Did you know that for a 5-year period, Michael Phelps didn’t take a single day off from training?
That’s 1825 days of training in a row!!
When I first heard him talk about this, I was blown away. I’ve gone entire months where I trained 6 days a week, but never 7 days in a row. Then he said something subtle but even more important. In the interview, which you can see below, Phelps says,
“are there days you’re not going to want to do it? Sure, everybody has those days. But it’s what you do on those days that help you move forward”.
When we think of the GOAT’s for each sport, we often imagine their lifestyle as glamorous. We can envision Kobe shooting hoops casually by his pool swish! swish! swish! Or Michael Phelps having a leisurely swim at 3 in the afternoon.
When you think of the best athletes in the world and what their training looks like, you see it as looking easy. Almost as if it just comes naturally. Entirely predicated on their God given talent.
But is talent all that matters? Is there something more to it than just being the right body type for your sport?
I think you already know the answer.
Discovering that Phelps trained for 5 years straight reminded me of one simple fact.
Training is not pretty.
Phelps didn’t become the greatest of all time because he had a long tall body. He became the best because he put in the work. Even when he didn’t feel like it. He recognized that in order to achieve his goal of changing the world of swimming, he would have to do more than anyone else had ever done before.
When we fail and others succeed we want to blame luck, genetics, coaches or even politics. We use all these external variables as excuses and ultimately negate the one thing that we have control over.
Hard work and consistent effort.
The whole reason I created Daily Athlete was the share this simple message. To remind athletes that even though it may seem like other athletes have something you don’t and it may feel like you don’t have what it takes, the only thing that truly separates the average among us from the greatest of all time is consistent hard work.
I know you already know this, but I just wanted to remind you.
If you don’t feel like training today, if you’re tired and beaten down. Ask yourself one simple question…
What Would Michael Phelps Do?
Stay hungry, be consistent, and just work.
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