What is an athlete?
If you open a dictionary and browse under the main definition of the word “Athlete”, this is what you’ll find:
1) A person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.
2) A person who takes part in competitive track and field events (athletics).
The version you have in your dictionary might be worded slightly differently, but the point is the same: we associate this term with incredible physical prowess and abilities.
However, does this definition truly describe the essence of an athlete?
Stick to that dictionary: it invites you to look at the origins of the word. Unsurprinsingly, it stems from the Greek “athlon”, “athlein”. Respectively “prize” and “to compete for a prize”. It’s very much in line with the second part of said definition.
However, this vision doesn’t fully encompass the essence of what makes an athlete.
What really makes an athlete?
There is an athlete within us all. One that isn’t just defined by physical abilities.
Being an athlete is first and foremost a mindset.
It is the drive, discipline, determination and passion to reach the goal you have fixed yourself. Besides that, it is the attitude you will choose to adopt in the face of adversity; the choices you will make to get to the finish line; the solutions you opt for to overcome challenges. How you use your skills to push forward in life and in your craft.
An athlete’s state of mind: eyes are always on the prize. Keep your goal in sight. Examine the terrain. Define the best strategy that will get you to the finish line.
An Artful Athlete
Theartfulathlete.com is born from my desire to celebrate the inner athlete within us. People I consider everyday athletes, and their imaginative feats: men and women who put all their energy into giving flesh to their vision. Go getters who hustle, think, research, create and follow a path of their own making. Their passion is only matched by their determination.
Here’s to Unsung Artists of every possible industry combined:
If you feel this is a way of life you would love to join and celebrate, then this blog is for you. Chef, barista bartender working long hours creating, perfecting and presenting the fruit of your labour? Writers spending nights putting thoughts and ideas to paper? Teachers and coaches dedicating time and energy into assisting people to become their best selves? Actors, directors, dancers, crew and artists of both stage and screen?… The list is endless.
You who strive to constantly push forward, jump hurdles, climb heights; who spend days and nights developing your art; you are the ones I wish to assist and celebrate. On this blog, you will find reviews, recommendations and portraits of Artful Athletes, as well as thoughts, advice and council.
How is theartfulathlete connected to performance?
As theatre practitioners, actors, directors, performers… we are constantly invited to draw strength and inspiration from the people, places and elements around us. Our practice encourages us to put this world under a microscope. The final product we present to the audience is a mirror of our own making. After having observed, we choose a channel or filter that will cause a response, a reaction.
Because of the nature of this work, performers can get injured or find themselves in a mental place that hinders their daily life and ultimately their practice. Theartfulathlete.com and its founder invite performers to look at their creative construction (mental, physical, emotional) through a lens of mindfulness and wellbeing. It is time to step out of the traditional movement and breath methods we are familiar with, embrace elements of other sister-disciplines and apply them to our art and practice.
Athletes often train alone, however they also know they have a shoulder to lean on: it has many names – coach, mentor, mum, dad, sister, brother, lover, friend…
Above all, the Artful Athlete is a space for you to draw energy from when the dark place looms. I do hope you will find in those words and ramblings comfort, motivation and strength to reach your goals and conquer the world. No matter the destination you have chosen, The Artful Athlete will be there to remind you to “strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”.