Engaging in Sports Is The Best Workout! — Bombay Ficus

If you are anything like me, working out is an absolute priority. Although in this day and age, it is nowhere as close to a priority as it should be for most people. A lot of people will look themselves in the mirror a million times and tell themselves, “you suck, do some crunches. Eat […]

Engaging in Sports Is The Best Workout! — Bombay Ficus

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Getting Your Workout On

Female tennis player hitting backhand on red tennis clay court

Working Out Even When You Have No Drive

One of the most challenging tasks throughout the day is working out when you have no motivation. Growing up playing competitive tennis in the USTA juniors, I felt the experience of having days when I lacked drive and motivation to practice or even compete in tournaments. The worst part about it was traveling to other states for tennis tournaments and attempt to compete in 90 degree weather with no passion for the sport. When you have no motivation to exercise or compete, it often feels like you just want to quit.

But quitting gets you no where exciting when it comes to that realm. The more you allow your lack of motivation to prevail, the harder it’s going to become to get back into a solid routine. That’s because it’s not easy to work out, exercise or competitively play a sport. You have to power through even on the days when you don’t feel like doing it. That’s because if you can get through those days successfully, you often end up with a renewal of energy and interest for your next session.

What you don’t want to do is power through on those days and not enjoy it one bit. This is because it will lead you to burning out rather quickly. I felt that with tennis when I was 14. I was an extremely hard-working tennis player who reached a national boy’s 14 USTA ranking of 69th in the country. But as I entered high school and realized that I didn’t have many friends and that my entire life revolved around going to school and getting yelled at by tennis sergeants at the local tennis club, I lost passion for the sport.

It’s not that I ever disliked tennis to begin with; otherwise, I wouldn’t have played for that long (by the way, I still play tennis today). But as with anything in life, you need a balance of different activities. Even if you are focused on working out, exercising or playing a sport, make time and room for other activities as well, such as socializing, spending time with family and friends and even kicking back and watching a documentary or two. You are not a robot to be doing only one repetitive task continuously.

So whenever you feel burned out or have no drive to work out, remember to push yourself to still get some in that day, but mix it up with other activities as well. On the other hand, you don’t want to just stop working out because then your lack of motivation will take over and you’ll soon lose interest altogether. It’s normal to lose interest in exercising here and there, but don’t lose it completely to the point of quitting.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Punch-Drunk Syndrome

Man walking towards boxing ring surrounded by audience

Living With Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

CTE is a neurodegenerative disease that occurs after repeated head traumas and multiple blows to the head. It tends to occur in athletes such as boxers and hockey and football players, but may also be seen in cases of domestic violence and military personnel exposed to concussions. The symptoms tend to occur 8-10 years later. The disorder is based on a clinical judgment, since a definitive diagnosis does not occur until after death, available as autopsy results.

There are four stages. Some of the first symptoms include confusion, dizziness and headaches. This is followed by memory loss and impulsive behavior. Eventually, dementia, vertigo, depression, deafness and suicidality occur. There are many more symptoms which may occur, such as:

  • Pathological jealousy
  • Tremors
  • Paranoia
  • Parkinsonism
  • Speech problems
  • Unsteady gait

Pathologically, there is atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain as well as the hippocampus, mammillary bodies and amygdala. There is also evidence of neuronal loss, white matter changes, hyperphosphorylated tau protein deposition, thinning of the corpus callosum, dilated ventricles, and much more. The disorder causes a great deal of damage to the brain, especially after years of repetitive blows to the head.

There is no effective way of preventing this disorder, unless one quits the sport or activity which increases their risk of repetitive concussions and head trauma. One important method of helping to prevent this disorder is the time-off period required after a concussion or head trauma.

Immediately returning to a sport or activity without providing enough time for recovery, increases the chances of experiencing future impacts followed by neurological complications. But even if this protocol is followed, it’s not going to prevent boxers from being exposed to heavy hits or football players from experiencing helmet-first tackles. Some have even called for the banning of boxing!

At this moment in time, there is no treatment for CTE. As with other forms of dementia, supportive treatment is provided. This involves having a caregiver guide and help take care of the patient at home. When one experiences memory loss, depression and confusion, he or she puts themselves at a greater risk of encountering dangerous situations, such as:

  • Leaving the stove on while alone at home
  • Getting into car accidents or not knowing how to return home
  • Wandering in the neighborhood and getting lost
  • Losing items and personal belongings
  • Death due to injuries or suicidality

As you can see, this is a very serious mental condition which can easily impair one’s life, and there are no good preventative strategies to avoid its development. The best way to prevent the development of this disorder is to avoid contact sports, but how can you convince thousands of people worldwide to stop playing their favorite sports?

It just won’t happen anytime soon.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)