Ross Training Blog. The full post may be read here.
The topic is the cost of training and performing at a high level. Not is the monetary sense, but the toll it takes on your body and life style.
Is it worth it? Only the individual can answer for himself.
I recently read an article from the elitefts.com website that
highlighted the lives of several former powerlifters. And while I have
no personal interest in powerlifting, I thoroughly enjoyed their
journalistic piece. Before I explain my reasoning, you may wish to first
read the article at the following link:
Price of the Platform
As you will see throughout, many of these lifters sacrificed their
lives for the sport that they loved. They essentially put aside work,
health, and personal relationships in pursuit of their passion. Now,
several years later, many of these lifters continue to pay the price.
Several suffer from past injuries and are addicted to pain medications.
Their quality of life has forever been changed based on the decisions
that they made as young lifters.
Was it worth it?
After reading such an article, it is human nature to ponder whether
such sacrifices were worthwhile in the end. In fact, after sharing the
elitefts story on Facebook, I had several readers ask me that exact
question. Many young athletes wanted to know how much they should
sacrifice. How much is too much? I heard from football players, boxers,
mixed martial artists, lifters, and more.
Unfortunately, I did not have a worthwhile response for any of them.
It is not my place to decide how much an athlete should give to his
sport. Each individual must be comfortable with the sacrifices that he
makes in pursuit of his goals. You need to decide for yourself, and
there is no right or wrong answer. The correct answer for you is one
that you are comfortable making once you understand the risks that
accompany such a decision.
Speaking as a boxing coach, I enjoyed the powerlifting article
primarily because the journalists did not hold anything back. There was
no sugarcoating of facts. They laid out what the lifters did and the
price that they have paid as a result of their actions. The reader is
then encouraged to make his own decisions. Once again, you need to
decide for yourself, but let’s not pretend that real risks do not exist.
Instead, we need to let more athletes know exactly what they are up
against. I am no powerlifter, but I do train fighters for a living. When
speaking with fighters, I am as honest as they come when discussing the
risks faced in our sport. More fighters need to be aware of the risks.
Stepping inside the ring or cage is dangerous. Whether you realize it or
not, you put your life on the line each time that you fight.
I tell everyone that it is not healthy to be punched in the face and
that every serious fighter will eventually be injured. When you are
cutting weight, your life will be miserable. There is nothing fun about
it. You will be forced to make sacrifices that close friends and family
do not understand. That’s reality. You are going to get hurt. You are
going to suffer. You will experience fear and anxiety. It is not all fun
And after all the sacrifices have been made and you have eventually
hung up the gloves, there is a good chance that you will have earned
little or nothing in the sport that you loved. I do not have specific
figures, but there is no doubt that less than 1 percent of fighters make
more than 99 percent of the money. I have close friends who were
accomplished professional fighters who struggled to put food on the
table even during the prime of their career.
Yet despite the struggles faced both during and after their fighting
careers, many of these individuals would not have it any other way. I
say this not to suggest that the pain and struggles are not real, but
once again to remind you that you must decide for yourself. It is not my
place (or anyone’s) to tell you what you should do with your life. If
you are passionate about something, by all means pursue that passion. I
simply encourage you to understand the risks that accompany such