According to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, an athlete is “a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring strength, agility, or stamina”. The CrossFit definition of an athlete is a bit tighter. The CrossFit definition of an athlete is “a person who is trained or skilled in strength, power, balance and agility, flexibility, and endurance”. The CrossFit model holds “fitness”, “health”, and “athleticism” as strongly overlapping constructs. For most purposes they can be seen as equivalents.
What if I don’t want to be an athlete; I just want to be healthy? You’re in luck. We hear this often, but the truth is that fitness, wellness, and pathology (sickness) are measures of the same entity, your health. There are a multitude of measurable parameters that can be ordered from sick (pathological) to well (normal) to fit (better than normal). These include but are not limited to blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, body fat, muscle mass, flexibility, and strength. It seems as though all of the body functions that can go awry have states that are pathological, normal, and exceptional and that elite athletes typically show these parameters in the exceptional range. The CrossFit view is that fitness and health are the same thing. It is also interesting to notice that the health professional maintains your health with drugs and surgery each with potentially undesirable side effect whereas the CrossFit Coach typically achieves a superior result always with “side benefit” vs. side effect.
This article is courtesy of the CrossFit Journal, Understanding CrossFit