Saturday, May 2, 2015
STAYING HEALTHY IS A FULL TIME JOB
Athletes will go to great lengths to ensure they are at their best but some do it the right way and others do it the wrong way. Mark Teixeira has started off 2015 right by deciding to go gluten-free. The other evening, there was a debate between Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling on whether or not Teixeira would have made it to first base on a ground ball hit to him instead of flipping the ball to CC Sabathia who has admittedly stated that he "isn't able to make that play anymore." Mark has been injured over the last few years but many believe that he has made a real comeback this year, holding onto 2nd place in home runs in the AL. He came to spring training lean and healthy and as I reap the benefits of no injuries and going lean myself as a runner heading into a half marathon in a few weeks, I can't help but feel that Teixeira has realized what many have overlooked over the years: Staying healthy is in fact, a full time job.
According to Runners Connect, going gluten-free can be viewed as the latest fad or nutritional therapy, "However, it has often been viewed in the media as a weight-loss or performance-enhancing diet backed by testimonials from a wide range of celebrities and athletes worldwide who don’t actually have a known gluten sensitivity, but follow the diet anyway in the belief that it is healthier. In fact, some have estimated that 15-25% of North Americans either adhere to a gluten-free diet or consume gluten-free products." Mark Teixeira is one of many athletes who have gone gluten-free and has reaped the benefits it has had on his body.
Unfortunately, Josh Hamilton relapsed after he battled back from a drug and alcohol addiction. "Hamilton left the Rangers after the 2012 season to sign a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels. Two unproductive seasons were followed by a shoulder injury and then a relapse with drugs and alcohol for a player whose supreme natural talent and budding career were nearly waylaid by substance abuse a decade ago," reported USA Today.
Then there are guys, like Alex Rodriguez, who let the pressure mount and turned to illegal substances to enhance performance on the field. At the start of this season, we saw a resurgence of a substance that tossed four players off the field and into suspension. According to another article in USA Today, "The sudden rash in positive steroid tests among big leaguers – four pitchers, all caught with Stanozolol in their system – has Major League Baseball looking into any links between the cases and exploring why the old-school drug is popping up on tests again. The four players suspended for 80 games in a stretch of 16 days starting March 27 – David Rollins of the Seattle Mariners, Arodys Vizcaino of the Atlanta Braves, Ervin Santana of the Minnesota Twins and Jenrry Mejia of the New York Mets – are already one more than the number of players on 40-man rosters penalized for using performance-enhancing substances all of last year."
It is a hard pill to swallow when you hear of guys like Cardinal ace Adam Wainwright and former Yankee pitcher Brandon McCarthy hurt for common athletic injuries; an Achilles and ACL tear respectively. Injuries happen all the time, even to the healthiest of us, like Mariano Rivera who went on the DL after shagging balls in the outfield as part of his full time health regiment.
If staying healthy is a full time job, then how come so many players abuse their youth, diet and athleticism and others work so hard to preserve their talent? Damned if I know, but as I said to a good friend this week, you can only control your own self, emotion and body.
My advice: watch your diet, exercise daily and make good choices. Youth is temporary but you are stuck with your body for the rest of your life.
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
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