Human nature is sometimes difficult to understand. We make mistakes in life, and then we repeat them. Even the wisest of people embark on this circular behavior. This is a plea to be self-aware. It’s a plea to be vigilant in recognizing these traps, and then bold in changing wrong behaviors. This list is by no means comprehensive, but these are a few of the common traps for most athletes. Be on guard for your own.
1. Steroid Abuse: This is the greatest trap for most athletes, even for those who undergo legitimate hormone replacement therapy. We’ve all been conditioned to think there’s an edge to be had and that more is better. It’s not! I know guys that are “on and off” exercisers, and every time they get back in the game they take massive doses of steroids. They get puffy. They can’t sleep. They look awful. Then they pull a muscle and they’re out of the game. Six months later, they’re back in the gym and they’re all puffy again. Another round of idiocy! The funny thing is, when these guys are all puffed up, nobody would even think they work out.
2. Eating Poorly: Eating correctly is a way of life. Those who view a clean diet as torture are on borrowed time. But, even motivated individuals can find themselves cutting corners and slipping back into trash food. This can happen for a variety of reasons: Junk food at the office, a new girlfriend who won’t hear of clean food, time constraints or simply losing motivation. This is a slippery slope. Be on guard!
3. Skipping Workouts: If someone is willing to let even one workout slip past, they will let another. Nobody’s going all day without food or using the bathroom, so if you’re thinking of missing a workout, try missing the bathroom instead. Make no excuses. Keep your perspective straight and justification free.
4. Drugs and Alcohol: Drugs and alcohol have claimed the greatness of untold athletes. For those who party hard, it’s difficult to get up and exercise. And if you do have the guts to make it thru a workout after a hard night, see how long that lasts. Be objective about your lifestyle. If moderation isn’t in your vocabulary, everything good in your life will soon fall by the wayside. I speak from experience.
5. Tanning and Diuretics: People tend to overdue anything that’s easy and gives instant results. Darker is not better. And watch out for insidious/hidden diuretics in your life, like coffee, soda and energy drinks. We’ve all seen the neighborhood raisin. Don’t be the raisin.
Be objective and on the lookout for your own personal traps. Those who exercise self-awareness have a serious advantage over those living in a stupor.
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