I don’t run or jog. I tried it long ago in another life and I didn’t like it. It just seemed be too jarring or something. I know many people who do jog and I see several joggers and runners on the trails and paths here. Kudos to them – it’s just not for me.

When I power walk, it’s at a pretty fast pace (for me). I walk long enough and fast enough to work up a sweat, I experience getting my second wind, and I get the endorphin rush after I’ve finished, so does that make me an athlete? Even considering that idea at my age makes me grin at the absurdity.

In my mind, the word athlete has always conjured up visions of those young, fit bodies who participate in track and field, hockey, football, baseball, weight-lifting, mountain climbing, running – those kinds of sports.

Merriam-Webster defines an athlete as : “a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.”

Blueridge Outdoors says: “The true definition of ‘athlete’ is “a person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility, and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports.” Anyone can be athletic and not have the competitive bug.”

I think I’m going to adopt the latter definition and, for the first time in my entire life, consider myself an athlete. Perhaps the little self-affirmation of, “I’m an athlete” will motivate me on days that, for whatever reason, I don’t feel like heading out. Maybe it’ll even add a bit more pep to my already brisk step. Maybe one day I’ll even jog … just kidding … no I won’t.

Photography Note: As this jogger passed me on the trail, I turned around quickly to catch a photo of her from the back. I didn’t have a lot of set up time, so the original photo was quite blown out by the sunrise. In order to deepen the colours and add some definition, I added a portrait filter and a soft contrast in Snapseed.

“Everyone is an athlete. You want to go hiking, you want to go biking, you want to go jogging or for a walk? You’re automatically an athlete.

Ali Krieger