For Model Karlie Kloss, Fitness Is Life

Karlie Kloss wears a lot of hats: supermodel, programmer, BFF to Taylor Swift. But one of the most deserving labels Karlie Kloss has that might not be as obvious? Athlete. Don't believe us? Just check out the recent Adidas campaign, Unleash Your Creativity. In it, we see Kloss balancing on one leg — on a medicine ball, no less — while in full battle-rope mode. If that doesn't scream athlete to you, Kloss is here to change your perception and tell you that you are also an athlete; we all are.

I was lucky enough to spend some time around Kloss during a hosted trip to the Adidas headquarters in Germany. Kloss was friendly, passionate, strong, and down to earth. During a panel, she touched on what it meant to her to be an athlete. "What is so amazing is that the idea of an athlete is ever-changing. It is unique to every one of us," Kloss said. "It's a mindset and discipline and focus to just be better every day, no matter what you are doing."

And Kloss herself can attest that women are doing a lot, so much so that the idea of working out, whether it's getting that run in or making it to a yoga class, seems downright impossible. "I am constantly on the go and this idea of staying active starts in my mind — it's a mental game," she said. "It's about discipline and focus, but it also means being OK with not being perfect." For Kloss, discipline means fitting in workouts and self-care whenever she can. It's a few calm minutes each day for reflection or meditation, it's a late-night session at the gym while she battles jetlag, and it's a trip to her favorite local studio in whichever city she finds herself in. Whatever you have to do, Kloss urged the small crowd to just "do the damn thing" and "find the drive to hold yourself responsible and go further." She also reminded us that on days where it truly is impossible to work out, you should never beat yourself up about it because tomorrow is always the day to start fresh.

Still, finding that inner drive can be hard, so it also helps to look beyond the vanity of exercise. "Fitness is my breath. If I don't break a sweat, I feel suffocated," Kloss said. "It's not about how I look; it's how about how I feel, how I think. I am a better person because of it. I can be more creative."

While it's easier said than done, keep in mind that a few years ago Kloss had never even run a mile. Now she can boast that she's done the Paris half-marathon. "Each one of us are so unique and not athletes by textbook definition," she said. "But we are authentic to who we are and what we're passionate about, and that is key to finding the athlete inside of yourself."