”I don’t look like an athlete anymore”...something I often hear from former athletes.
Have you ever said that or felt it? You know what...it’s tough to walk through; I won’t sugarcoat it. Been there!
Two things I want to discuss here:
1. What it means to “look” like an athlete
2. Does your body stay the same your entire life
1. I don’t “look” like an athlete anymore...
I hear frustration from so many athletes; they no longer “look or feel" like an athlete & sadly, seem embarrassed & have lost part of their identity.
I’ve been there! Because I didn’t “look” like the athlete, I once did. Would they believe me?
What does an athlete “look” like anyway? Society has generalizations of what an athlete should look like. Any athlete knows it’s less about how you LOOK and more about what you can DO! At least it should be.
No matter how you feel about your body, that doesn’t diminish your accomplishments as an athlete. They still count!
Your body doesn’t need to justify you were an athlete. You worked hard for all you achieved, and that can't be taken away!
2. Your body probably HAS changed and will continue, shocking it's supposed to. Yes, sometimes not always in a way you don’t like, but it probably then change again. And when it stops, you cease to exist.
Change is hard; accepting your body will change is hard. We’re not static; we’re human beings!
My body has changed A LOT, from a D1 level athlete to battling an eating disorder, the leanest yet unhealthiest version of myself. Recovery added weight, and so did pharmacy school stress. I found fitness again and a gold medal, but I was challenged with injuries. My body and weight have changed a span of 50+ pounds from my leanest to today!
But, I am more grateful for my body now than ever for my “athlete body.” I don’t always love it. But I appreciate it and know I am much healthier.