Take it easy, elite athlete

Every athlete takes their sport very seriously which can be taken too far. Growing up with a family who loves sports made me fall in love at a young age. I was always willing to try new things and push myself through. I then fell in love with gymnastics at the age of 6. I pushed myself so hard to the point where I broke my back. I should have known when it started to hurt to stop but I didn’t.

With COVID just happening, a lot of athletes are now wanting to work out more since a lot of their sports got canceled. They are overworking their bodies to the point where their bodies need a break but they don’t want to. Mentally and physically taking a break can be good. A lot of other people would say that they don’t think their bodies need a break and they should keep pushing through. Athletes need to find a balance between working out and taking some rest days even though if that means not pushing themselves that hard.

Young kids who are involved in working out a lot or sports should be aware of their bodies. They need to understand when to take a break and how to recover so they don’t overwork their bodies. We need to inform athletes of the causes and effects of stressing out their bodies. With this being said, we need to teach the new generations of athletes about the danger of pushing themselves too hard.

Everyone knows that working out or exercising can lead to injuries but nobody is thinking that when they are doing what they love. Still, putting too much pressure on yourself isn’t going to make you do any better. You have to still train to be good but resting a day or two and sometimes even more can be more beneficial, especially athletes that want to train to be good and better than everyone.

They sit there and over do it which can lead to, “Overtraining injuries [which] occur when you engage in more physical activity than your body is used too. These injuries are musculoskeletal. This means that they do or can involve the muscles of the body, joints, and even the bones”(Brick Road Media Design). With that being said, overworking your body can cause damage that you don’t want. Having joints or any pain is hard to get rid off so taking it slow when u see it starting to hurt is better than waiting too long and having to sit out longer. Having this experience myself was the worst thing. I felt back pain one year before I found out that I broke my back.

I wish that I would have stopped and slowed down when it started because by the time I went to the doctor it was too late to fix. When I was practicing one day I landed on my neck and then my back pain got worse. I went to the doctor and they said I broke my back and the bone moved closer to my nerves. We tried so much stuff to get it to be back to normal and nothing worked. I then had to get surgery and put me out for a long time. With that being said, waiting too long can cause problems that are not fixable without surgery. Stopping and slowing down would be more helpful and beneficial in the long run.

Mental health is another injury but not a lot of people consider it as one. It might not hurt physically but it can’t damage the body more by putting more stress and feeling on it. Getting hurt can lead to worse mental health. For example, “For some student- athletes, the psychological response to injury can trigger or unmask serious mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and substance use or abuse”(Putukian). Athletes might not think about the side effects of getting hurt but sometimes that can lead to worse things. Stopping can be a very sad thing for people which makes them go into different mental states.

When I stopped I still went back to the gym and did nothing because I wanted to be with my teammates and still be watching the sport I loved. Gymnastics can also be a mind game, as well as other sports, because a lot of girls want to be as good and as strong as their teammates.

They put themselves through this mind set that they aren’t good enough and they need to be better so they focus on that more and not the basics. When not focusing on the basics you can even hurt your then too. Having mental problems can be as worse as having a real injury because sometimes they take longer to go away. When you see a problem coming try to steer in a different direction.

Others might say that in training, there is no time to rest; doing what you have to do to be good means putting yourself through a lot physically and mentally. They also might say that even when you do push yourself that is sometimes when the best performance happens. Although grit holds merit, excessive pain doesn’t. Being in pain and using grit as an excuse doesn’t help in the long run but causes worse feelings to the body. Even when coaches are pushing younger athletes, it’s still not an excuse for allowing a body to be injured.

Young athletes that want to go far in life with their sport should be the people looking at this. They shouldn’t push their body from a young age because by the time they are older their body will be runned down and overworked. Listening to this can help out in the long run to get the kids where they want to be.