I hear comments like this all the time, whether from someone about themself or about others. “Oh, but I’m not built like a runner.” “You don’t have a cyclist body.” “I’m too skinny to lift weights.”
But You Don’t Have The Body of A…
The thing is, if you do it, you are it. You have the body for it. For example, I have a bigger build than the stereotypical runner. But I’m a runner (notice I didn’t just say, “I run,” but actually said, “I’m a runner.”). And I have a build. Hence, I have the build of a runner.
Same for cycling. I don’t look like top cyclists. Yet, I have a body, and I’m a cyclist. A+B=C.
This isn’t to say if you do X and have a body, then you have the typical/ideal/professional body type for it. But does that need to matter? I’m not trying to be a world class runner. I’m just running because it’s amazing – for my body, for my mind, for the example I set for my son, etc. Do I need to have a body like Usain Bolt or Steve Prefontaine? Does not having their body mean I’m not a runner, can’t run, or shouldn’t run? Somehow, I ran to work this morning, doing 7.5 miles, and didn’t burst into flames or anything.
I am big for a cyclist. Not huge, but big. I’m more muscular in my upper body, carry more mass in my legs, and generally weigh about 40-50 pounds more than the elites. Yet somehow I did 50 miles the other day at just a hair under 20 mph. Is that elite speed? Naw. Is it good? Did I feel great? Heck yeah. Did I burst into flames then? Nope.
Granted, the amount of sweating I’m doing may be helping to keep me from spontaneously combusting despite lacking the archetypical body for these activities, but I think it’s more than the comments people make and the sentiments underlying them are what’s flawed. Not my body (or yours, or that guy running down the street).
So, don’t look at yourself in the mirror and presume you can’t ___ (fill in the blank). Look yourself in the eye, and realize that you absolutely can. Go on. Get out there, create your potential, and enlighten.your.body.