Who Are You? What Makes an Athlete an Athlete?

B MacCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2009

While trying to knock roughly three birds out with one stone, I started to think of ideas for new things to write about on Bleacher Report.

It is not going well, let us just say it is a losing battle.

As it seems those three metaphorical birds are manifesting themselves in the forms of either writer's block, college English papers, or just overall sheer laziness.

These three metaphorical birds just knock me out.

So I decided to get back at those three birds out with a metaphor strewn.

A sociological and anthropological look at what makes an athlete an athlete. BONUS!

It's in the form of a poem. Enjoy.

The poem is at the end of my philosophical explanation.

If this doesn't rhyme, oh well. I was busy writing a paper and needed some inspiration.

The Who have a famous song by the name of "Who Are You?"

The title of the song is my question: Who are you?

A question that not only we all ask ourselves, but athletes ask themselves.

What defines an athlete?

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
defines an athlete as a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, and stamina.

But there is much more than the physical strength and the rest of the physical attributes.

An athlete is a warrior, and every game, match, series, and tournament is a battle.

To be an athlete not just requires physical skill and training, but mental training as well. An athlete's constitution is approximately 70 percent mental and 30 percent physical.

So, what makes an athlete an athlete?

Is it strength, conviction, desire and the fire to compete?

It is more than that as a matter of fact,

It is all that and more.

To be an athlete is to not just be a competitor,


But to be an athlete is to be human open to mistakes,

Open to criticism, errors, and bad judgment.

But yet there’s more…an almost super human quality,

To throw 90 miles an hour,

Or slap a hockey puck with great power,


Toss a football for great amounts of yardage,

Or shoot a three with finesse and poise under pressure.

We are the Warriors of Time,

We live for the battle and live for the people,

We are soldiers who light it up everyday and night,


With every game, match, and series being a another new battle,

With every point, run, goal, and touchdown scored brings new life,

There is more to us than just physical ability,

We are smart in more than more way,

We can analyze a situation, make difficult decisions.


We are in no way dumb like the stereotype says,

The decisions we make can change the game's flow,

Being an athlete is a balancing act,

Knowing when to land the finishing blow

That is what makes an athlete an athlete.


It is more than the money we play for,

Fame and infamy,


The team,

Those are just some of the reasons we play.


When we win we celebrate,

When we lose we cry,

We build a camaraderie with our teammates,

The team is worth more than the money,

Winning is all that matters.


That is what makes an athlete an athlete.

I hope I did not confuse you too much or bore you with my philosophical waxing and waning.


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