If you have a body, you are an athlete

I love that statement. I ran across it when reading about Nike’s recent shoe designed specifically for Native Americans. The most surprising fact:

It will be distributed solely to American Indians; tribal wellness programs and tribal schools nationwide will be able to purchase the shoe at wholesale price and then pass it along to individuals, often at no cost.

The company anticipates selling at least 10,000 pairs and raising $200,000 for tribal programs.

Talk about a commitment to creating more athletes!

You might argue that Nike doesn’t have a peerless history, but I think the overall impact of the company is positive. How many people have been inspired to get out there and “just do it,” to get outside and get active? Coupled with good nutrition, consistent physical activity is the best way to shape, strengthen, and vitalize your body. There’s simply no better way to prevent illness than to enliven the athlete in your body.

Apple Green

I love to see efforts like this that target neglected niches in the world of health and fitness. I’ve seen a similar trend happening in the world of cycling over the last few years. I’ve been an avid cyclist for years now, and I make it my preferred transportation option as often as I can. When folks ask me about what bike they should choose for their style of riding, I always make the same point: make sure the bike fits. No matter how nice the bike, you won’t ride it if it’s not comfortable. Once upon a time, you could either get a beach cruiser or road racing bike. Nowadays, there are a dizzying array of bicycle designs, and more importantly, there are bikes made specifically for women or folks who are BIG and tall. Better yet, the number of custom bike builders only increases over time, giving the customer complete control over the fit, handling and utility of their bike (check out Sweetpea Bicycles for instance, which makes bikes specifically for women here in Portland).

Wait, what about that title? If you have a body, you are an athlete. At some point in high school, I realized that I wanted to always be an athlete in body and mind. In other words, I wanted to get the absolute best about both aspects of my development. I hope that others see this in themselves, too. I think that each person has the ability to define what “athlete” means in their own life, and to take the steps required to become that athlete. Until someone develops a pill to mimic exercise, being comfortable in your shoes or on your bike is requisite for you to develop an activity routine.

So cheers to you Nike, for helping another neglected population get out there and just do it. I hope it is a rousing success and influences other companies to follow your lead.

Discovered via BHIC blog


  1. Kudos for highlighting Nike’s plans for making anyone an athelete. Everyone has the power to insight change.

    A few places around Portland are doing just that: the Bike Commute Challenge, hosted by Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Check out what they did to motivate us couch potato types.



  2. Nancy

    Very uplifting! I put that on a desktop sticker. A bike used to be my freedom along with my feet. My family had no car and we lived far outaway on a farm. Working in the city I biked miles to work and back out to the country. Later I gained weight and one day a bunch of kids circled me screaming Oink Oink Oink Pig on a Stick. It was the last time I ever rode a bike or jogged or did anything in public …

  3. Kimberly Ann, I love the BTA! I’m a card-carrying member starting early this year. They rock.

    Nancy, I’m glad to inspire you! I hope you can find the courage to literally get back in the saddle. Your health and well-being is so much more important than anything anyone says about you. Cheers!

  4. Give me an old cool bicycle, and I’ll ride around the city for days.

  5. lisa

    As a Native American, I love the Nike shoe, we were part of the photo shoot for the unvailing of the shoe,we both are cyclist too.My daughter is preparing for Nationals again this year ,to be held at the ADT Velodrom in L.A.
    If anyone would like to contribute to her travel fund, please contact us.

  1. 1 It’s all just for fun « Corporate Naturopathy

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