By Elisabeth Clay
While trying to think of what to write, my mom suggested that I answer this question:
How has my opinion of what’s it’s like to be a professional athlete changed since I started training?
Well, that one is kind of hard for me. While I’m sure little things have changed from what I originally thought of professional athletes, as a 12 year old, but the overall picture of what I think of them hasn’t. For me it’s hard because I grew up around professional athletes all my life. To me, they were just normal people who happened to put in the work to be great at their sports, art, or whatever it was they dedicated their time to. I never had this image of them like most people do. People who don’t see athletes or any recognizable person every day seem to look at professional athletes as almost “god- like,” as if they are just so freaking amazing and this and that.
The thing is, well, they may be amazing and fantastic at their given sport, but they are just people. They are people who chose a different path then most, yes, and at the end of the day you could say the top tech guy is a “god,” but he is only a “god” at his given art or job, not in general. In the big picture, he is a normal guy who decided to dedicate his time to be the best tech guy.
There Are Ways in Which They are Different:
- They dedicate more time to whatever they train.
- Their schedule is crazy; they train when others have time off (during lunch/dinner and at night and early morning, on holidays and anytime when normal people are off. They don’t get the time off others do because the work never stops. Everyone wants that edge and, if they take off, they fall behind.
- Because their hours are abnormal, it makes a normal life routine almost impossible. Their dating life or family life is everything but normal because they train on weird days and at weird times. The idea of eating at off times and even training on holidays is particularly difficult for most people. They are not able to enjoy Christmas dinner or just sit on the couch and eat ice cream because they have to go train and also watch what they eat. They train on Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day and whatever they need to train to be ready to compete.
- Their physical conditioning is spectacular, but the hours it takes to get there is much more than a 40-hour work week.
- Their pain tolerance and the amount of abuse they impose upon their own bodies is crazy.
- They have to do public relations when others are off enjoying family, friends, dating etc.
It is difficult to have a private life when, wherever you are, someone is always watching. You also eat based on what your competitive needs are — being stronger, leaner, whatever that may be. Holiday food may be no different than Tuesday food; it’s likely to be low on sugar and complex carbohydrates, but that is dependent on the person and their sport and the time of where they are in competition.
While everyone else is in a food coma, they are usually looking at you like, “what is wrong with you?”
There Are Ways in Which They are Like Us:
- We are all just people.
- We all have needs and want to be loved for who we are, not what we do.
- We all eat, and drink and sleep.
- We all make mistakes.
- We have good days and bad days.
- We have families.
- We have bills to pay and people and ourselves to take care of.
You see they are all just people, people that are amazing and phenomenal at they’re chosen thing, but people like us nevertheless. Anyway just my two cents, become your own lion/ lioness in whatever way and thing you choose. And again as always if you have questions or things you want me to touch on or anything like that DM me on instagram at ElisabethClayBJJ.