Doping and Coping Through Adversity

First of all, I want to acknowledge the amazing speakers we heard in class. The stories we heard were truly inspiring. Whether it was surviving a 65 feet fall, becoming one of the first females to compete in a “strongman” contest, or running multiple marathons with Parkinson’s disease, all of these people know how to overcome adversity. Prior to todays lecture, I had no idea that any of these things were possible. It was uplifting to see how much strength people have even in their hardest moments.

There was one common thread between all of the individuals’ stories, recovery through exercise. Exercise was their way out and the “light” at the end of the tunnel. This lecture made me think about times when I faced adversity. I realized that every time I got through the tough times, exercise was my cure. Health is so important, not only physically, but also mentally, and I believe it is imperative that everyone has some sort of “escape” in their lives in order to successfully overcome adversity.

After hearing what these men and women have achieved, without the assistance of performance enhancers, is reassuring. In class we learned that well over 50% of Olympic athletes, in specific sports, used some sort of ergogenic aid in their career. Just think about it, the “Greatest 100 Meters in History,” should be known as the “Dirtiest 100 Meters in History.” In this race, Ben Johnson, of Canada, set a record at the 1988 Olympics and only soon after he was exposed for his positive drug tests. After the fact drug tests have been successful in finding what athletes participated in this form of cheating. The large amount of positive results is sad. How do you feel about the number of athletes (especially famous ones) who went as far as cheating to be the best?

Another aspect that caught my attention was that famous athletes, such as Lance Armstrong, lied under oath about taking PEDs and got away with it. The fact that he was even doping is disgusting, but it is even more concerning that the same thing happened to an Olympic runner, Marion Jones. Except in her case, she was sentenced to jail time and community service. As we talked about, sports are inevitably unfair, but what is not okay is intentionally taking an illegal drug to “up your game.” I guess there are two ways to face adversity. Naturally, through exercise and willpower, or getting through the adversity by using drugs as your “escape.” How are you going to face adversity? Has hearing these three individual’s stories changed the way you look at athletes who participated in doping?

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3 Responses to Doping and Coping Through Adversity

  1. G.N.A.R. says:

    While you talk about doping a bit in this post, I think that something not stressed enough in the course is the positive psychological aspects exercise has on individuals. Personally, exercise is one of my most useful tools when coping with anxiety and stress in my everyday life. It allows me to reset and feel good about myself. Ultimately, I am able to get back to my work and continue with my daily life.

  2. Gain Train says:

    I think one of the key differences between the athletes who dope and the athletes who use willpower to cope is maybe the reason why they return to exercise. People that dope must be concerned about winning and placing, because why would you dope if you just want to make yourself better or get a personal best time? The athletes who use willpower instead of doping are probably the ones that are thinking more about the journey. My assumptions are that they want to improve and make themselves better, and aren’t necessarily concerned with winning.

  3. Airbud says:

    Now that’s an actually nice title. On another note, I completely understand why a number of famous athletes cheated their way to the top. At a certain level your body caps out, you reach your peak, and for certain people that peak is close to the top but not the top. They don’t get the satisfaction of being the best and are left playing second fiddle to someone else. For a person with the incredibly competitive mentality that is required to get to the top, this would be frustrating to no end and I understand why they might turn to drugs when they feel they have exhausted all other options.

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