As anyone who has worked in a gym for more than six months will probably know, people tend to be somewhat overly optimistic about how much weight they can lose and how long it will take them to do it, especially when holiday time looms.
What defines a great sportsperson? There is the obvious answer; being very good, exceptional, at their chosen sport. There are many world class sportsmen and women. I define world class as being of a high enough level of competency to compete on the world stage, regardless of the sport.
Every four years, athletics becomes a global event as a city host the Olympics. Hundreds of athletes representing countries from all over the world gather in one location for a two-week spectacle of speed, strength, endurance, skill and mental fortitude. Though the athletes represent a country, most of the young men and women who compete do so individually, even often times competing against fellow countrymen. With the exception of a few team events, athletics is the ultimate individual sport.
One of the elements that attract people most to a concept, idea or course of action is its possible ease of execution. Given the choice of two possible options, people usually opt for the easier one, whether that ease is financial, time saved or physical exertion depends entirely on the individual in questions view of what is easiest.
The vast array of diets and exercise plans with the promise of rapid results feeds into that human desire for the easiest route. Adverts for meal replacement drinks, point system diets, twelve weeks to a bikini body, lose ten pounds in a fortnight, plus the ever popular before and after pictures of people losing ten, twenty and even thirty kilos, help to fuel the notion that it is easy.
As I travel home from a post-work training session, happy that I was coerced into joining a track session, I now know the scale of the task ahead of me. I have an inkling of a plan to compete in Masters athletics once again, it gave me a target, a definite goal to aim for. Having not raced for nearly a decade, my training has been very generalised, no specific aim except to retain a modicum of fitness.
I have a confession to make. After all my proclamations about being healthy and how mental health is paramount for any and every individual’s happiness, it turns out I only care about how fitness makes me look. As well as being fit, I like to look the part as well. It is partly my ego and looking better makes me feel better.
It is probably over a decade since I was fighting fit. I have always been fit for purpose, but not since I last competed on the track have I been the model professional or set an example as a beacon of health and fitness. A lot of it can be put down to complacency and a certain level of comfort zone embracing. One settles into a routine, living life on automatic pilot.
Being in the fitness industry, you would consider it is a given that I like sports and you would be right, I do like sport. Though I like sport and enjoy watching certain sports, I am not a lover of sport like some of my friends and peers. I, of course, being a kickboxing instructor, enjoy and appreciate combat sports. I know what it is to face someone in a ring, what getting punched feels like, what is required, fitness wise, to be a fighter.
With so much information available at our fingertips, we are able to research or find out about any subject with a few taps on a keyboard. As scarily omnipresent as it is, Google is one of the best resources available for modern living, with so many of us utilising it daily and in some cases, multiple times. Everything from recipes to racing cars, places to pictures are searched for online.
The question that comes up often when it comes to gifted or talented individuals, whether it is in the sporting field, business or academia, is whether it is nature or nurture that has helped to forge them. We humans like an explanation, it is just how our brains work. As much as we can accept that some are obviously more blessed in their genetic makeup, whether that be physically or mentally, we still want to and need to look beyond that. If we were to believe that there was some inherent predisposition to a skill, thus making it impossible for anyone who does not possess that particular gene to acquire such skill, the human race would never progress.
This is a question for the pet owners: how much ice cream do you give to your dog or cat? How about chocolate? Donuts? Microwave meals occasionally, no? How about a nice bit of fruit cordial? I am being facetious of course, no self-respecting pet owner would feed any of those foods to their beloved pooch or kitty. They’re not trying to kill them. We mostly save such great foods for ourselves and our children.