The latest nike advert (2021, The Toughest Athletes) expresses a powerful message that aligns intricately alongside Human Phenomena's core beliefs and values. It highlights a concept exploring all humans as being considered an athlete. That, even at our most primal, the physical and psychological aspect of life is something we may all take advantage of.
Although in many ways, life can be considered much more complex than sport, athletes train consistently for event after event with recovery and training on a repetitive cycle. Is this not precisely how life works? Waking up each morning to perform, sleeping each night to recover, eating each day to support both the performance and recovery processes.
As humans, we are an organism of both mechanical and psychological complexities, yet rarely step outside our day to day mindlessness to focus inwardly and upon our own needs to ensure we can have optimal wellness and performance. Although you may not be competing in the Olympics, or running a marathon, you are experiencing a long distance event of its very own unique nature with multiple disciplines and demands. LIFE!
So can you be an athlete? That depends. What is an athlete?
Nike’s advert may be speaking towards a single demographic, however this opens the vision to see more than sporting heroes as the athletes.
An athlete is a person who moves, listens to their body, feels their pain and pushes through the barriers and overcomes things they never thought they could or have experienced before. They earn each and every win and ultimately get the job done. To be clear, getting the job done does not mean to always be succeeding. It means taking both wins and losses. Picking yourself up, brushing yourself off and when you are ready, moving forwards.
It’s truly inspirational to see the short clips, the powerful images of mothers exercising, competing and winning. But does it not go deeper than this?
To do all those things that are defining a mother as an athlete, have to be consistent in application. The same goes for a student, a chef or a nurse who are all pushing to get it done. A police officer, a firefighter and a teacher who are out there earning every win and brushing off the losses. The mothers and the fathers waking up each day, being a part of something that is bigger than themselves. And all those other incredible human beings, who without fail, strive forward each and every day.
To do this, it requires more than a mindset. It requires belief and a choice. Belief, both in yourself and what you stand for. A choice, to turn up and do what it takes, no matter what.
Not everyone is an athlete in sport or life. But I believe anyone can be. They just have to make the choice.
Well-being and Performance Coach