It's All in the Genes

You might not know this, but the fact is that we're all born to be athletes—it's hardwired into our genes, woven into a complicated twisting of our DNA with those double helixes and molecules. You might make deeply personal choices about exercise and fitness, but participation in sport—actively or even as a spectator—connects us to who we intrinsically are, biologically, chemically, spiritually, and socially.

I've thought a lot about what happen when we watch elite runners, gymnasts, swimmers, or football players run that fast, jump that high, or show that kind of strength and grace. Invariably, we're amazed and awed. Something in us is moved at a very deep level. We're inspired. We want to be like them. We find that our bodies connect us in that moment. The body might be the most wonderful thing on earth, especially when it comes to linking us together with our common past.

The reasons that this urge, this spirit, well-up within us are because it's familiar—in the truest sense of the word: the athlete we're watching is an ancient family member who shares our DNA and its network of potentialities. This mysterious drive weaves its way into our consciousness, because at our core, we are all athletes.

Do you consider yourself athletic? Even if you don't, have you experienced the vicarious high of watching top athletes compete?