Through the years I have been a competitor in all that I do, ranging from recreational sports to competing for a contract after my college ball was done. I am still a very active person who hits the gym, plays soccer, football and participates in running events, but noticed that my recovery was changing. No longer am I able to heal faster than Wolverine and realized that my body speaks to me the moment that I get out of bed, and we have to almost come to an accord to proceed. Change is inevitable and it is starting to become a reality.
How do I deal with this phenomenon you ask? I have found that as my body is incrementally slowing down, my mind seemingly has to speed up so that I can keep competing (because quitting is never an option). I find myself getting to the pitch early to get a solid warm-up, cooling down after a match, and most importantly the addition of nutrition that continually gives me an edge. I have found the benefits of eating well and putting into my body what I expect out of it! Practices like continual hydration, balanced macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein) and supplementation like multivitamins, BCAAs, protein, glucosamine and chondroitin sure do an aging athletic body good.
The other side of the coin, which begins my thesis for this blog post, is how I choose to prepare my body to be a “weekend warrior.” If you stuck with me so far, chances are this sounds familiar to you and you are intrigued. The preparation for “working shlubs” like us is a little more systematic than it used to be. We have to find a schedule that is maintainable, realistic, and specific. For instance, if I am in a soccer league I have to plan my recovery around my activity. This last statement is a mind shift in and of itself for a lot of us. I know that I have to do speed, agility and plyometric training at least two days before I get endurance work in, which will trash my legs. I also know that I have to maintain my upper body strength and my core so I toss those workouts in while my legs recover. Than game day approaches and I have to make sure that I am fully recovered so that I can compete at a level that is satisfactory to me (which never is because I am my own worst critic…with the exception of my father.)
So to bring this inaugural blog post to a close I want to end with encouragement and a spot of warning! If you are fighting the good fight of life still in a pair of cleats, keep rockin! For those casual exercisers who choose not to prepare themselves and adapt to what life has brought you, please be careful and reconsider what ill preparation might bring you. Amongst some of my most distraught patients were those guys who worked a 9-5, 6 day a week job and skipped training…well lets just end it with, they were obviously patients of mine.