To ‘be fit’ at something generally comes at a cost. Getting faster means you lose endurance. To be bigger you get less mobile. To be smaller you get less food.
Being an athlete means you have to deal with pain. Perhaps that is what draws so many of us to it. It’s that superhuman-ness again. Clark Kent is so damn boring up in his office, in his undoubtedly ergonomic chair. What a chump. Superman blasts people and absorbs blasts from evil villains. HE SAVES PEOPLE. HE SURVIVES.
Athlete’s hate to take time off. It wastes getting better time. Most only do it when forced to through injury. And then, somehow, this makes they themselves the villains.
The truth is, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ELIMINATE PAIN WHILE YOU’RE STILL PLAYING YOUR SPORT. Impossible. Drugs make it manageable, but dang, why do our Clarks have to pay the price of our Supermans? More importantly, what mind games do we play to keep repeating this pattern over and over and over again.
Was the 500lb deadlift worth the back pain for two weeks?
Was running the extra three miles worth shin splits?
Is downing 2400mg of ibuprofen a day worth playing rugby another year?
Regular people aren’t as dependent on their bodies, and though they might not treat them kind enough, they definitely don’t beat them into submission. They’d look at the scenarios listed above and see the direct correlations and obvious causality and suggest you simply stop banging your head against the wall.
The first thing most athletes say when asked why they’re still playing is “it helps me stay fit.”
MANY ARE ALSO AWARE OF THE DISCONNECT. But they disregard it.
There’s a lot more methods available to get to those means, and they know it. But a few more hours as Superman is just too darn alluring.