The shadow side of the Athlete archetype is characterized by the illusion of staying forever young and strong. It can lead to abusing the body and emphasizing certain parts, often driven by societal pressures and expectations. The competitive nature of athletes can also become a manifestation of being separated from others, as the constant pursuit of victory may create a sense of rivalry and division.
On the other hand, the light side of the Athlete archetype is rooted in the cosmic understanding of oneness and acceptance. It recognizes that all organs of the body must work together in harmony for the good of the whole, encompassing the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit towards holism. The focus shifts from improving performance and oneself to recognizing that the pursuit of perfection can sometimes send a false message that we are never enough. Instead, in the light, the Athlete archetype is about doing one's best, building a strong body and spirit in a balanced and holistic manner.
The Athlete archetype in the real world is a reflection of the light and shadow aspects. It challenges athletes to strive for excellence while recognizing the importance of balance and acceptance. It reminds athletes to be mindful of the impact of their actions on their bodies, minds, and the larger interconnected community. By embracing the light side of the Athlete archetype, athletes can transcend the limitations of the shadow aspects and cultivate a more holistic and integrated approach to their sports and their lives.