Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Semi-Chlorinated Life: Why Athletes Make the Comeback

It happens to many of us: We hang up our competitive uniform and swear we won't step back into it, but then there’s a comeback…

There are many reasons why an athlete makes a comeback, and they are different for every person. Barry Sanders left at the height of his NFL career, leaving us all wanting more, but he never stepped foot on that field again. Jordan retired as #23, but came back as #45. And now Michael Phelps has “left the door open” by returning to the U.S. Olympic Drug Testing pool. Why, that’s the question… why does an athlete choose to come back? The only person I can speak about is myself, so I will, and maybe it will fuel a conversation amongst other retired athletes that will help those dealing with the word “retirement” at such a young age.

I retired in December of 1993 during my senior year at Stanford. For the first time in the history of my swimming career, I asked myself why I was pushing myself so hard and I didn't have an answer. I was in the middle of a morning workout, the sun had yet to come up, and it was a tough set. I'd reached that critical point in the middle of the 50 meter pool where I had to self motivate, to dig deeper like I had done about a million times before. And I questioned it. Why was I doing this? And that’s when I knew I was done. In my sport, like many others, you cannot be wishy-washy when it comes to training. You have to be tough every moment of every practice because it’s that fostered toughness you call upon when you need it most and your race is on the line...

Read the rest of Why Athletes Make the Comeback here on Semi-Chlorinated Life

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