Train Like an Athlete
I believe everyone has a moment, a situation, a time in their lives, which truly defines them as a person. Mine were Saturday mornings when I was 10 years old.
I was in my third year dancing at the prestigious School of American Ballet — an institution I am still shocked accepted a boisterous girl like myself — but which taught me great discipline, precision, and grace. I would walk through the doors of The Juilliard in my pink leotard, pink tights, and pink ballet slippers, with my hair pulled back so tightly in a bun that I thought my eyes might pop out. (A better alternative to the repercussions of having even a single hair out of place.) After two hours of pliés, pirouettes, point, and precision — all practiced in silence, other than the music from the piano in the corner and metronomic commands and claps from our Russian teacher — I felt strong and powerful.
Then, I would sprint out of the studio and into the locker room for my Clark Kent-esque change of wardrobe, and sprint back out in my bright green West Side Little League uniform and cleats, with all my pinks in tow and my hair still bunned. My dad would always be waiting downstairs with a cab ready to run me up to Riverside Park, where I would barely make it in time to catch a few warm up grounders and hop into my position at shortstop (to me, an equally prestigious placement, considering I was one of two girls on a team of over twenty boys!). Within two hours I was blissfully filthy, usually scratched up, and having a blast hooting and hollering along with the rest of the guys to cheer on our fellow teammates. I felt strong and powerful.
I realize this may be a rather unusual Saturday for a 10-year-old. I once asked my parents if they ever thought perhaps such an intense schedule was a bit much for a girl of such a young age. Both had the same response: “You think we had any say in the matter?” The simple answer was, “No way.” And in that moment I realized that this is how I have chosen to live so much of my life. Filling my time with activities I love, and never allowing myself to feel the pressure of fitting inside a singular box.
I share this story with you, in part because it holds such significance for me, but also because it captures the message of this week’s theme - Train Like an Athlete. Not only does training like an athlete take true passion, desire, and dedication, but athletes come in all forms, shapes, sizes, and ages. Whatever your passion is — it’s all you think about at night, it’s what you work at all day, and what you miss on your time-off.
Whether you’re a professional dancer, baseball or football player, a triathlete, amateur golfer, or attacking a workout routine for the first time, there are universal principles that run true both in sport and in life — to be truly successful, one must have a passion for what they are doing, the perseverance to push themselves even through failure, the fearlessness to be completely true to who they are, and the desire to find their inner and outer strength and power in all things they do.
Long Snapper Matt Katula embodied this during his 8 seasons in the NFL; fitness model and world champion triathlete Katie Bottini takes this to heart every day when she fuels herself for her 3 hours of training; Reilly Starr started her own company around what she believes in; and athletic training space Tone House is the physical embodiment of this unwavering dedication.
We challenge you to find what type of athlete you are, to follow your own passion — whatever that may be. Train like an athlete this week, and let us know how you train. Post your photos to Instagram with the hashtag #SweatAthletes, and tag @sweatlife_nyc. We are behind you, all the way.
Until next week,
Founder, CEO, and Host
The Sweat Life