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If I ask you what it means to be an athlete? What would you say?

Will you say: “Athletes are just for those in high school, college, or professionally.  Now I’m just a retired athlete who is just a ‘stay-active person’.”

Hi my fellow retired athletes!

I know exactly how you feel, I remember going from an All-American diver in college, with my name holding all the records, to a full-time physical therapist student in graduate school for three years.  I thought to myself, well… I’m not an athlete anymore.  I guess I’m retired.  What’s the point of strength training and lifting if I’m not diving anymore?  What’s my sport now?  Studying?  I hated running, going to the gym to lift weights was a chore for me, I didn’t have a team, and I was lost.  I wanted to go back to that diver girl with rock-hard abs, medals, and mad skills spinning and twisting in the air. 

Zuzana Rogers is an All-American downhill skier, too!  Now she’s rocking it as a masters athlete for APU’s Cross Country skiing.

For full story on Democrat & Chronicle News: Click here.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade!  I joined the local gym’s yoga classes, high-intensity training classes, and followed body-buliding programs.  I became a gym rat.  

Then I discovered my new sport and passion in rock climbing while I was on my clinical rotations.  Staying fit, strong, and mobile helped me tremendously to grow my skills in rock climbing, which is another shoulders-heavy sport.  I loved it.  Then I got back into downhill skiing again, I picked up hiking steep climbs in the mountains going for more than 20 miles in one day, I started running half-marathons, I continue to rock climb indoors and outdoors, I just started learning cross-country skate skiing this month!  But what’s my trick?  I continue to practice strength training in the gym ultimately to make me stronger and fit for ANY sport ANYwhere. 

As a retired athlete, I will always be an athlete at any age, any sport, anywhere.  

What does it mean to be an athlete, you’d ask.

Being an athlete is finding what physical activity you LOVE to do right NOW and today, and continue to practice getting better and better at it everyday.  Learn from a coach, learn from a peer, learn from youtube videos, and go after it.  You’re an athlete.  No matter how old you are.  The world is your playground.  What tools do you need to get you BETTER at it?  For me, I need rock-climbing shoes, chalk, and dedication in strength training!  If you’re a skier, you will need the skis, boots, poles, and dedication in strength training!  You’re still an athlete if you’re motivated to learn new skills, practice new skills, and master new skills in any physical activity or sport that ignites your passion, love, and motivation to improve as little as 1% everyday.  

Now say it with me:

“I am an athlete.  I am strong.  I am fit.  I am motivated.  I am doing what I love to do. 

I am practicing my skills to be successful for the rest of my life as an athlete.”

Are you a “retired-athlete” looking to stay strong, or gain strength back that you have lost? Our 4-Week At-home PT-guided Program can help you get there! Less hand-holding, more empowerment and autonomy. Our Physical Therapist and Strength and Conditioning Specialist will guide you for 4-weeks, then you’ll have all the tools you need to continue the program on your own! Learn more HERE.

Natalie Snyder, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinician Specialist
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Shoulders Specialist & Female Athlete Specialist

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