Sunday, August 26, 2007

Positives and negatives of being an athlete

My earliest memory in my life involved a form of athletics. While doing a life time regression chart I was ask to go back as far as possible and recall my first memory. Well it turned out that my first memory, that I could possible recall, was running through a park in Pampa, Texas when I was 2 years old. My mother confirmed this age and remembered it well, since she said that is all I would do is run, run, run. So, I am sure she became weary of having to contain me or chase me, but regardless she had vivid memories of this. Now as I go through the memory jog of my life I see that some form of athletics has always been in my life, so society puts me in the category of an "athlete." Whether it be team sports, or individual sports I am there and all over it. Being an athlete has given me an opportunity to put my God given talents to use either in competitive team sports or some individual sports that I like. It has been fun to compete in something athletically since I was 10 years old and then to still be competing in something 58 years later. That again would be the beautiful part of the sport of triathlon, in that you can still compete, no matter the age, and be welcomed into the field of competition just like the overall winners. So, with that being said I would say I am thankful to be called an athlete and have enjoyed it for sometime. The many positives of this designation are way too many to mentioned but I must mention a few so I can make my point in this writing. Being an athlete means, generally, that you will put your body to use in the field of competition with it being well trained and conditioned to compete at the highest possible level, no matter the sport. This also means that as an athlete one would put out the maximum effort possible to prepare for the ultimate test of competition. During that preparation, depending on the sport, there maybe pain, injury, sickness, depression, poor weather, poor coaching, poor attitude, etc. But regardless of these negative the athlete pushes on and achieves his/her goal of competing to the utmost. On the positive side the athlete is doing something they enjoy, is being recognized as an athlete and in many societies an actual hero and is whistling along on their merry way enjoying life. In the community the athlete is generally put a notch above the non-athlete(not necessarily an attitude I agree with) and again is considered some kind of hero. On the same token the athlete thing starts acquires that "swagger" that puts them apart from the other slugs in our society. The prime example is the swagger referred to when talking about football quarterbacks. They are also called "field generals" and really have or acquire that special swagger only reserved for them. So, now maybe we have a birds eye view of this thing called an athlete and what makes them feel so special or even over rates their attitude about their position way above where it really should be in life. Now this attitude and appearance turns to a thing called arrogance, cockiness, etc. Then the only thing that can really knock this down is failure to perform, or just not living up to the standards set out their by our loving society and then being abandoned by them. The other major thing that can come along and wake the athlete up is a thing called, diminishing physical abilities caused by natural aging or major illness. When this happens it makes the playing field altogether equal, and now it is time to survive. This is also bringing my writing to the main point of typing today, many times the athlete will use his/her trained mindset to ignore the pain of illness or simply ignore some tale tale symptoms that cannot be ignored and must be addressed. A famous slogan among athletes is, "no pain, no gain." Well what I have learned about accepting the pain thrust upon me by my infamous abscessed tooth and ignoring it for nearly 3 months, is that this pain I endured was getting one step closer to some very serious health problems or even a visit from the grim reaper. So, now I have learned another valuable lesson in life in that by being the tough guy and working through pain, or even ignoring it, is not a good thing. Since this is some form of warning from the body of something being wrong, it should be addressed and taken care of. My plea to all athletes out there in competition land, is wake up and listen because your body maybe trying to tell you something that will be of benefit to your health future. On a daily basis I have someone say, "you sure don't look your age, or you are so healthy, etc." While I am thankful people would say these things I wonder what they would say if I conked over a stupid abscessed tooth. Boy, they would say, "what a waste, all he had to do was go to the dentist and get it removed, guess his athletic ego got in the way and he just wanted to work through the pain and it would go away." Regardless, I hope my loyal readers get my point and now I promise in the future to get back to something with humor in it.

While our baseball little leaguer's didn't win the World Series yesterday, they did win the hearts and minds of this community and the other people they came in contact with. They offered some humorous tidbits in their interviews. When ask by ESPN is they thought Coach Knight would win a National Championship in Texas Tech Basketball,one answered, "I think he can, he works them hard enough, and if they don't do what he says,he throws something at them!!"



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