How far can you push your body before it gives out?
Injuries. In any athletic endeavor that little word often rears it’s miserable head. It’s a reality that any professional athlete must face during their career, one that they’d altogether love to avoid. As a martial artist, I’ve seen and experienced my own fair share of injuries, some of them small and irritating, others far more serious and potentially life changing.
Bodybuilding like any other sport requires mental focus combined with physical endurance. It’s a sport that requires a diligent mindset to get through injuries and still perform at the highest levels. The same could be said for professional wrestling. Though many of the storylines may be staged, the feats of athleticism by pro wrestlers are truly remarkable to behold.
So what’s all this talk about injuries? Well, it seems that after more than fifteen years of competing in pro wrestling, Daniel Bryan may be calling it quits. This past Monday, Bryan relinquished the WWE Inter Continental Title and while from a fictional stand point it’s a bummer what’s even more troubling is that the wrestler did so due to injuries he sustained to his neck. It’s truly a tough break for both Bryan and WWE fans. It’s a situation not unlike the one that befell Dorian Yates.
The six time Mr. Olympia champion eventually retired from the sport due to his own host of injuries, including triceps tear right before the 1997 Olympia event. During training Yates tore his left triceps while performing a barbell pullover, ripping the muscle from the bone on the fourth. His will, diet and cardio helped him persevere and win his sixth and final Olympia competition. While Yates was able to pull through and win the event it also marked the end of an era. Much like Yates, Bryan had valiantly fought through injuries to compete and entertain his legion of fans before his own injuries sidelined him for a month before relinquishing his title on Monday Night Raw.
It’s one of the realities of being performing at a high level in athletic events that can’t be avoided. Just like a car your body only has so many miles that can be put on it before it under performs and even gives out. Now that doesn’t mean competing again is a futile notion for Bryan, but there comes a time when an athlete must decide what’s more important: their thirst competition and performance or their own health. Everyone has their day in the sun for short period in their lives, so rather than dwell on the things that haven’t yet been done, an athlete must think on what they’ve already accomplished. Dorian Yates moved on to having his own gym and other entrepreneurial endeavors, why can’t Daniel Bryan. Bryan will always be remembered for the high intensity he brought to the squared circle and if it’s truly farewell for good then he should rest easy knowing that he’s given his fans, and himself for that matter, a great deal of good memories to look back on throughout his storied career.
What’s your thoughts on injuries and competing at the highest level of sports? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.