We all love sports as long as there are no injuries involved. However, our bodies don't give a damn about our wishes, so injuries happen all the time, especially in the professional sports, when athletes push their bodies to the limits without too much consideration about their health in the future. That said, injuries are part of amateur sports as well. That sucks, but I guess Gods had a very sick sense of humor back in the day when they created our world.
A month ago I got hit big under my waist during the kick-boxing practice and it evolved into a severe inflammation which lasts till today. It is a pretty painful and serious injury because complications might last for the lifetime... and I don't want that. So I had a lot of time to think through how people deal with injuries and realized that there are two types of people:
- People who take time off and heal their injuries to the last bit, avoiding any activities that might make things worse.
- People with "f*ck it" attitude who tell their bodies "bring it on" and keep practicing and doing sports through severe pain because they want to be the best.
I consider myself to be a person who prioritizes my health over any sports achievement or momentary pleasure. I had two options with my inflammation: I could either take a shitload of antibiotics and kill the pain in a week without actually fully healing my body or choose to fully heal my body so there wouldn't be any consequence in the future. I chose the later one. It takes more time and efforts, but at least I know that I won't become a cripple in the future with half of my body hurting.
There are also some professional athletes who have a similar approach to injuries. Take all the drama between Kawhi Leonard and Spurs for instance. There were a lot of speculations that Spurs pushed Kawhi to play even when he was not fully recovered from his injuries. Naturally, Kawhi did not like this approach, visited some independent doctors and found out that his condition was way more serious than Spurs medical staff said. It is only speculations, but if you ask me, I think it was one of the main reasons why Kawhi has left San Antonio this year.
That said, most of the professional athletes choose the "f*ck it" attitude and go all in the second their bodies can actually move. My kickboxing coach crippled his heart because he was practicing with a fever. Now he knows it was stupid, but at the time he was young and couldn't stand the fact that his opponents are training while he is laying in the bed with a fever.
The best example of "f*ck it" attitude is Vinny Pazienza who broke his spine but instead of giving up on sports, he returned to professional boxing just one year after the accident. There is a very powerful movie Bleed It Out about the inspirational Vinny's life. Today, we call Vinny a fighter and one of the most determined boxers in the history. However, if his comeback would have ended in a wheelchair, we would remember Vinny as a reckless boxer who has thrown his life down the drain.
We can also talk about Michael Jordan and his famous "Flu Game" in 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. Today, we refer to that game as one of the best individual performances by any athlete in the history of sports. However, it could have easily ended MJ's career if things went the other way but I guess MJ was ready to take that gamble. And for me, you have to love sports more than life if you are willing to risk everything just to prove to the world that you are the best. Maybe that is why LeBron played the finals with a broken arm this year? Sadly, he couldn't manage to win.
The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that no one cares about those athletes when they are laying in bed in their 60s, paralyzed by pain. And no fan will ever volunteer to take the pain from their favorite athletes. That is why I think it is not the best idea to let athletes compete when they are not healthy yet. Also, it sets a wrong example to the youth. Of course, I get that motivational part from "Flu Game" and Vinny Pazienza's story, but do we ever remember all those people who try to pull off another "Flu Game" and end up screwing their health? Do we ever talk about people who ignore doctors, start being active too early, and end up in a wheelchair? Well, we don't.
I think there is no right answer to this question, but I, personally believe that we must prioritize our health over trophies. What do you guys think? Is sports world just a little too heavy on the professional athletes?