Understanding SPORT

What is this relationship we have with Sport?

What is sport really all about?

Do we have a clear understanding of what sport is?

Why is sport dividing nations?

What is the meaning of this word SPORT?

The Concise Oxford English dictionary tells us (1) –
An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment
Success or pleasure derived from an activity such as hunting

So what is very clear is that we need entertainment and we need pleasure and sport delivers that for us by people who are willing to ‘exert’ themselves. That means they will strive, try hard and apply force to physically get their body to do what is needed to win.

For some if that means taking drugs to enhance their performance so they can win, they are willing to do it.

In other words – do what it takes without ever looking at the consequences.

  • So is sport all about winning?
  • What about the losers?
  • How affected are those who lose?
  • Do we have enough studies on what happens to those who lose?
  • Do we just wait for the next Sports news headlines to give us our buzz?

Talking of news headlines – check this out

The Rio Olympic Games 2016 – start this Friday 5 August.

BBC News – ‘If ever sport needed its most illustrious event to provide some inspiration, escapism and relief from its various troubles, it is now.’ (2)

Is this confirming we use sport to escape from life?
Is it saying sport needs an ‘illustrious event’ to take away the scandals around sport?
Could it be possible we are seeking relief from our own ‘various troubles’?

‘This is their moment to shine and to remind the world that, despite its latest crisis, sport’s mega-event is still worth fighting for.’ (2)

So why do we need to fight?
Why is it that we need to go into battle in the name of sport?
Where is this tension held in our body when we feel it is ‘still worth fighting for’?
Is a moment to shine worth more than the rest of our life?
Is this moment a time to ignore what is really going on in sport today?

Some athletes will not attend the Rio Olympics due to the Zika virus.

  • So what do we know about the Zika virus?
  • Why would athletes not want to attend their Olympic dream?
  • Why has the World Health Organization declared an international health emergency over the spread of the Zika virus, now known to cause devastating birth defects?

This video has some answers if you are interested
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/health/what-is-zika-virus.html?_r=0

Next – The Rio games are running 51% over budget according to a recent study and Brazil is suffering a second year of recession, the worst economic crisis since the 1930’s. (2)

The President of Brazil was suspended in May pending an impeachment process. (2)

Who is running the budget for the Rio games?
Are these people under the authority of a President who has been accused of unlawful activity?
Why are some who are next in line to succeed also under investigation for alleged mis-management and/or corruption? (3)

Hello – is this telling us something loud and clear about this country?

If you want the highlights of why this woman is accused of violating fiscal laws and allegedly using funds from state banks to cover budget shortfalls, read more –
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-36028117 (3)

So the people of Brazil are saying they are fed up with the high levels of corruption in Brazilian politics and here we have the new host of the world Olympics.

Do we care about the state of the country where our favourite sport stars are competing?
Are we really wanting to know about the corruption that is going on in Brazil?

Did we bother to question the next country where our world Olympics are held?

So just to make it clear the country HOLDING the games is in recession with a president accused of illegal activity and the majority of their people saying there is corruption at state level.

Now let’s look at the current hot news out

According to this BBC news report ‘Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.’ (4)

So here we have an investigation by Wada – the World Anti-Doping Agency who are saying Russia’s sports ministry “directed, controlled and oversaw” manipulation of urine samples provided by athletes. (4)

The commission, led by Canadian Law Professor and Sports Lawyer – Dr. Richard McLaren will leave you in no doubt that this is high level corruption at state level.

“The McLaren Report has concluded, beyond a reasonable doubt, a mind-blowing level of corruption within both Russian sport and government …”
Chief of United States Anti-Doping Agency – T. Tygart (4)

How could all this have gone on under the noses of the IOC and Wada for years, in a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory?
Why did it take a whistleblower to unearth the corruption?
Will this scandal split the Olympic movement beyond repair?
BBC Sports Editor – D. Roan (4)

DID YOU KNOW –

Russia President – Vladimir Putin made the winter Olympic games in Sochi a showcase event and spent more than $50bn. That is $50 BILLION, not million on one sporting event. (4)

Next – this man has also suspended all officials named in the McLaren report.
Surely if there is nothing to hide or declare, officials can all remain in their jobs?

Dear World

Can you smell anything here?
Can you read between the lines?
Are we choosing to pretend things are ok but we know they are not?
Are we aware of how big corruption actually is in our world today?

As our two previous blogs have confirmed

Corruption is not just in drugs and human trafficking. It is everywhere in our world and it is time we wake up and ask questions if we want true change.

We all know that Dope is another name for cannabis and the dictionary tells us it is ‘a drug used to enhance the performance of an athlete, racehorse or greyhound’ or ‘a stupid person’.

Doping means taking illegal substances to improve performance. In other words, cheating.

Well this cheating stuff goes back to Ancient Greece where substances were used in sport and so it is no surprise it still goes on today.

In 1928 the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) – the athletics world governing body was the first to ban doping. (5)

Hello – how come it is still going on 88 years later?
What is this telling us?
Why is it reported that doping has been a concern since 1920’s? (5)

Why did a major drug scandal in 1998 lead to the anti-doping organisation Wada – an Independent international agency in 1999?

Why is it that we wait for something big to happen when it was going on way before then?

Did we ever deal with this behind the scenes ugly stuff?
Have we just found new ways to not get it detected?
Do we think that winning is what this is all about?
Why is winning at any cost so important in the name of sport?

Are we really that ignorant or does it suit us in some way to not know the Truth?

WHY should be the question we all need to be asking?
Why is sport all about winning at whatever cost?

Why do our bodies’ need substances to go beyond its natural state?
Why do we accept that pushing our body to extremes is normal?
Why do athletes need to compete and win at all costs?
Why are some willing to ignore the side effects of drugs?
Why do they think it is ok to fake it to make it so to speak?

Why are anabolic steroids needed to allow athletes to train harder?
Why do these androgenic agents build muscle fast?
Why are the risks stating increased aggression for this substance?

Why are stimulants used to overcome the effects of fatigue?
Why do we need to increase the heart-rate and blood flow artificially?
Why are we not interested that these drugs can be addictive?

Why are diuretics and masking agents used to remove fluid from the body?
Why do sports like boxing and horse racing use this to ‘make the weight’?

Why would anyone use narcotic analgesics and cannabinoids to mask pain caused by injury or fatigue?

Why are Glucocorticoids used to mask serious injury when they affect our metabolism?

Hello – this is serious stuff if you just stop and re-read this.

Our body is telling us something and we take an addictive drug to pretend it is not happening.
How intelligent are we really when we choose this in the name of sport?

Why are peptide hormones like Erythropoietin used to give athletes energy and increase bulk?
Why are human growth hormones used to build muscle?

Why did it take 7 world wins to find out about Lance Armstrong?
Have we observed him since he has been stripped of his titles?
How does he really feel now that he is banned from sport for life?
Would Armstrong still be competing today if he had not been caught?

We had Ben Johnson back in 1988 known as the ‘world’s highest-profile drugs cheat’ stripped of his Olympic Gold. (5)

Was that a sign for us to wake up world and smell that something is not right with these athletes performing like super humans?

Why are super fit and healthy sports stars dying at a young age?
Why are we not asking WHY does this happen if they are at the top of their game?
We all know they have the best trainers, doctors, nutrition and everything else money can buy looking after them.

Danny Jones – aged 29 Wales International Rugby star
May 2015 – Cardiac Arrest

Reggie Lewis – aged 27 NBA Player
Heart Attack during training

Jules Bianchi – aged 25 Formula 1 Grand Prix driver (6)
July 2015 – High speed accident. Severe Head Injuries

A 396-page report confirmed that Jules Bianchi did not choose to slow down. It suggests a closed cockpit to protect drivers’ heads. Is this the answers his fans want to hear?

Should we be asking why high speed driving is allowed in wet conditions?

Why is this dangerous sport so popular?

How many more deaths do we need to witness around the circuit before we say enough? 

What is the thrill that high speed driving gives us all?

Jonah Lomu – aged 40 Greatest Global Rugby Superstar
November 2015 – Cardiac Arrest

His team doctor John Mayhew said “cardiac arrest is the final pathway of the heart shutting down. That is all there is really.” (7)

  • What is this doctor telling us all here?
  • When we have a heart attack is it our body saying enough and our heart shuts down? 

How are we living every day that gets us to this point?

What choices was Jonah Lomu making for his career when he had kidney disease?
How come his health problems came to light after his retirement?

Could it be possible that he had to stop to feel the Truth of what was going on in his body?

Does the death of world famous Jonah Lomu tell us how we don’t have the answers?
How does someone die so young when they had the pace of a sprinter?
How natural was it for his 19 stone frame to beat the 100m in 11 seconds?

Tommy Hanson – aged 29 MLB Pitcher
November 2015 – Catastrophic organ failure
Delayed complications of Cocaine & Alcohol Toxicity (8)

Are we interested in why our top players use alcohol and drugs?

What was Tommy Hanson’s life like before he got famous?
Was there something deeper when he said he had ‘mental issues’ following the death of his brother? (9)

Could it be possible Hanson needed substances to not deal with what was going on in his private life? Possible?

1994 – Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna died aged 34
We have the highest paid athlete at the time with a huge salary and endorsement deals die from the sport that made him famous 

Korey Stringer – age 27 American football NFL
Heat Stroke symptoms (10)

Should we be asking WHY is training in full gear – around 50 pounds of weight – at 110 degrees necessary in the name of sport?

Why are experts saying this could have been prevented?

“… There is no safe place just because you are an NFL guy and you have the latest high-tech equipment or you have the best rehab equipment (or) you know all the nutritional values”

Marc Vivien Foe – age 28 Footballer
Heart Attack
Died at the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final game

Would there have been signs about his health and well-being before this game?
How does a high profile English Premier League player have a price tag of $6 million but a life age of 28?

What was going on in his life that finally shut his heart down?
What was his body communicating to him?
Why do we have little interest in the true health and well-being of our players?

Antonio Puerta – age 22. Spanish International Football – playing for Sevilla at the time
Died of Heart Failure (11)

How young is that?
Why do we not have the answers?
Why are we not demanding what on earth is going on?
Why do these tragic stories not make any sense?

These are super fit guys, professional athletes with every modcon available to them and yet their heart gives up.

Could it be possible “there will be some underlying heart problem …” as Dr Panther of Pure Sports Medicine says? (11)

Could it be possible that the fame and recognition for these sports stars means more to them than the ‘underlying heart problem’?

Could it be possible that they felt they were loved and adored through what they could do and so this is what they continued to focus on, at the cost of their inner-most true health and well-being?

So here are some WHY questions about Sport –

Why is sport all about winning at whatever cost?
Why does sport command such big audiences?
Why do we love our sports games above anything else?
Why do we choose to get lost in the win-lose world of sport?

What is all this competition about?
Dictionary says compete means ‘strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others’ (1)

Why do we go to great lengths at the expense of our body to win?
Why do we need to establish superiority over others in any way?
Why is defeating another giving us so much pleasure?

Why do we not study how players feel when they are defeated?
Why are there no studies showing the behaviour patterns of winners?
Why is it that we have this battle between nations in the name of sport?

Why do countries have divisions in the name of sport?
Why do people fight because we support different teams?
Why does competition bring up so much emotion in us?

Why is alcohol a huge part of a football match in the UK?
Why is there so much police presence needed during a football match in the UK?
Why does the whole town have to shut down so the winning team can parade their cup in an open top bus?

Why is it normal for rugby players to be injured during a game?
Why is it normal for sport to push the body beyond its natural limits?
Why are some sports so aggressive?
Why is there domestic violence increase after a World Cup match?

Why do the Wimbledon final tickets sell at £43,000? (12)
Why does anyone pay £5000 for a booking fee for one match? (12)

Why do the winners get all the attention and recognition?
Why have our sport stars got celebrity status?
Why is UK footballer Wayne Rooney paid £300,000 per week? (13)
Why are our teachers and nurses earning so much less?

Why do we rate our sports stars so highly?
Why do people try to use players as role models?
Why do some of our sports’ people have dodgy private lives?
Why do some have extreme behaviour that no one understands?

Why does our mood change if our team wins or loses?
Why are there big bucks involved in the whole sports industry?

From ticket touts to betting offices and the sale of merchandise – there is heaps of money exchanging hands.

Cyber-criminals have fake websites that are professionally constructed and appear legitimate.
Conmen run lottery scams where letters and emails are sent confirming a cash prize and trip to Rio Olympics. Winners may also be asked to provide their bank details and other personal info (14)

Check out these prices –

Boxing – Floyd Mayweather Vs Canelo Alvarez
$30,940 per ticket

NBA 2010 Finals
$57,950 – one ticket for Lakers and Celtics match
$115,000 – closer seat, same match 

London 2012 Olympics – Opening Ceremony
$4,000 per seat

Golf The Masters 2013
$4,486

Grand Prix Formula 1 racing
The most expensive sport in the world as it requires the latest in sports car technology (15)

Next – have we ever stopped to consider does the loser ever get over it or do they push even harder and keep going at whatever cost until they win?

My only ever visit to a football match was enough. You go through a tight narrow metal turnstile, which reminded me of the iron doors inside prison. There was loads of swearing, shouting and yelling and it felt like a ‘venting playground’ where people gave themselves permission to release built up emotions and lash out on a team and its supporters in a short space of time. Most had been drinking alcohol.

On that note – research by Lancaster University criminologist Dr Stuart Kirby, a former police officer concludes that domestic violence increases after football matches whether the team win or lose.

Separate national research has echoed the Kirby findings with domestic abuse reports up 27.7% when the England team won a game and 31.5% when they lost.

Dr Stuart Kirby said “… there will be people who get involved in domestic abuse for the first time during England games”.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh says –

“One of the things we are looking at is around learned behaviour.
Are there now people who have seen their parent behave in this way during tournaments who now think it is acceptable for them to do the same?
There is a mixture of factors that come together during a World Cup tournament; many people drink alcohol, there is the emotional stress of the game and there is a whole issue around competitiveness and testosterone levels.” (16)

This is serious stuff and needs our attention.
Our world demands scientific evidence so we need to be asking for more studies and more research on this type of behaviour.

Is the game more important that the abuse that goes on after with our family members at home?
Is there something else at play here that we are not willing to look at and deal with?
Who is really winning here if we look at society as a whole for one moment?
Why do we have victims of domestic violence because of a sport’s tournament?

This makes absolutely no sense.

The Truth is Sport makes no sense when so much in our world needs our attention, starting with our own health.

Have we taken a look at the latest figures on Illness and Disease, which is now bankrupting our health systems worldwide?

Are we interested in the state of our welfare systems that are trapped in a no win cycle?

Do we know the global statistics on Domestic Violence and how huge this issue is?

Do we truly care or is it far more important to find the next season ticket or get to the next match, which is the short term solution to our happiness?

Is it time that we press the pause button and just stop for a moment to reflect on the knock on effect that sport maybe having in our life?

How are we contributing to the sports industry and at what cost to our own personal health and well-being?

Dear World – Are we ready to stop and feel WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO US IN LIFE?

And WHAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY?

References

(1) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011

(2) Roan, D. (2016, July 15). Rio 2016: ‘Olympics is Still Worth Fighting For’
http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/36804134

(3) (2016, May 10). Could Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff be Impeached?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-36028117

(4) (2016, July 18). Russia State ‘Sponsored Doping Across Majority of Olympic Sports, Claims Report
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/36823453

(5) (2015, August 20). Doping in Sport: What is it and How is it Being Tackled?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/33997246

(6) Johnson, D. (2016, February 16). Horrific New Details on Formula One Driver Jules Bianchi’s Tragic Death Published by the FIA
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/formula-1/2016/02/16/horrific-new-details-on-formula-one-driver-jules-bianchis-tragic

(7) (2015, November 18). Former New Zealand All Black Jonah Lomu Dies Aged 40
http://www.itv.com/news/update/2015-11-18/new-zealand-legend-lomu-died-of-cardiac-arrest

(8) SI WIRE. (2015, December 11). Former Braves P Tommy Hanson Died from Cocaine, Alcohol Use
http://www.si.com/mlb/2015/12/11/tommy-hanson-death-cocaine-alcohol-use-braves-angels

(9) Gleeman, A. (2013, May 29). “I Was Having Mental Issues with the Death of My Younger Brother”
http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2013/05/29/tommy-hanson-i-was-having-mental-issues-with-the-death-of-my-younger-brother

(10) Bunn, C. (n.d). Medical Experts Say the Death of Korey Stringer Was Entirely Preventable
http://www.active.com/articles/medical-experts-say-the-death-of-korey-stringer-was-entirely-preventable

(11) Moore, G. (2007, August 29). He Was Sent to a Specialist and Told: ‘Hang Up Your Boots or You Could Die’
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/he-was-sent-to-a-specialist-and-told-hang-up-your-boots-or-you-could-die-463483.html

(12) Cooper, R. (2013, July 4). Ticket Prices for the Wimbledon Men’s Final Hit a Record £43,000 per pair as Murraymania Reaches Fever Pitch
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2355996/Ticket-prices-Wimbledon-mens-final-hit-record-43-000-pair-Murraymania-reaches-fever-pitch.html

(13) (2016). Wayne Rooney Salary. What Footballer’s Earn
http://www.whatfootballersearn.com/player/wayne-rooney

(14) Davenport, J (2016, July 25). Rio Olympics ‘are a goldmine for fraudsters’. Evening Standard

(15) Brock. (2015). Top 10 Most Expensive Sports Tickets Ever Sold in the World
http://www.mostluxuriouslist.com/most-expensive-sports-tickets-ever-sold

(16) Laville, S. (2014, June 9). Police Fear Rise in Domestic Violence During World Cup
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/08/police-fear-rise-domestic-violence-world-cup

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Comments 51

  1. Thank you Simple Living Global for this brilliant and very timely blog.

    It has lead me to question – Why do we override what our bodies say so much?

    When I look at it we are all taught from young to negate our bodies. Nobody says it explicitly but just by the way that we are encouraged and rewarded to behave from young the message is ‘don’t take notice of your body’.

    We are encouraged to ‘be the best’, ‘to win’ and ‘to get ahead’ at all costs, generation AFTER generation.

    The way that sport is, is an excellent example of this.

    The substances that athletes use to increase performance, hide fatigue, injury and increase their heart rates are no different to the substances we use everyday to get us through life – caffeine, sugar, cigarettes, alcohol, pain killers to name just a few.

    The questions that this blog asks about the young death of sporting stars is such common sense, it IS ridiculous that we are missing this and not treating ourselves and each other with more care.

    Why has achievement and success become the priority ahead of this?

    Could it be as the writer of this blog asks – ‘Could it be possible that they felt they were loved and adored through what they could do and so this what they continued to focus on, at the cost of their inner-most true health and wellbeing?’

    Does this apply to all of us in so many areas of life? Is this why we are so keen on Sport?

    Thank you again Simple Living Global as it has lead me as one reader to ask some very deep questions.

    1. Great comment Shevon Simon and the fact this blog alone has got you to ask some very deep questions is what is needed.

      Correct – we are not educated at young age to take care of our body, listen to it and pay attention. In other words develop a true relationship with it so we take deep care all of the time to now harm ourself which in turn means we could never harm another.
      This alone speaks volumes for those who understand what is being said here.

      Your list of what most of us do to hide fatigue is true. The thing is very few can admit it because many are not even aware of it and to be honest they don’t really want to go there and address it as that would mean taking Responsibility. A word the world seems to avoid and yet it is Responsibility that is the game changer.

      In answer to your question, I would say that achievement and success has become the priority ahead of our own true health and well being because we pay little or no regard to our body. We do not feel met by our primary carers for who we are, so we plot and plan to DO something and for some that is excelling in sport. So negating the limits of our natural body rhythms and what it can and cannot do, all push and drive is for the end goal to win. The doing is at the expense of the being if you know what I mean.

  2. I would say, most people look back at the “games” of punishment by death in the public arena of the collusium as being a sick and inhumain phenomenon… Perhaps we should consider if we may have continued this same kind of cruel fascination only in a slower, more dishonest way?

    I want to know that my food & goods are “fair trade” but what about how our “entertainment” is created ?If it is at the expense of the athletes, their families, the unity of our countries and human society in general do we still want to support it?!

    I have always felt it a great misdirection of time, energy, money & values that so many of us are willing to devote ourselves to sport but not to getting our basics sorted… Why are we selective in favor of something that is not at all about love instead of focusing on what we know is loving and building that?

    1. Top comment Jo and you have a point about the ‘cruel fascination’ that could possibly be the same as the public arena of the collusium in the past. We each need to look at how we contribute to any ill in this world and not play the blame game.
      We have created this entertainment called sport and for some it has become addictive and there seems no way out. Others are gambling on sports and again addicted and then those who seem it as an easy money making thing because people are so desperate for tickets they will go to a tout or dodgy website to get what they want and become blind to the fact that this is a wrong way to do business. Its like we lose our moral compass inside of us.
      I like your final point about how many of us ‘devote ourselves to sports but not the basics sorted’. We seem to have our priorities in a way that does not truly support us.

  3. Whilst not classified as sport per se, in my twenties I was on a dance training course. After three months I had to leave the course as I’d seriously damaged the tendons in my right hip and could barely walk. Over 12 years later my body is still recovering from the ill effects of this choice, as my right hip often feels tense. It’s like I have to retrain myself how to walk and move as the tendency to push ahead is so ingrained. The damage to my right hip during the dance training was showing me the extremes of how I was living – in pushing my body beyond where it wanted to go. My body did not want to do the dance training, but due to ideal pictures of being a good or better person, if I could dance well and to professional standards, I pursued the dream ahead of my body and look at the result. It really does not pay to ignore our bodies in favour of who we think we should be. This is something I am becoming more and more aware of every day.

  4. We have become a world that demands and wants things now at whatever cost. Sport is one thing that is a time where we seem to ‘lose’ ourselves and not have a reality check. We can get lost in the game and allow it to affect our mood, emotions and our life.

    Think about it there is now evidence that football tournaments have higher levels of domestic violence whether the team wins or loses. Hello is anyone paying attention here. This is serious stuff.
    We need to support this type of research and get to the root cause of WHY this is happening instead of championing the sport which lets face it is simply about competition and winning at all costs.

  5. Athletics’s have always been a part of my life until now. Any sporting activity was was easy for me to learn, however I never advanced to stage were I was getting paid to do it. This was because I did not enjoy the competitive aspect of sport. I loved to play but did not want to keep score.

    As I grew older I noticed that my body did not like sporting activity as much and I noticed all the crazy things that were happening in the sports world. Also as a parent I noticed insane behavior of some of the parents with respect to ther children.
    This made me question my belief that sporting activity was good.
    After reading this blog it confirms my feeling that sport is not what we think and maybe it is not good for our children and ourselves.

    1. Interesting you say Ken that you did not enjoy the competitive aspect of sport. How can you when it is simply not the truth. It is all about winning and at what cost.
      The Olympics are currently on and you hear the stories everyday about what athletes are up to in the name of sport to win medals.
      Our drive to win takes over any rational thinking and we lose all sense of what is needed for our true health and well being.
      Sport is such a big money making industry for all involved and this is a big motivating factor along with the seeking of recognition.

  6. The economic factor is one aspect that I have been questioning since reading this blog.

    We all know that it would be ridiculous to buy an expensive car when we don’t have the money – however I know at one time I lived way beyond my means and everything that I desired went on credit cards. At that time common sense would have told me that this was not sensible and I could feel that I was running into trouble as my income could not cover the bills. However I had an insatiable appetite for more. It got to a point where I just gave up and said ‘well I can’t pay it off so what’s another purchase.’ This was eight years ago.

    As I no longer live like this I see now that this was very Irresponsible behaviour. I had no sense of self-worth and care for myself and so what I owned was everything and a way for me to say to the world ‘I’m worth something’. So it makes sense that if someone is living recklessly in their own life they cannot advise others on how to be Responsible and take that lead in their professional life. With reference to the Olympic Games, if Government officials are not being responsible with their own finances – for example – how can they sensibly take care of the finances of a country?

    With the way that I was living before I could not have advised anyone about their financial affairs or carried any sense of authority with regards to finances or budgetary skills, even though I’d read tons of books on finances. The way that we live our lives is very powerful and can make a big difference between what is healing and thus evolutionary for humanity or what holds us back and send us into decline. Could the way that we live be at the root of these societal problems?

    1. You make some great points here Shevon. If we are irresponsible in the way we are living and in this case you mention finances, then how can we sensibly take care of the finances of a country. No amount of books or courses will change that.
      I agree that ‘the way we live our lives is very powerful..’ and this is what can make a real difference and not send us further into decline as you say.
      Living a life or true responsibility requires consistency. It is this consistency that then gives us authority. No need for perfection but what is needed is a true commitment to live life where you are taking full responsibility for all the choices you make, day in and day out.
      As this blog is about sport – we make sports stars our hero’s and role models but not once question if they are living a life of true responsibility.

  7. What really stood out while reading this was the level of enjoyment that people can appear to achieve through sport, even though the players bodies are pushed to the extremes or chemically altered with drugs and then the altered states the viewers can be in such as drinking or paying thousands for a seat to a match, because such a price tag just doesn’t make sense and to consider even buying one where is a persons thinking to say that it’s worth it?
    And it also got me wondering if there is such a push to ignore what the body is telling us is that because on some level a goal is being achieved that brings a sense of ‘enjoyment’ that such a state of being brings? regardless of the body showing warning signs is it possible that there is a level of recognition being met that we are unaware of but is more obvious in sport that we have not taken notice of but this blog so clearly highlights?

    1. You are right Leigh this does not make sense. Crazy prices being paid for one match and players bodies pushed to extremes in the name of sport and winning.

  8. Wow, Bina. This article brings it all regarding sport and very timely. I was so shocked to find out that elite cyclists on races like the Tour de France actually don’t have time to stop and eat and they get blood transfusions instead. We have held sport close to our hearts for entertainment, relief, increase in emotional excitement and stimulation and a deep desire to not look at what is really going on in front of our noses. Why? Perhaps because it doesn’t suit us and if we did we would have to let it go?

    1. The timely bit is planned by Simple Living Global. We were well aware of the Olympics start date and posting our weekly blog before the date was important.
      The same goes for all the world awareness days that we choose to write about.

      Thank you for mentioning about getting blood transfusions instead of eating. This is serious and how is this a responsible way of living?
      At what cost? All this simply to win a medal as that is the bottom line.
      I agree with you about how we use sport as it suits us and gives us relief from the stuff we do not want to address in our life.

  9. The UK government never used to pour too much money into Sport but that changed with the lottery and now it is seen as a very strong measure of success for the country on a global scale, and importantly a key area for politicians to score points. I read recently that Australia spent something like $49million per gold medal success at the last games and there are similar figures for all the main countries where it is seen as bragging rights, how childish is that when we consider it. Australia and the UK are great examples of such rivalry as they will bait each other over who wins most medals at the Olympics, meanwhile both countries get fatter and sicker by the year, more cancer, diabetes, obesity, dementia, heart disease and on and on, which is surely a truer measure of how each country is actually doing, i.e not well at all.

    1. Top comment Stephen Gammack. The fact that the UK see sport ‘as a very strong measure of success for the country and on a global scale’ is utter nonsense.
      As you clearly point out how can that be successful when we look at the cancer rates, along with diabetes, obesity, dementia, heart disease and add to that mental health which is off the scale.
      Our youth of today are not doing well at all and this is a strong measure of how our future is going to look as they will be the adult population. It is time we got real and wake up.

  10. Sport = competition. Of that there can be no doubt and how many of us are invested in the sanctity of sport; the ideal that it supports our young children to work and play in teams, that as they progress through the ranks, the steps they have to walk towards the higher echelons become more and more difficult; you have to be committed, you have to put your body on the line, you have to be the best, no matter whom you beat or tread on along the way.
    You Have To Put Your Body On The Line.
    You Have To Put Your Body Second!
    Remembering the fact that this is a body that we push and abuse in the name of health and fitness.
    None of what the author has exposed here is surprising, yet it is still shocking. We are completely lost in the world and yet every Saturday or Sunday afternoon we gather and cheer and boo, and drink and eat, and yell and scream, get emotional and happy, we may even fight, some may even die watching, soccer, American football, cricket, rugby, basketball etc.etc.
    Sporting culture defines whole nations. An old boss of mine once stated ‘that the Australians do a great job at channelling funds in to Australian sport for it keeps the nation focused on results.’ Was he really saying that whilst we are all watching the TV and following the Olympics for example we can root for our team but we may not know what is going on within our family, within our workplaces, with those around us. It is a well crafted distraction and one that is a drain on the bodies of those that play and those that watch – one and the same thing really at either end of the sporting scale.

  11. I spoke with someone this week who talked about the 2012 Olympic Games in London. There was a big push then to end people sleeping rough on the streets – in time for the Olympics. Need I spell it out? Basically it would not have looked good. After the Olympics the focus on rough sleeping (which hasn’t gone away) went elsewhere and numbers have steadily increased in the city since then.

    Does this make sense?

    As the author of this blog says – ‘Are we ready to stop and feel WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO US IN LIFE? ‘

    1. This is serious and very interesting that you say London did not want to let the world know that we have homeless people on the streets when the Olympics were here in 2012.
      The truth is nothing has changed and things are getting worse.
      Each of those people have made choices that got them there and we have a responsibility to have an understanding that no one in their right mind chooses to sleep on streets. Throwing our loose change at them or buying a meal once has clearly not worked. What we need is to support in a way that is going to make real change.
      Where do we start?
      What can we each do as individuals?
      What is our responsibility?
      Just asking questions, is going to be the start of change.
      Ignoring it, thinking it will go away or not let it affect our current lifestyle, which is great – thank you very much will CONFIRM that nothing changes.

  12. One thing that comes through loud and clear to me reading this blog is that people just don’t care. These are massive issues and they need our attention, but I look around me and all I see are people lost in sport. People getting into extreme sport, training for triathlons, running marathons, doing ‘Insanity’ workouts: wearing their efforts and achievements on their sleeves. People fixated on their team’s performance and geeking out on the details and data. How do we get beyond this and start to look at what’s really going on?

    I grew up in a footballing family and going to matches on a weekend was what we did. Interestingly, we were always in a directors’ box, somewhat shielded from the reality of the stands (when standing in a pen was still the norm). My parents knew that reality well, though and you can’t shield your kids from the songs and the chants and the alcohol and the swearing, shouting and aggression. If you go to a match that’s what everyone recieves whether they want it or not. I remember my body recoiling and clenching my fists, hunching my shoulders. I remember walking in the gates and feeling the energy of the crowd: agitated and oppressive. What is it that so many get from this energy? Why is the ritual of matches so entrenched in our society?

    This blog starts to open up some of the possibilities. We certainly have some way to go to open up the conversation.

  13. ‘…that need is never met by their team’s victory’ – this is how it was for me when I was competing. There was drama either way: win or lose and I enjoyed the team unity in that, not thinking of the lack of unity with the humans on the other side. When we won, we didn’t pause to think about how the other team would be feeling, even though we knew what it felt like. And it seems to me the ‘sportsmanship’ you are taught to show either on winning or losing is exactly that: a show. You pretend it doesn’t hurt if you lose and you pretend you aren’t revelling in it if you win. And when I had a personal win, the hit was fleeting. The focus shifted quickly to the next, with a restlessness that you were only as good as the latest performance. How is all this moving the human race forward?

  14. This week I read of a new stadium opening that will have prime seats for watching football matches, but only members of a special club will have access to it.

    The joining fee for the club is £15,000 but members have to buy a pair, so the minimum fee is £30,000.

    Who does this serve?

    Considering that there are so many issues that this website is highlighting that could do with extra resources, like Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Human Trafficking, Drug Addictions, Obesity to name just a few, why are we placing Sport at the top of our list of priorities?

    When we really think about it –

    Why would we tunnel so much money into games where after 90 minutes or so, it’s all over?

    Is it really worth £30,000 for a seat?

    It costs the NHS £18,000 for an amputation.

    Just reading the statistics in this article http://simplelivingglobal.com/world-diabetes-day/ could be a wake up call for humanity.

    What are the long term gains for society and for all of us in investing in Sport to this degree – over and above our true health and well-being?

  15. I loved reading everything about this blog but what stood out for me is the list of sports persons who died and their ages struck me even further, with the youngest being only 22 with heart failure but there is no mention that the possibility of extreme training they go through, or the changes in diets may be an attributing factor.

    The professional sports person, looks lean and fit on the exterior and soon as they retire, the weight piles on and the body looks podgy, it as if they come from one extreme and go to the other extreme.

    I have never been the biggest fan of watching sports, I didn’t like any of the teams losing as I felt their sorrow. But the one and only time I watched live cricket, I could not believe the amount of racist mark, jeering, booing, the aggression in the name of being a loyal fan.

    I used to partake in sports, never at the gold medal level but definitely at competition level. It was always about winning and seldom about losing and when we lost, our coach was hard on us, it felt we were being ‘told off’, we were often left feeling deflated and failures.

    My body only managed to maintain this training to a certain point and after that it said no more. I have only just began to go on gentle walks after stopping exercise over 8 years ago. When I attempted to go back too prematurely, I would come down with a cold or an illness of some kind. I felt there was a part of my body distrusting and it thought instead of going for a walk it was suddenly being taken for a 13 mile run again! It was as if the past memory was too strong for it to handle, so I had no choice but to listen until I can rebuild this trust so my body can maintain some fitness or health.

  16. Hot news from the BBC
    Researchers published a study in the journal Acta Neuropathologica where the brains of five professional footballers and one committed amateur were examined. All six went on to develop dementia.

    Four showed evidence of CTE – Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head.

    One of our famous footballers inquest into his death in 2002 found that the player’s dementia was the result of repeatedly heading the ball.
    “by the end he didn’t even know he’d been a footballer. Everything football ever gave him, football had taken away”. Daughter of striker Jeff Astle
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38971750

    “Our findings suggest that there is a potential link between repetitive sub-concussive head impacts from playing football and the development of CTE”
    All six showed tearing of the septum pellucidum, a thin membrane in the centre of the brain.
    “This is a feature very common in professional boxers and it has been linked to repetitive traumatic brain injury”
    Helen Ling – Queen Square Brain Bank for Neurological Studies, University College London Institute of Neurology
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/15/footballers-could-be-at-risk-of-dementia-from-blows-to-the-head-study-suggests

    Research from Boston University says 90 of 94 former NFL players whose brains were studied, tested positive for CTE.
    NFL officially acknowledged the link between head trauma and CTE.
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/mar/14/cte-nfl-link-football-brain-disease-senior-official-acknowledges

    Dear World

    Here we have news that is not really new news as we knew about it 15 years ago.
    So WHY are we not asking more questions?
    WHY are we not taking note of the NFL study?
    WHY are we not simply joining the dots here?
    WHY are we asking for more research as this study is too small?
    WHY are some saying this is out of context?
    WHY are there real life people talking live on BBC Radio 2 – Wednesday 15 February 2017 who have partners and relatives who have died from dementia telling us they are absolutely certain it is linked to head blows?

    Can we ignore the signs?
    Can we just carry on and hope this news will be old news soon?
    Are we bothered as long as we got our season ticket to keep us entertained?

    Could it be possible that this news is not something we want more of as it does not suit our own personal agenda?

    Are we worried about what happens to our sports heros once they go past their sell by date?
    Are we aware of the impact on those they leave behind where they don’t even have a memory?

    How sad is it that we are not taking seriously something that is quite obvious and clear?
    The impact of anything on our skull which is designed to PROTECT our brain requires a common sense approach?
    WHY do we not challenge something so logical that makes sense?
    Anything we choose to bash, crash, thump or blast towards our head or our precious body is going to leave an imprint. That may or may not show up overnight but long-term we are going to see it and this story confirms that point.

    Is it time to ask WHY on earth do we allow others to get injured in the name of sport?
    What true benefit is this to humanity?
    How does this evolve us as a race of beings?
    Who really wins here?
    WHY do we think it is ok to champion any sport that brings about real harm to our players?

  17. There has been recent controversy over whether footballers who serve drugs bans should be named and shamed. Some say yes, others say that confidentiality is important as part of the rehabilitation process. Just reading this reminds me of this blog called Getting Away With It http://simplelivingglobal.com/getting-away-with-it/

    When things are going ‘great’ and we are getting all that we want and are achieving to a socially acceptable level, our morals go out of the window regarding self-conduct. The thing that we fail to see is that there is no personal and then professional life. More and more I am becoming aware that they are not seperate and so any misdemeanour in one area, creeps into the other. In Truth, we don’t really get away with anything.

    We herald sports stars as heroes. Young children look up to them and they are often paid millions of pounds – but if as a sportsman or woman we are using drugs in our’private’ lives that is the image that all those aspiring to be like us get. Even if no-one knows that we are using drugs, the silent message is there ‘To be like me you have to take drugs.’ There is much that we can be influenced by without someone opening their mouths and telling us to do something.

    Therefore the role models that we have are super important as they are not just role modelling glitz and glamour but a whole lifestyle, whether actions are seen or not.

  18. Thank you Simple Living Global for another great blog.

    Having competed in sport from a young age I can see the reasons why people go into sport.
    I was always better than the average in the sports I played and it brought me a lot of ‘respect’ and a lot of recognition.

    Growing up, we are always told that competition is good for you. That sport is a great leveller and that it brings discipline.

    In reality, none of the above is true.

    Competition is not good for you. It brings separation.

    One person has to win which means many others have to lose and those that win have to keep winning to get the same feeling.

    I was very good at snooker and when I lost a match, when I got to the car, I would punch the steering wheel, scream and swear and then drive off angry.

    Off course, I felt great when I won.

    They say that sport is a great leveller. Why do we need something outside of ourselves to communicate with someone else?

    They say sport brings discipline. Yes, but what sort of discipline?
    If you use it to push your body until you vomit or until you incur an injury, how can that be the truth?

    Sport is very divisive.

    It brings continents, countries, cities, towns, communities, friends and even families to blows.

    Is it possible that sport is no different to a war?

    Although the players aren’t actually trying to kill one another, there is still that element of wanting to destroy the opposition.

    But with the fans, it is just like a war.

    In England alone, many football teams have fans that are there just to have a fight with the fans from the opposing team.

    With the 2018 World Cup coming, there are already threats made by the Russian fans of taking out the English fans and vice versa.

    And as this blog has pointed out, the rise in domestic violence when a major sporting event is on regardless of whether their teams win or lose, is a something that needs to be addressed.

    How ridiculous is it, that someone you are supposed to love, is in danger of being harmed just because your team, of which you have no control over whatsoever, may win or lose?

    1. Tim these are really good points and it makes no sense at all when you spell it out like that. In the end we have no control over whether a team wins or loses, so why do we get so involved and how can that emotion be taken out on another?

      A solution for football hooliganism in Russia has been to turn clashes into a spectator sport – this has been suggested by a Russian MP. Making it a spectator sport would mean ‘formalising’ the fighting. (The Week, 11th March 2017, p.17)

      Why are we forever trying to find ways to make things work rather than accepting, as Tim is saying here, that sport is divisive and separative – regardless of its form?

  19. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-39247968

    BBC news story dated 12 March 2017

    How serious is this that we are choosing to run at night time in the name of sport.
    A life lost and think about ALL those affected like family, friends, work colleagues and community.

    WHY do we champion things that are so un-natural for the human body in the name of sport?
    WHY are we allowing our bodies to not live in the way we know would not harm it?

    What is it about our so called Intelligence that wants these extreme challenges with no regard for the body?
    In other words a will to push the body beyond its natural state.

    http://simplelivingglobal.com/world-sleep-day/
    It would be of great benefit to read our SLEEP blog, which talks from science saying how the body has a job to do at night. Going against this is going against the very nature of our divine design. No one can dispute that our body is a divine design as no science study has yet come up with how we are created from that tiny cell to a full human being when we are born.

    Is it time to put our common sense hats on and join the dots.
    Our body has a divine intelligence to the point that it has this internal clock and melatonin is produced to support our sleep and wake cycle. So if we are going against that natural internal process, things may go wrong?

    Could it be that simple?

  20. Daily Mail – 8 April 2017

    Has anyone heard of the fastest growing sport that is for the “Fittest on Earth”?

    So we have a brutal regime that more of us are now signing up for and this news story says how ‘some competitors are often sick mid-workout’.

    This discipline is known to be one of the toughest in the fitness industry and gyms often stock a sick bucket for participants in need.

    This full body workout is ‘timed and performed at high intensity’

    So with the endorsement of celebrities, politicians and those we see as our idols and role models we seem to be ok with the sick bit going on.

    Are we concerned about our body?
    Could our body be actually telling us something if we feel sick ‘mid-workout’?
    Is the sick communication from our body saying it cannot accept this harsh ‘brutal regime’?
    What are we willing to put our body through for quick results?
    Could it be possible that this tough fitness is not needed for someone who has not bothered exercising before?
    Could it be possible that this ‘competitor’ stuff is hurting us deeply but we can’t admit it?

    Do we need to stop and pause as this discipline was ‘primarily used by military, police and fire academy trainees?
    Could it be possible that their job needs this but those of us who are not in this high intensity activity have no real need? Possible?

  21. Has anyone heard of the “ultra runners” who are racing to ‘ENLIGHTENMENT’?

    Ultra running, which is becoming one of the fastest growing sports in the world, is where competitors take part in races longer than a marathon (26 miles) and often 100 miles or more.

    The legendary Spartathalon, in Greece, is 153 miles.

    Races usually take place in some of the world’s most remote locations and scenic landscapes like the Sahara or the Rockies.

    They also take place in some not so remote or scenic locations like athletics tracks in inner cities where people can jog round and round for 24 hours.

    The reason why? To reach transcendence through exhaustion.

    We even have spiritual leaders who have believed that running was an integral part to a spiritual life.

    This plan to reach enlightenment through exhaustion is certainly not new. We have monks that run 1,000 marathons in 1,000 days.

    “The idea behind the constant movement is to exhaust the mind the body, everything, until nothing is left and you are almost dead.”
    The Week, 28th January 2017, p52

    The winner of one race ran 160 miles.

    One competitor, who recently completed the Spartathalon, when asked why he keeps doing these long races, says he can’t really explain it, but he thinks he is trying to break himself. “I suppose I’m trying to find my limit. Maybe when I find it, I’ll stop.”
    Jamie Holmes – The Week, 28th January 2017, p53

    Competitors talked of the many issues with this type of race – the many blisters, the vomiting and the hallucinations.

    Their running styles twisted and contorted because of the pain they are in.

    So what makes us want to push our bodies to such an extreme limit?

    Are we doing it for recognition?

    Are we doing it because we are so checked out and numb, exhausting our bodies will give us something to ‘Feel’?

    Is it possible that enlightenment is just awareness?

    If enlightenment is just awareness, will exhausting our minds and bodies leave us being even more unaware?

    Is it possible that it is IMPOSSIBLE to empty our minds?

    The fact that we are willing to punish our bodies to this degree in the name of a sport just goes to show how the so-called, most intelligent species on earth, is incredibly UNINTELLIGENT.

    1. What has happened when we go for extreme activities in the name of fitness like running hundreds of miles, plunging ourselves into ice cold baths, exercising with dumb-bells at the bottom of pools and sleeping in refrigerated beds?

      Does being hard something we are to celebrate?

      What is the harm we are doing to our bodies in the process?

      Is going back to primal ways of being really evolutionary for us in 2017?

      Does reading this article on Sport by Simple Living Global and then this one on Be Gentle
      http://simplelivingglobal.com/be-gentle/

      give us a clue as to how lost we have become in our quest to be hard and macho?

      Have we become so desensitised and disrespectful of our bodies that we have no awareness of what is happening when we push our bodies to extremes in this way?

      Paying thousands of pounds for exercise activities and sports definitely does not support our evolution.

  22. Who can honestly keep up with all the sports we now have on earth today.

    The dictionary tells us it is about physical exertion and competition.
    Just those two things alone tells me something is not right. My simple mind which likes common sense says that means we are pushing the body and putting effort into it to physically make it perform and out perform others and we see competition as a good thing.

    But what about losing – what is that all about?
    How do we feel when we lose and are we crushing people who lose?
    How long does that winning feeling actually last and are we already thinking about our next competition?
    Is it like a drug and we just want more?

    I recently met a young guy obsessed with playing sports and he came to see me as he is physically not in great shape due to his numerous injuries. I did not mince my words and told him straight that he needs to listen to his body and consider what he is choosing to do that is very harmfull. He agreed that his love of sport took over and he was not caring for his body even after a big injury. He realised the warning signs have been there since he was 14 and all his operations since have been sports related.

    On that note, how many of us have sports related injuries and what is that cost to society on top of all the other illness and disease that we present to the medical world?

    1. Thank you Bina Pattel for sharing about this young man.

      Football clubs are paying 6 figure sums for teenagers as young as 13 to play for them.

      Your sharing about this young man is a big warning for all of us, including parents, to take note of regarding the bodily damage that occurs.

      Are 6 figure sums really worth it at the expense of our body?

  23. An article from CNN talks about “Why intense workouts are leading to a life-threatening condition.”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/26/health/rhabdomyolysis-spin-class-explainer/index.html

    A man, who regularly exercised 3 + times a week went to his first ‘Soulcycle’ spin class and gave it his all.

    Within the first 10 minutes his thighs began to hurt and feel abnormal but he powered through the pain and stuck it out until the end of the class.

    “They say go big or go home. I probably should have went home”, he says.

    For the rest of the day he felt OK, but the following night was marred by excruciating thigh pain. Unable to sleep, he searched for ‘Spin class and sore legs’ and came across an article by a woman who needed to go to hospital after a cycling class for a condition called rhabdomyolysis.

    Rhabdomyolysis is a condition that leads muscle tissue to break down and release a harmful protein into the bloodstream.

    He recognized the symptoms and went straight to the ER and was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis. He stayed in hospital for a week.

    He was hooked up to an IV and pumped with fluids for seven days to flush out the toxins in his kidneys. He was not released until his levels of CPK (creatine phosphokinase), an enzyme that leaks into the blood when muscle tissue is damaged, were back to normal.

    An Associate Professor of medicine and interim chief of Nephrology at John Hopkins Medicine says that, “rhabdomyolysis quite literally means breakdown of muscle. When the muscle breaks down it releases myoglobin, a protein that can poison kidneys, into the bloodstream.”

    This condition is caused by any type of trauma to the muscle.

    The first description of the condition were among people who had been trapped in bombed buildings during WWll but recently, strenuous exercise has been popping up as another common culprit which is seen in people that do activities like Spinning, P90X, CrossFit, weightlifting and running.

    In rhabdomyolysis cases that are easier to treat, the patient is given fluids to rehydrate and released from hospital after a few days of monitoring.

    If the condition is really severe, the kidneys may shut down and the patient could end up on dialysis. With kidney failure comes the risk of an overload of potassium in the body, which could lead to abnormal heart rhythms and death.

    People who work out regularly, as well as those who don’t, can get rhabdomyolysis and although any type of extreme exercise can lead to the condition, Spinning is of great concern says an Associate Professor of Medicine at New York Medical college.

    “With Spinning you can burn 600 calories an hour and lose up to a litre of sweat. 600 calories is like running 6 miles, so if you are not conditioned, you wouldn’t just run 6 miles.”

    There are non-traumatic causes of rhabdomyolysis, which includes, among others, alcohol and illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine and amphetamines.

    This is obviously a very serious condition that fitness trainers must be made aware of.

    The typical mantra of many fitness trainers is ‘No pain, No gain.’

    It’s evident now, that ‘Pain’ has the potential for a life changing condition.

    What is it that drives us to look and participate in these extreme forms of exercise?

    Why do we feel the need to achieve levels of fitness that we don’t really need?

    Why are we willing to put our bodies through so much pain and abuse and even put our lives at risk?

    From a personal point, I have been in and out of gyms for over 30 years and although I have never gone down the road of doing any extreme exercise routine, I have definitely pushed myself in the belief that ‘No pain = No gain’.

    Yes, we all need to maintain an exercise routine to stay healthy but we don’t need to put our bodies into disregard to achieve that.

    Since attending the presentations of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I have come to realise that I don’t need to push myself at the gym to attain a level of super fitness I don’t need for my job or even my life.

    Our bodies are very intelligent and if something doesn’t feel right it will tell us in no uncertain terms if we are pushing it too hard.

    When I exercise now it is done listening to what my body is telling me and if I feel any sort of niggle or discomfort I will reduce the weight or speed or do something else.

    Pushing past the pain barrier may give us a sense of achievement but at what cost to the body?

  24. Wow, rhabdomyolysis – I hadn’t even heard of it.

    To be honest, if anyone had told me about this in my excessive exercise days, I would have probably ignored them.

    Spinning gave me something. 3 times week at 6.30am, plus 2 sessions back to back on a Saturday (not to mention all the weights sessions, boxing and circuit classes) – spinning classes gave me something. They fed me, kept me stimulated, helped me get through the crazy working week.

    Reading your comment, Tim, it’s easy to connect now with the fact that it was a form of self abuse, though I would never have admitted it at the time.

    I took great pride in my personal trainer body and lifestyle and it did more than define my body – it defined me.

    That’s not an easy thing to give up, until you are ready to see it for what it is.

    For me, starting to notice and dislike the constant agitation in my body, is what unlocked it.

    “Why do we feel the need to achieve levels of fitness that we don’t really need?” – why indeed.

  25. What happens when ex-sporting stars lose themselves and take cocktails of drugs with alcohol doing things that they would never do with a sane mind, like walking around naked or breaking into people’s homes to steal things believing that they are a part of a game?

    Do we care?

    Have we just abandoned them as they are no longer any use to us as they are no longer in the game?

    Are we aware of the harm that we are all contributing to by advocating sport as it is today with all of its competitiveness and glamour?

    Could this be contributing to our sporting stars demise into drugs and alcohol as they are not met for who they truly are, only what they can do and the money that they can generate?

    Do we need to start asking more questions rather than just reporting sensationalist stories?

  26. An aspiring boxer went on a drink and drugs binge after losing an amateur bout in the first round. He threw himself off a balcony to his death.

    Do we put this down to that man’s propensity? Do we say it was the drugs?

    Do we look afresh at the impact of competitive sport?

  27. There is not a blog on ‘common sense’ as if there was this comment would belong there.

    Just on the train this evening reading the headlines, about a young boxer dead from the blow he received and the blame is on the medics not turning up on time.

    What struck me was they said the boxing match was an “unlicensed boxing event”.

    The point is we have one young man no longer with us on earth because of the nature of this sport.

    Is it time we started asking more questions and WHY we think it is ok to receive any blow, punch or physical harm to our body in the name of sport?

    WHY are we allowing this when we have enough studies confirming that our human frame is simply not designed to be pushed or attacked in anyway?

    WHY is sport so championed and celebrated?

    What is the REAL QUALITY of life for those who we seek to entertain us through sport?

    Are we simply demanding more and more from our sports people and they are going with it and supplying?

    Do we need to re-read this blog, join the dots and get real that something is not right?

  28. In year 6 at my school, when the children are doing football they are really rushed and they need to take their time and they have to stop pushing each other and tackling each other and stop making noises when they score a goal or they miss, because it feels bad.

  29. I have a friend at school that is obsessed with football and sport in general.

    It makes him controlling and isn`t a good friend.

    What`s all this winning and losing about anyway?

  30. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/41544641

    An article here covering the injury statistics and human stories inside rugby.

    10 to 12 premiership clubs have had 82 injuries this season combined.

    A head coach calls it a ‘crisis in the sport at the moment’.

    He expects 30% of his squad to be out injured for any given match and currently has 24 players out injured, which is nearly half. He says it’s affecting all clubs – ‘nobody’s escaping this’.

    The commentary from those interviewed makes for dour reading.

    “You struggle to get a good night’s sleep after a game on a Saturday afternoon because your ear’s hanging off or your shoulders hurt. You get to three o’clock on a Sunday and you start feeling worse. Normally Monday is the worst day for stiffness, tiredness, pain”

    “What hurts most depends which way you’ve been lying, but usually you’ll have a stiff neck or a stiff shoulder. You’re creaky in your lower limbs, but you still get going. You have to get going. Usually by Thursday you’re close to 95%. I’d never say you’re 100% fresh.”

    “The pain bonds you as a team”

    “I do think about what it will be like when I’m 50 or 60. We were laughing in the dressing room today about what our reunion in 30 years’ time will look like.”

    “It’s a harder game now than when I started. It’s physically tougher. There are more collisions, the skill level is higher, the conditioning is higher.

    “The big one you fear is a spinal injury. Everything else in your career, touch wood, whether it’s knee ligaments or shoulders, surgery and medicine are so good that they can fix that in six or nine months. Spines, brains, the neural stuff – those are the ones you don’t wish on anyone.”

    “You accept it as part of the game. If you dwell on it, it will affect you for longer, and you’ll probably expose yourself more to those sort of things. It’s like if you go on an advanced driving course and you’re told that if you’re skidding out of control and you look at the crash, you’re going to go into it, but if you look away from it you’ll be OK.”

    “The most important meeting of the week for me is the Monday morning one, when you get the assessment of what happened in the weekend’s game from your medical staff and who is likely to be available for the weekend. I’ve started dreading those meetings now.”

    “… the only time you’re not injured is your first game, and I think that’s right; there’s very rarely a day when you’re not hurt, and you just crack on.”

    “For the vast majority of injuries you can train and play. For sure there are days they can’t get out of bed, but as you warm up and the day gets longer and you get the adrenaline into your body, you can play through that.”

    “Every morning I get up, walk down the stairs and I struggle. It takes me 20 to 30 minutes to warm up my Achilles. I’m 34. I had a groin reconstruction about four or five years ago. I’ve got tendonitis in both my Achilles. I’ve got three prolapsed discs in my spine. We’ve got a new baby at home… Bending over to get into the bath is a genuine struggle. I can’t actually bend over to pick her up. And this is coming from a winger. I wasn’t a number eight who had the huge collisions and competed at the ruck.”

    “I was never worried about the future. It’s great at the time, and it’s always short-term. Can I play this week? Can I play next week? You worry about post-playing afterwards. And if you don’t have that attitude you won’t have a long career.”

    ‘A three-year medical study in France found that hookers are more likely to be injured than any other position, suffering more face, neck and knee injuries than anyone else on the team’ – “For 21 years I have been a professional player or coach, and I’m still loving it. Hookers carry quite a bit of ball; defensively you’re making more tackles, trying to catch up with the flankers. But it’s a great position to play – if my son wanted to play hooker, I certainly wouldn’t try to talk him out of it.

    “It’s a harsh reality, but very few players are playing injury free at any given point in time. Anything from a slight muscle strain to tightness in a joint to aggravation of an old injury,. Sometimes it can be difficult – if a player has a cruciate ligament repair, we’ll generally see within four or five years that they’ll have some degenerative change within the joint. A player will be managing but over time their knee will be getting sore – not acute, but regularly bothering them. It becomes a case of managing pain, but you have to avoid the quick fix of them coming to you for pain relief. That’s very rarely a good idea. All you’re doing is glossing over the underlying issue.”

    “You can’t afford to be emotionally invested in the outcome of either the team or the player’s input on the team. You need to look after the player as a human being rather than part of the team.”

    Is this like one of those pointillism impressionist paintings made up entirely of dots – if you stand close up, all you can see is a few dots, but if you step back you can see the true picture. Each individual story of injury may be ignorable, but when you put the picture together, it’s one of brutality and abuse.

    Men getting injured week after week in the name of sport – of entertainment.

  31. When you are doing sport you are getting hyper and hyper on the bad plane and then it will be so bad that you are just getting pulled into the badness.

  32. The level of injuries of the players in the NFL in the U.S. has always been staggering. It is well known that if you play football, you will most likely have long term physical problems.

    Many people champion their teams and the players. They treat them like heroes. But do we really care about them as people if they are entertaining us by hurting themselves?

    It is our responsibility that they are playing this game. Is it really worth it?

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/04/scientific-findings-deal-new-blow-to-nfls-history-with-head-injuries.html

  33. Sport is such a big thing in our world today and are we really bothered about the players and what happens to them after they stop being our big heroes?

    If we look at what the media are saying and the ‘afterlife’ of our sporting stars, there is a strong confirmation that something is seriously wrong.

    This blog is naming a few, but we all can do our own searches and know there is a lot more going down after they have played at high levels with big audiences.

    I saw a photo of someone who won many world championships, then had a marriage breakdown and was on drink and drugs.

    Is this telling us they are human and nothing more, because if they were the superhuman we think because of what they do in their sport, how come they fail in other areas?

    Is it possible that sport for them becomes something outside of them at the expense of the inner?
    By that I mean have they sold out and left who they truly are to be something they are not?

    Are they deep down unsettled knowing that they get their hits by their fans and the game that brings them the high, but then life off the game does not quite match the high?
    Is something missing and so is this why some turn to other things to keep the buzz going, which we all know is a false quality?

  34. I had never heard of ‘exercised-induced asthma’, but it is a real and damaging illness and it is brought on by extreme sport and exercise.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42264758

    Elite athletes such as football players are prone to it because of their ‘high intensity’ breathing. The symptoms are sometimes mistaken for poor fitness.

    Experts are recommending screening for professional football players after a study has shown 3 in 10 could be affected. Observations have been made at how screening for football players currently focuses on heart problems – presumably because of the high rates of heart attacks in the sport – but not on respiratory problems, which are apparently much more common.

    It would be interesting to see what sort of questions would be asked if the experts researching exercise-induced asthma, read the Asthma blog on this website – see link – http://simplelivingglobal.com/world-asthma-day/

    Would they start to consider the possibility that sport and extreme exercise are damaging to the body?

    Would they consider that such sport/exercise is degrading the ability for elite athletes to breathe their own breath?

    Would they start to highlight the dangers of extreme exercise, rather than focusing on getting players back on the pitch?

  35. Just reading on train an interview with a famous boxer who now has depression and suffered from severe mental illness.

    So here is someone who was full of fame and looked up to and today he talks about going away in a small caravan he has. Somehow it does not add up, when our sporting heroes do not end up having great lives. This blog names quite a few stories and this is a new one.

    What if we studied this man and read blogs on this website on –
    Mental Health and Depression – see links below.
    Could we get a deeper understanding of what is being presented and then join the dots?

    http://simplelivingglobal.com/world-mental-health-day/
    http://simplelivingglobal.com/world-health-day-depression/

    It seems that we have these great icons in sport that one day seem to have no quality in life because ill health has got them.

    My question is – was it worth it if this is the life we end up with?

  36. Thank you for an awesome blog.

    For many years I used to play tennis in the summer with friends.

    I stopped playing tennis about 5 years ago. The reason I stopped was that I had begun to question how I was feeling as I played tennis.

    It became obvious to me that I had a strong drive to win and be recognised as the winner as I played. These feelings of being driven to win and being in competition felt very ugly to me. They were so off-putting, once felt, that I didn’t want to play tennis anymore.

    It seems to me that there is a fundamental disharmony at play when we are playing sports or supporting a particular athlete or team.

    We are all equal. Yet, in sport, we are trying to be better than the other person or team. That is impossible – we will always remain equal to everyone else and no higher score or faster time can ever change that.

  37. The Week – 2 December 2017 p.19

    Fans of a football club have been urged to stop calling emergency services to complain about a recent defeat.

    In a tweet the police warned that ringing 999 because the team have lost again and you aren’t sure what to do is not acceptable.

    What an utter waste of emergency services, time and resources.

    Are we so invested in Sport and who wins and loses that we have lost all sense of responsibility?

  38. Some kids from a local private school were telling me their school banned rugby so they only play football there.

    Years ago a child died during a match, when they got suffocated under a scrum, with their face pushed into the muddy pitch.

    Shouldn’t this be enough to ban the sport in every school?

  39. When I look back at the way I used to engage in fitness/sport it was crazy. I felt worse coming out of the gym then when I went in. A lot of my chronic exhaustion existed because I spent hours in the gym without a thought of what I was doing to my body. All I wanted was the perfect body and health. In fact it went the complete opposite way.

    Fast forward to present day the author of this blog has given me an understanding of how to look after my body.
    I now go to the gym to support my body and I have replaced heavy weights with light ones and I know when my body has had enough.
    Equally I do not train when I am not well or tired. Learning to respect my body has been key.

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