Serious athletes show serious dedication. From the time they wake up in the morning, until the time they go to bed at night, they are focused on training for their sport.
This doesn’t necessarily mean training all hours of the day (though for many it does), but it does mean that each part of the day is somehow centered around being an athlete.
Meals need to be healthy and capable of sustaining energy levels. Relationships need to have clear boundaries, and possibly strict time constraints. Social lives are often pushed aside completely. Even television, reading, and other forms of entertainment and relaxation are often centered around their particular sport.
We’ve all questioned our “purpose” at some point in our lives, some of us more than others. It often comes up during big changes, such as a death of a family member, a divorce, or the loss of a job.
Most serious athletes have had the fortune of feeling quite clear about their purpose from a young age. Especially those born with a natural talent, and the support of family and loved ones. There is always the next big game or meet to train for, work towards, and look forward to.
When an athlete stops participating in their sport it can all seem a bit meaningless. What’s the point of eating that nutritious breakfast if you don’t need the energy? Why bother going to bed early if you don’t have to wake up early?
This loss of purpose can lead to a downward spiral of depression, anxiety, and even substance abuse.