What Does it Mean to be Athletic? (Ep. 5 Transcript and Show Notes)

Strong Athletic Podcast Episode 5: What Does it Mean to be Athletic?


Hey, y’all. A quick disclaimer before the show. In this show we talked about athleticism in playing sport, and your ability to do so. And I didn't mention this during the podcast, but this does rely heavily on factors such as what your body is capable of doing, where you’re living, if you're able to play sport in the country where you are, if you have control over your own time. So with that being said, I hope that you enjoy today’s podcast.

(Music by the Little Bicycles)


Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Strong Athletic Podcast. This is your host, Nadia Kean. I am so stoked to be here with you all. It's been a minute since I made the last Strong Athletic Podcast. And I have so many concepts that I want to share with you all. If this is your first time joining me, first I want to say welcome. I'm super stoked that you’ve joined us.

The Strong Athletic Podcast is put on by my t-shirt company, Strong Athletic. And Strong Athletic is basically a company that really understands the power of sport. We understand what sport can do for humans in the world when nothing else can do that for them. We understand how sport can bring people together when otherwise they have massive amounts of differences. And we just love sport.

As one of my friends, Jumpy Mickey, recently said to me, sport transcends language. And it's totally true. You can pick up a ball, or put on a pair of roller skates, or go play capoeira, or go swimming with people that you don't speak the same language with. But yet through the act of doing your sport, you can communicate. And I think that is so powerful.

Oftentimes, sports are joked about because the goal is arbitrary. You know? It's to win a game or to be the best at something. And ultimately it’s not about life or death. But here’s the thing. In the world there are so many things that we put too much focus on and they really don't have any meaning. And so, why not put a lot of focus towards sport? I don't know about you, but when I am playing sport and I'm in the zone and I'm super focused on the sport and the outcome of what I'm doing, I don't think about anything else. And in a way that's meditative. It's quite beautiful. So, sport. I love it.


So today’s knowledge to be passed on is about this concept that I hear about. It’s when people talk about a person's athleticism. Now my company is called Strong Athletic. And many times, I think that the word ‘athletic’ in my company's name is actually a barrier to people identifying with my brand. ‘Athletic’ is basically to be of a sport, to be an athlete. And to be an athlete is to be anything that is involved with the sport. And when I think of the word ‘athletic,’ I think that we use the word too narrowly. And right now there's a lot of humans that are doing a lot of damage for people that could potentially use that word, ‘athlete.’ And they're making it seem like it's this elite concept. We can look on to the word ‘athletic’ and we can look on to athletes, but we will not ourselves be that because we haven't achieved what others have achieved. I think that this use of the word ‘athletic’ is hurtful to people. I think that it's damaging. And I think that it really has the propensity to push people away from sport and athletics.

So we're going to talk about the word ‘athletic’ and ‘athlete.’ And we're going to talk about how it's used incorrectly by people in sport, particularly coaches and athletes, and how we want to see if we can resolve this problem because it has the potential to keep people from sport or to keep people from feeling that pure happiness that they get from playing sport.

So when I started the Strong Athletic Podcast, one of the reasons I started it was because I didn't have a resource like this for myself. And because I couldn’t find that resource, I decided to establish it for others. And the resource is a product or a book or a podcast or radio show or something where I could learn how to coach people better and people can learn how to get coached better. And I think that it's becoming more common to learn how to coach humans, but I think it's still less common to learn how to be coached.

So a friend of mine, Liz Record, she's a PT in Austin and she's also a former rowing coach. She's totally brilliant. One of the best coaches I've ever had. She gave me a handful of books that she must have gotten early on in college. And the photos in these books are amazing. They look like they're from the 80s, but apparently the book was published in 2005, so I'm not really sure why there's like a 10 year gap in all of the photos. But she gave me some books on coaching. And so, apparently I wasn't looking hard enough. There are books on coaching. aAnd I was flipping through the different coaches’ chapters and what these different various coaches had to say. And then I stopped at something. This coach was talking about looking at the people that she coached and finding the true athletes.


And so what I want to ask is, “What is a true athlete?” And this is where coaching and laziness come together. So a true athlete, I think for many coaches, is somebody that they don't have to coach. You know? What is a true student? What is a true singer? What is a true musician? What is a true engineer? Like, what? That word ‘true’ in front, I think that that is an abbreviation for, “This person is already intuitively good at this. I don't have to work so hard to coach them.” So think about it. If you're a coach listening to this podcast today, first, hey y’all. How's it going? Thanks for listening. And second, coaching is complicated. Period.

I was in capoeira last night. And my instructor, such a good coach, but I even watched him get a little flustered in the moment because some of us weren't picking up what we needed to fast enough. And there wasn't a ton of time for him to slow down the process and teach us. And this is this very experienced trainer who's been coaching for years. And I even watched him get slightly frust