It's Saturday night- a time typically reserved for going out to restaurants, bars, the movies, and generally letting loose- and I am at home watching a Harry Potter movie. For clarification, by “night” it’s more like evening and the movie should be over in time to go to bed before many people leave to go out for the night.
This may not be the glamorous lifestyle people associate with professional athletes- certainly not the life for a typical 24 year-old- but it’s one that I’ve picked for myself. It’s a choice, not a sacrifice.
An Outside magazine article was written about the nutrition lab at one of the Olympic Training Centers. The article gave insight into the neat analysis they do for each athlete there but also about the personal nutritional choices athletes make on a daily basis. An athlete who was interviewed described her weakness as sweets. She said, “It wasn’t that I didn’t want an Oreo. I just wanted a gold medal more.” Only an athlete can make the choice between needs and wants.
There are days that I don’t want to get on the bike and would rather lay around watching movies or eating some candy. Will that make me faster? No. Your coach or nutritionist can tell you what to do till their voice is hoarse or have the most scientific, state of the art plan to follow but it doesn’t mean you’ll actually do any of it.
In last week’s post about head injuries, I wrote that an athlete is the only one who can ultimately make the call to stop competing when the time comes. That’s a choice, granted, a big one. Nobody is making anyone race a bike or play a game just like nobody is going to make you train or make you eat a salad instead of fettuccine alfredo. It’s your choice and at the end of the day you’re accountable for your actions.
This brings me back to the beginning of this post about being a hermit on a Saturday night. How? It’s a choice. Is staying out late and drinking going to make me faster? Nope. So for the time being I’ll choose to be a hermit.