Everyone is an athlete!
“Eat right, drink right, move right and poop right.” –Dr. Robert Rakowski, D.C., DIBAK
Clinically, I find that many of my athletes are extremely fit, many times “too” fit and paradoxically unhealthy. In addition, it is my firm belief that everyone is an athlete. Everyone including the “Average Joe” or “Weekend Warrior”, needs to perform well in their own specific profession as well as recreation. Most of my elite athletes, in addition to their nagging, lingering injuries, often times have other chronic health problems. Symptoms such as allergies, anxiety, sleep disturbances, migraines/ headaches, anger issues, constipation, chronic fatigue, delayed recovery, general muscle weakness, low immune systems, high blood pressure, kidney problems, bleeding guts, diabetes, drug addictions, focusing problems and the list goes on. They tend to appear to physically fit but often times unhealthy.
Fitness Vs Health
There is a difference. Dr. Phillip Maffetone years ago wrote a book (In Fitness and In Health) to help differentiate the two:
-Fitness is the ability to perform physical activity. You define the limits of your fitness – you can walk a mile a day or train for the Ironman Triathlon.
-Health is a balance of all systems of the body – the nervous, muscular, skeletal, circulatory, digestive, endocrine (hormonal) and all other systems.
Supposed Elite Fitness but Ill Health
There are many reports of professional athletes with amazing extraordinary fitness and superb athletic skills who become a victim to serious illness or even death. In the new age of steroids, human growth hormone (HGH) and other performance enhancing drugs (PED’s), they are not only are illegal to use, but the side effects are seriously lethal.
Famous Runners & athletes died while running or during competition:
1) Jim Fixx was a famous long distance runner died of a heart attack while running at the age of 43.
2) Brian Maxwell former world class marathon runner and founder of Power Bar died at the age of 57.
3) Hank Gathers was a collegiate power forward from LMU died after slam dunking a basketball in the NCAA Tournament.
4) Florence Griffth-Joyner died in the late 1990’s at the age of 38. Whether it was because of her epilepsy or a true heart defect, dying at the age of 38, was abnormal.
5) Lyle Alzado died at the age of 43 due to brain cancer. He was known to blame steroids as the main reason for his death. Again, whether that is true or not, dying at the age of 43 years old was not because he was healthy. In fact, he was very sick even though he had an ultra fit physique.
Other Examples of Great Fitness and Poor Mental Health
1) Francisco Rodriquez aka “K – Rod” – over reacting and letting his emotions get him in trouble with the law, by assaulting his father in law. Let me ask you… Is that normal adult behavior?
2) Chicago Cubs pitcher, Carlos Zambrano having anger issues that costs him a suspension from the team.
3) Allen Iverson’s problems with team rules and other personal bizarre behavior.
4) Ben Roethlisberger, QB of the Pittsburg Steelers, exposing himself in a college night club in addition to being accused of sexual assault.
5) Adam “Pac – Man” Jones assaulting women in strip clubs.
6) Many football players getting caught smoking marijuana and being addicted to pain medication.
These are some of the examples of elite athletes that had elite fitness and ill or poor health. Health is mental as well as physical.
Health and Performance
Your health has a direct link to athletic and human performance. In addition, the ability to recover and bounce back totally depends on your health structurally, chemically, emotionally. You can dramatically improve you performance and recovery time if you have optimal health. There are five health categories that can help maximize any athlete’s performance and recovery.
3) Endocrine (hormonal)