#561 We’re All Athlētēs

What Contest Are YOU In?

We’ve been talking a lot about “athletes” lately—from traditional athletes going for the gold to cognitive athletes kicking their digital puffing addiction.

Well, I think it’s time we open up our dictionary and look up the word athlete. I’m curious about the ancient etymology of the word. What does the word “athlete” literally mean?

Although I originally looked this up in my old-school hardcover dictionary, we’ll go with the Apple dictionary for this one. Flip open the virtual pages via a search and we find that the word athlete is

from Greek athlētēs, from athlein ‘compete for a prize’, from athlon ‘prize’.

Actually, now that I type that out, I also want to include what my American Heritage dictionary has to say as well. Here’s what we find in there:

from Greek āthlētēs, contestant, from āthlein, to contend, possibly from āthlos, contest.


“A contestant competing for a prize.”

I LOVE that.

Two things.

1. The idea of being an “athlete” is, from my vantage point, about much more than just sports. LIFE is the ultimate sport. As such, I think we’re ALL athletes.

2. I also think we’re ALL athletes in the more traditional sense of how the word is used today in which it’s defined as “a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.” At least, if we’re serious about Optimizing our lives, I think we SHOULD all step more fully into the persona of being an “athlete” as a means to raise our standards and get our Energy where it needs to be to give our best selves to our Work and Love.


Today’s +1. Two questions.

1. What prize(s) are you going for in life?

2. How can you step into your athlete identity a little more?

High fives, my fellow athlētē. Let’s do this! 💪

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