Own It

Badass Is the New Skinny has been dedicated to my journey to become a badass. But “badass” seems to have been lost in translation. Then, today, I had my ah-ha! moment when I found this blog post: Do You Call Yourself an Athlete? Here’s Why You Should.

Dieffenbach is on a mission to help her clients take back the word. “There’s an intrinsic value you get in terms of a sense of pride and feeling good about your commitment. That’s the the core of being an athlete, whether it’s for a medal or just to say, ‘Yep, I did that.’”

imagesThe whole point the blog post is trying to make is that if you are physically active at any level, you are an athlete. You don’t have to be paid for it, you don’t have to be the best, and you don’t have to even be good at it (whatever “it” is). The post goes on to say that there are very few people who will embrace this concept, and don’t consider themselves athletes. They don’t own it.

I recommend reading the whole blog post, but there are a couple of key things I got from this that made it blog-worthy for me.

  1. You say “athlete,” I say “badass.” For me, they’re the same thing – “badass” for me is strictly in the physical concept of the word. I’m not out to live the “tough guy/gal” mentality. I want to be physically strong, capable, and, well, athletic. So when reading this post about calling yourself an athlete, even if you’re not the head of the pack, I think to myself: Yeah! Own it! I don’t care if you compete in a sport or you hit the pavement solo – you’re getting your body moving.
  2. It’s about intrinsic value and pride. Intrinsic value in exercise is the internal motivation – the satisfaction from doing the activity – not so much outward or visible results. For example, someone intrinsically motivated might be someone who is motivated to exercise because when they’re done, they feel like a million bucks, and knowing that is enough to get them going. In this case, that intrinsic value – that thing that keeps you going – is pride. I think a lot of people can relate to that.

Sure, there are going to be plenty of people who disagree with this blog post. There are bound to be those with strict definitions of athlete, badass, or whatever. When it all comes down to it, I say define yourself, and be true to that.

Since I’ve started my journey to be a badass – an athlete – I’ve had my intentions questioned, misinterpreted, and misunderstood. (Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had a tremendous amount of support as well, and I’m forever grateful.) But I made a conscious choice about who and what I want to be, and though I will always try to set the record straight when people misunderstand, I know deep down that all I’m really trying to do is be the healthiest, most fit me that I can be. That’s where my intrinsic motivation comes from, and that’s where my sense of pride is.

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