There’s been a slew of internet propaganda regarding the sprinters body versus the marathoner’s body. This pisses me off for 2 reasons: 1) it shows a complete misunderstanding of the body under the influence of exercise, and 2) it is body shaming.
Survivorship bias dictates that the elites in any field of athletics have the genetics to be great in that field. Not everyone is built like a stick figure. Not everyone can build muscle easily. People are great at what they do because they are made to be great. That is not to say that hard work is not involved – quite the contrary. However, the elite marathoners, cross-fitters, tennis players, and basketball players are the upper echelon because they were naturally endowed with whatever it is that is idolized in the given sport.
Now, someone who does marathons or triathlons or ballet is going to treat his or her body in a way to maximize its potential for the activity. Marathoners need to have plentiful glucose supply, and the body readily burns through it. Weight-lifters want to max out their protein to be sure muscles are always in the growth phase. Bulk on a triathlete’s body will only slow her down. Why should a marathoner max out on deadlifts? Why should a cross-fitter do a real pull up (they should, actually – sorry for the barb).
It seems as though, in this age of cross-fit, we as a culture have decided that big round muscles make a body beautiful. At first I thought this was great because I'm built more like a cross-fit girl than a ballerina. And I also thought this was a good antidote to anorexia that is induced by seeing the female body mainly represented by models and actresses. However, we need to be careful. The pendulum should not swing too far in any direction - rather than idolizing/loathing extremes of any sort, we need to simply understand and appreciate the human form in it's full spectrum.
Otherwise, it’s all just body shaming. See that ballerina above? She’s beautiful. Big deltoids would detract from her elegant lines. See that cross-fit warrior? She’s also beautiful. Tiny quads would not allow her to be competitive in her sport. There is no "this vs. that"; there is only: do your thing, dawg!!!
And there you have it. Train for what you love. Maximize your own potential, and allow athletes and all the rest to be beautiful in their own right.