
2 years 8 months ago

I really loved reading your post. I am a SLOW athlete too. After almost a year of CrossFit I still almost always finish last. I feel like it looks like I am not trying very hard when in reality I am moving as fast and hard as I can. I always shy away from doing athletics with another person because I feel like I am always holding them back.

It is nice to know there are other slow people out there.

Caroline
Caroline
2 years 8 months ago

I just bought a workout tank that says “slow is the new fast” 😉

Mel
Mel
2 years 7 months ago
Hi! Yes… the Crossfit trainers I had always were pushing me to GO, and it actually had the opposite effect on me; I began to resent them because they seemed to assume that I was dawdling when in fact I was gasping for air. I’m also not one of those people who “meets Pukey” at Crossfit – I know where I stand and am not going to let someone pressure me into working out so hard that I pass out or throw up. Another note: I got stronger (easy when you’re coming from zero-level) my first year of Crossfit, and… Read more »
Mel
Mel
2 years 7 months ago

Hahah! I love it. I have knee socks for lifting with sloths on them. 🙂

paleocrushmom
2 years 8 months ago

A very “sweet”, inspiring post. Mark wouldn’t probably like the “sweet” part just as he was a bit iffy about “chilli sun-kissed” recipe at first.

I love Jillian Michaels because her bootcamp-like attitude motivates me. I don’t like the touchy-feely, whispery voice trainers. The 30 Day Shred and 6 Week Six Pack gives you all you need in the least amount of time.

Nocona
Nocona
2 years 8 months ago

Brilliant post. Thanks. I umpire 70 and 80+ year old competitive softball players. They are having the time of their lives and not trying to be pro athletes. If they don’t like a close call, you can bet your &^&$&)) they let me know about it. I love it.

Sialia
Sialia
2 years 8 months ago

Great post! I hated gym class way back when, and my daughter hates it now. Martial arts is her thing. She is good at it, and everyone proceeds at their own pace. I highly recommend martial arts for anyone still searching for a challenging sport in a judgement-free environment. Not to mention the dual benefit of learning self-defense.

For me, I just keep on moving. Treadmill, elliptical, weights, walking outdoors (minus 25 this morning so not today!), gardening, biking, playing with the kids – it doesn’t matter. A body in motion…

Camille
2 years 8 months ago

Great point, Mark! Right now, I’m pursuing rock climbing (play everyday, right?) but I most enjoy when I have time to do Bikram yoga. Each requires athleticism in its own right.

Siobhan
Siobhan
2 years 8 months ago
Fantastic post, Mark, and once again reminds me that I need to thank you for helping me become what I always wanted to become – a swimmer. As a child I was strongly discouraged by my mother, who was terrified of water, and as an adult I was too afraid to appear in public in a swimsuit because my body wasn’t perfect. After being primal for six months and shedding 40 lbs, I went to the local Y, donned a swimsuit, and I’ve never looked back. My body still isn’t perfect, but you know what? That’s not what it’s about.… Read more »
Paleo-curious
2 years 8 months ago
Okay, if you’re talking about following my bliss & using my body’s strengths as they are, hoop dance is IT. That’s the one thing I can do every day (besides walking & stretching) without getting hurt or just burning out, meanwhile enjoying every minute. And I know it’s good for me mentally & physically. In fact I move my body in more & more various ways than with ANY other activity. But I also know it’s not enough. Some of the tricks (repeated jump-through, alternating under-leg moves & such) are pretty close to sprint level, but there’s no heavy lifting,… Read more »
Ruth
Ruth
2 years 8 months ago
Love this. In school I only did sport because it was compulsory & the only thing I was good at was hiking. Since school I have tried rock climbing, belly dancing, salsa, fencing, surfing, pole dancing, archery, touch rugby & mountain biking. I found I love trying new sports… things like archery & fencing come more naturally to me, team sports bring out more competitiveness in me than I like to admit, but I still love nature & hiking & thoroughly enjoyed surfing & mountain biking (despite the fact it scares me witless) and plan to do more of them!… Read more »
Emily
Emily
2 years 8 months ago
I love this post! I love barre workouts (a combination of pilates, yoga, and ballet) and dancing. Love them! They make me happy and make my body happy. I feel taller (which is always good at 5’2″), more flexible, stronger, and more at peace after a barre workout. There’s a paleo podcast where they always talk about weights and sprinting and basically have the attitude that if you aren’t lifting heavy and sprinting, then all other exercises are a waste of time. They basically laugh at anyone who spends time doing something that doesn’t involve hoisting a heavy barbell several… Read more »
Stephanie G
Stephanie G
2 years 8 months ago
I was always active as a child and teenager but body and eating things I just flat out couldn’t took a huge toll. No one had ever heard of anyone who could not eat wheat or dairy when I was a teenager, well I can’t eat either though I did for years. Now after years of serious auto-immune trouble, I am back active again! I have tried almost everything, swimming was ok except the chlorine really made me sicker. Walking is ok so I do that regularly. Biking is ok so I do that sometimes. When my son started track… Read more »
j
j
2 years 8 months ago

Wow! I am glad for you! Go girl!

Debbie
Debbie
2 years 8 months ago

Thanks to the 61 year-old who just wrote. I was feeling Mark’s post wasn’t meant for me; I’m 58 with a chronic foot issue that’s stopped me from even walking long distances. But, you and he are right, and one just has to be motivated and determined to find an exercise or sport. Thanks again.

Flying Primal
Flying Primal
2 years 8 months ago
You are welcome Debbie. I didn’t think this post was for me, at first either. Then I thought about it and realised it applies to us all. All body shapes and all health issues/problems. I don’t know if Mark meant it this way, but so many of his sentences included ideas that woke me up to “meaning within meaning”. Perhaps, it would be useful for those of us who don’t think we even fit into the above post/encouragement, to have a post on how injured/disabled and or senior people could reach our best potential for the “circumstances” within which we… Read more »
Emily
Emily
2 years 8 months ago
What if the problem isn’t body shape, but chronic body weakness? I have found things that I love (martial arts and yoga) but have been forced to give them both up due to shoulder and wrist injuries that “healed” into chronic weak points. If I’m careful, I can do normal life as a mom of four kids, but too much scrubbing, or digging in the garden, and I’m back in a wrist brace for a week. It has been a problem for 8 years now, something that doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists haven’t been able to help me fix. Mark,… Read more »
Storm
Storm
2 years 8 months ago
This may help – I had a chronic back problem that “healed” but would always re-occur – then I found a book called The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies. You may actually still have trigger points in your shoulder, and what’s worse, the muscles can shorten giving that “healed shut” feeling – but don’t worry, it can be reversed via self-therapy. This was the only thing that got me “back” (I tried Chiro, Physio, Doctors). I am now doing full speed sprinting, weights and martial arts (something I thought would be an impossibility a few years back). The… Read more »
Sialia
Sialia
2 years 8 months ago

Many thanks, Storm. I’ve already checked this out, and sent the information to a relative that could benefit also. It looks promising, and very simple to implement. Being free of chronic pain is so important to health and mobility.

Madeline
2 years 8 months ago

I’m 18, and I only recently discovered that I love to dance. For me, it’s probably the only physical activity that doesn’t feel like work. It just feels FUN! 🙂

WarriorWolf
WarriorWolf
2 years 8 months ago

Wow, thanks a million for the post Mark! 😀
It seems almost right on point with what I asked you days ago when you asked us to give you ideas for posts this year. Whether or not that was intentional, this is truly an inspiring piece today. 🙂
+100 lol

Ben-jam-in
Ben-jam-in
2 years 8 months ago
in 1974 I went into basic training (Army). Not sure if I had ever worked out a day in my life before that (other than GYM class). I was a nerd who had a two and half packs a day, smoking habit. There were five routines you had to pass to get through basic with a maximum of 100 on each. 300 required to pass basic. Four of the five events I was terrible at, at first anyway, for instance I could not run a mile, just could not finish, at first. But amazingly, one of the events was the… Read more »
Kate
Kate
2 years 8 months ago

I love this post. Everyday life requires being an athlete. I used to mow the lawn with the ride on mower. Now I use “Honda Therapy” as my husband calls it and use the push mower.

We also have a trucking company so there are always tyres to change and move. I have one in my shed at home to flip on a regular basis.

I am so glad to have found this website. It has made such a difference to my life and my family. Our dog included who is an amazing Frisbee player so it turns out.

Nack
Nack
2 years 8 months ago

My favourite sports are Tree Climbing and Sneaking Around The Woods.

Jen K
Jen K
2 years 8 months ago

Great post Mark! I didn’t think it was for me at first, but you changed my mind. I’ve been doing yoga and walking for a while, and after yesterday’s post I’m going to try some sprinting again ~ pulled both hamstrings a while back the first time I tried it ~ I like your suggestion to sprint up hills.

I have to say that one of the most skilled and graceful hula dancers I’ve ever seen was the largest gal in the group. I wasn’t expecting that. She outperformed all of the others beautifully.

Rod Hilton
Rod Hilton
2 years 8 months ago

I can’t find a good photograph for Ice Hockey Referee! LOL, I have failed again… just like my calls on the ice!
Great article Mark – as usual.

Colleen
Colleen
2 years 8 months ago

WOW! This post makes my heart sing and inspires me to kick some butt!

Mark, I just had a really crappy day-8 hours in the ER with my 96 year old grandma, and I was feeling pretty down. I read this and now I feel so fired up and inspired. Great post.

Thank you.

Teasea
Teasea
2 years 8 months ago
What you say about that inner athlete is so true. I started to swim to loose weight not primal then, lost a little weight just with the additional excercise. I kept meeting the same 2 guys in the pool each morning, I was a little slower than them, so I was ‘in the way’ so to speak but the asked me to tag along which I did, since then the group has grown to approx 15 people guys and gals from 30 years to 63years (thats me 63) who meet 3 mornings a week as you can fit it in… Read more »
Janet
2 years 8 months ago
I have to say that tennis has been a very rewarding sport for me as an adult. I started with a beginners class at a local club back in 2000 and have enjoyed it ever since. It is such a social sport ( you have to play with at least one other person for a singles match!) that my husband & I have made many friends and continue to socialize thru mixed doubles matches and get togethers as well as our own teams. Most tennis clubs have beginners programs where you can start with others at your own level. I… Read more »
Keith
Keith
2 years 8 months ago
I started my fitness quest in November 2012 with one of my goals to become a better golfer. For me that identity aspect is easy, even as someone who is 5’8″, 150. Lifting a lot, eating a more primal diet, and lots and lots of stretching has gotten me from not being able to touch my toes, to being able to palm the ground. I always think about cultivating the Tiger Woods or Adam Scott body. It is unlikely I ever get to their level, but that isn’t the point. Major improvements in strength and flexibility along with better stamina… Read more »
Elysia
Elysia
2 years 8 months ago

My inner athlete is gravity defying. I imagine being able to move my body in any way that I want to despite gravity’s pull. Probably some sort of gymnast-ballerina-yoga-parkour-ninja. I think I’ll start by increasing my strength and flexibility 🙂

In the meantime, my husband and I have decided to take an introductory archery course.

Sigmoid
Sigmoid
2 years 8 months ago
I feel sport has suffered a lot over the last 50 years. With the advent of electronic media and the commercialization of the Olympics and other major sporting events, sports have gone from body culture to an ultimately destructive obsession. I cringe when I hear people talking about how a 23 year old athlete is “growing too old for competition”, or about all the performance-enhancing drug use and the fascist methods used to fight it. Being a top-class athlete is no longer in line with the Greek ideal of a healthy mind in a healthy body. It has a lot… Read more »
ChrisW
ChrisW
2 years 8 months ago
Wise words – we are all beautiful and blessed with physical bodies of infinite complexity and capability. Our bodies do the most amazing things all the time, and I believe that as a race our diversity has been key to our survival. We are the enlightened and lucky few – so sad that so many people are at war with their own bodies. My 6 year old daughter is lean, light and runs barefoot like the wind – I’ve never seen a more natural, fluid runner. Because she’s not confident doing conventional sport she thinks she’s “useless at P.E.”. This… Read more »
dmunro
dmunro
2 years 8 months ago
I like to shake my ass, dance is great fun, it’s my religion. I also like to be strong, lift weights. It’s all good. I used to walk everywhere and enjoy the view. Now I drive to work and walk for exercise. You see so much when you move at a human pace. I wish I could do parkour but I think I’m too old now. I’d have loved it. It looks so expressive. Yoga is a nice meditation. I’ve learned not to push too hard. You have your whole life to learn how to move. Don’t hurt yourself. Listen… Read more »
Virginie
2 years 8 months ago

I just finished the book “the sports gene” by David Epstein. He stresses as well the large variety of body types. For example, long forehands are a must for certain ball sports but short forehands are a great advantage for weight-lifting.
He goes even further by saying that certain athletes are gifted with high training response while others cannot handle high training volume.
There is no one-size-fits-all even at the highest level

Jim
2 years 7 months ago

Awesome post, thanks for showing those images, they are very encouraging!
I’m tall and thin, but a decent boxer. Athletes definitely come in all shapes and sizes.

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