Inside Modern Day Archetypes - Dissecting the Athlete

Updated on November 1, 2016

What are Archetypes? Who is the Athlete?

An archetype is a psychological term used to categorize certain personality traits and human behaviors. By discovering which archetype you are, you can uncover a world of possibilities that allow you to utilize your strengths, and help improve your weaknesses. Here we take a closer look into the archetype profile of The Athlete.

The Athlete describes a person seeking to experience life through the power and stamina of the physical body. They are often called thrill-seekers, tomboys, outdoorsmen, and competitors. Characteristics of the athlete include taking great care of and pride in one's body, enjoying physical challenges, being super competitive and socializing with other athletes.

Modern Day Archetypes

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The Life Journey of the Athlete

The life journey of the athlete is to discover a sense of personal power and identity through developing the body. Mastering the body is the foundation of the self-esteem for the athlete. Not all those who fall into this category of archetypes become professional athletes, but their passion for physical fitness prevails throughout their entire life.

Outside the professional sports arena, the athlete includes a full spectrum of activities and occupations that require constant attention to fitness. Athletes are earth people - grounded in their physical body and comfortable with their physical form.

Aging is the enemy of the athlete, and they live their lives trying desperately to avoid illness and injury. The athlete's journey is to live well, live wisely, age well and age wisely with a healthy, fit body that supports a lively mind.

The Defining Grace of the Athlete

The defining grace of the athlete archetype is endurance. Endurance is an exquisite force that provides you with the will to do the impossible and to carry on through the most difficult times in life. Endurance is a type of grace that emerges when the task before you is a long road ahead or requires a full commitment of heart, mind and soul. Endurance can keep you on task and help you reach your goals. Endurance inspires you when you are at your weakest moments and builds upon itself - showing you that you can endure anything. Endurance teaches you that you are stronger than you have ever imagined.

Unique Challenges for the Athlete

The biggest challenge that faces this archetype is injury or illness. The athlete thrives off of their ability to engage in physical activity, and anything that keeps them from doing that affects them mentally, as well as physically.

As an athlete, one's primary responsibility is to keep the body in peak shape. Every athlete will encounter times that they need to heal their body - part of utilizing the assets of the athlete includes knowing how to heal and recover from injury and sickness. The challenge of the athlete is to stay aligned with one's natural center - paying attention to when you are at your best, and when you need self-care.

Universal Lessons for the Athlete

The universal lesson for this archetype is to confront the vulnerability of the body, and therefore, the impermanence of life itself. The athlete archetype reaches its peak early in life, unlike other archetypes. The societal pressure to stay young is a far greater challenge for the athlete archetype than the actual process of aging. For the athlete, cultivating a balanced mind is as beneficial as cultivating a vital physical lifestyle.

Archetypes are the Window into Our Soul

Behavior Patterns and Characteristics of the Athlete

Here is a list of traits that can be commonly found in the athlete:

  • You exercise regularly
  • Staying fit is a vital part of your lifestyle
  • You take great care of your body
  • You hold nutrition sacred
  • You enjoy competition
  • You organize your life around fitness and physical activities
  • Your job involves sports, physical fitness or health
  • You spend your free time outdoors - running, hiking, cycling, swimming and more

The Inner Shadow of the Athlete

The bully archetype is the inner shadow of the athlete. The bully likes to intimidate others, takes competition too seriously, and looks to improve his self-worth by diminishing others' self-esteem. Weakness makes the athlete nervous, because they fear vulnerability. The inner shadow of the athlete has deep roots in fears of defeat, humiliation, and domination. Because these fears are so prominent in the psyche of the athlete, the bully becomes a strike force seeking to take down potential targets as soon as they are identified.

The athlete places so much emphasis on their physical strength that anyone who challenges them becomes an enemy who needs to be defeated.

Archetype Poll

Do you consider yourself an athlete?

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Tapping Into the Power of the Athlete

Athletes pride themselves on their power, strength and agility. Here is a list of guidelines and practices for cultivating all aspects of the athlete archetype:

  • Stay current - new research constantly changes the way we view the human body, and the more you know, the better you can utilize this information to your advantage
  • Be inspired - find athletes who inspire you and learn from them
  • Pace yourself - overexertion is easy for this archetype; pace yourself or you will burn yourself out
  • Cross-train - mix up your physical activity routine to avoid getting stuck in a rut
  • Broaden your interests - don't allow the athlete archetype to put you in a box; find hobbies outside of this area so you can continue to meet new people and find new passions

The athlete archetype is power personified. The key is to managing your power effectively and efficiently. Here are some helpful ways to harness the power of the athlete archetype:

  • Stick to a routine
  • Encourage others
  • Be an example
  • Be a mentor
  • Expand your mind as well as your body

How the athlete loses their power:

  • Pushing their body beyond the limit
  • Being an athlete only in the mind
  • Being a bad sport
  • Believing exercise is always the best medicine

For all athletes, utilizing their strength and power can improve their lives overall. Through their commitment to their own physical well being and self-care, they can help set new standards of personal health and responsibility for one's self. Athletes can change the world for the better.

Archetypes Can Empower Us to Be Better Versions of Ourselves

Lifestyle Challenges that Face the Athlete

The question on the mind of every person who fits the athlete archetype is "who am I other than an athlete?" The training and discipline it takes to be in peak physical condition leaves little time for other activities and hobbies. The competitive life of most athletes is a short time period in their life, so for professionals and dedicated amateurs nearing the end of their career, it is imperative to make plans for the next phase of their lives.

A challenge for the athlete is realizing who they are outside of athletics. We are all more than one single thing. Discovering these other strengths is essential for the success of those who are prominently athlete archetypes.

Questions & Answers

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      • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
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        Kathleen Odenthal 4 years ago from Bridgewater

        Thanks Billy!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Interesting and well-written. What I like most about this article is that it isn't normal or mundane. Nice job of tackling a new topic.

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