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Are you an athlete?

After five decades of playing sports and competing in endurance events, I call myself an athlete. My name is Jamey Yon, and I grew up as an active kid, playing lots of golf and competing in school team sports.  In college, with encouragement from my brother, I decided to buy a bike, some goggles, and some running shoes to compete in our first triathlon. The year was 1986, and I'm now 53 years old with 30 plus years of training and competing in triathlons and running events. I live in Waxhaw, NC with my wife and 5 kids, and I am the owner of TRiYon Performance, a multi-sport coaching business. I have been fortunate to coach triathletes and runners of all ages for the last 12 years. I get to share my experiences with others and encourage people in their personal fitness journeys. I still consider myself an athlete and always will. So how would you answer that question, am I an athlete? 

Athleticism is defined as the physical qualities that are characteristic of athletes, such as strength, fitness, and agility. Do you exemplify these qualities? I'm sure some people would say yes and some people would say no. Well, as an athlete and a coach, I can confidently say that we are ALL athletes. We have different levels of athleticism whether we recognize it or not. As I help people navigate their fitness goals, every person discovers his or her own athletic abilities when they make that first step. To say you aren't an athlete is admitting defeat before you step forward into movement of any kind. Once a person puts into action an exercise routine or starts to train for an event, they quickly discover a level of fitness. It may be as simple as taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator. You may have less fitness than others, but you do have it! As you continue, the motivation begins to build like a rolling snowball. The positive changes you experience will keep your energy flowing, and you will inspire others.

My family and I recently watched a movie called Overcomer about a young lady who was ill-equipped to run but persevered despite many obstacles, including asthma.   She soon finds the joy and purpose in her running as she succeeds and fails and discovers who she is in Christ. The movie is an inspiring story and just another example of how our Creator has designed us to move. We should always use our bodies for His glory and not our own.

Lifestyle changes are challenging and uncomfortable at times, but the reward is sweet. Our bodies are not designed for sitting at desks and driving automobiles. We are a society of conveniences with the purpose of being less physical rather than more. Look to your Creator for inspiration, not at others or at social media for comparison. Start simple and gain strength and momentum as you go. You will not feel inspired every day but the uncomfortable process of growing in strength and fitness reaps great reward.

Bring the family and come join me at the Yon Bons 5k on Feb 29th in Charlotte at Rea Farms!  The "Extra Day 5k"  what will you do on your "Extra day?"