Amazing Superhuman Accomplishments in Sport | Intellect | Emotion
Have you wondered how people across the globe may be predisposed to 'indigenous' physical, intellectual or emotional traits – and whether those traits are or are not advantageous? The term superhumans refers to enhanced qualities or abilities that exceed those naturally found. I'm not talking about technological enhancements or biohacking. Here are the ideas we'll raise in Today's super-human Sports discussion:
Can you become a Superhuman?
The super-human edge
In the following blogs, we'll explore a trio of super-human traits: (1) athleticism/sport, (2) intellectual/academia, and (3) emotional/psychological.
Parents, mentors, counselors, and friends encourage us through life with platitudes like: "You have unlimited potential." "You can do anything you set your mind to." "Nothing is impossible." While these make excellent refrigerator magnets, these messages can do more harm than good. Of course, they are delivered with the best intentions yet, sadly, inaccurate.
Although we cherish the well-known phrase in the Declaration of Independence, facts tell us that not all humans are created equal. We do not have identical physical, intellectual, or emotional qualities. And we don't have unlimited potential. We each have a blend of these abilities in our repertoire. Whether it's sports physicality, academic aptitude, or psychological sagacity, we can raise our bar and improve in some areas if we make a conscious effort. Today more than ever before, secrets are studied and shared. Learning more about real-life athletes provides insights into making progress in our chosen endeavors.
While a small percentage of athletic stars may be considered 'genetically gifted,' most result from unrelenting grit who willed themselves to legendary status. This makes each one unique. I could list thousands of athletes. The ones below have accomplished astonishing results on the world's stage. Review, remember and revere these awe-inspiring athletes in sport.
Michael Phelps, is considered genetically gifted with the perfect body size and physical proportions to be a superhuman swimmer. Along with that chromosomal edge came a passion for doing the hard work, day after day, after month, after year. He is the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, medaling 28 times (23 gold). Phelps struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse.
James Lawrence, called the Iron Cowboy, broke multiple Guinness records. He raced 50 Ironman events in 50 consecutive days in all 50 U.S. states. Lawrence finished 100 Ironman-distance triathlons in 100 days. He took up endurance racing to escape the corporate rat race.
Dean Karnazes, has won the Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles across Death Valley). He's run a marathon to the South Pole. He has performed 50 marathons in 50 days. Karnazes ran 3,000 miles across the country in 70 days, and he ran 350 miles straight over three days. He ran for 80 hours and 44 minutes without a break. Karnazes has revealed that his unstoppable ability is due to a rare genetic condition that allows his body to flush lactic acid from his system rapidly.
Mia Hamm, was the youngest player (15 years old) in the U.S. Women's National Soccer history. Hamm won multiple awards in her career, including two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, two-time Women's World Cup champion, and Olympic gold medal. Hamm wore corrective shoes as a toddler after being born with a club foot.
Rafael Nadal, holds 21 Grand Slam Men's Tennis Singles titles. Born right-handed, Nadal learned to play left-handed, guided by his uncle, Toni Nadal. Nadal completed the Career Grand Slam and the Career Golden Slam, becoming the youngest player in the open tennis era to achieve this feat, having won all four Major tournaments and the Olympic title by age 24.
Pam Reed, the ultra-running legend who just turned 60, is still running strong. In a career that spans three decades, Reed reigns as one of the most accomplished ultra-runners ever, with wins at the Badwater Ultramarathon, dubbed the "Toughest Foot Race on Earth." In 2002, she was the first woman to win the event and then won it again. She holds American women's records in the 24-hour and 48-hour runs and is the only woman to run 300 miles without stopping. Reed is a survivor of anorexia nervosa.
Rich Froning Jr, is an American professional CrossFit athlete known for his achievements in participating in the CrossFit Games. He became the first person to win the title of "Fittest Man on Earth" four times in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. He is a former firefighter.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee, was named "Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century" by Sports Illustrated. Joyner-Kersee's athletic credentials are unquestionably among the best in all sports. Her achievements include three Olympic gold medals and four World Outdoor Championship gold medals. Joyner-Kersee's record of 7,291 points in the women's heptathlon still stands Today. She suffers from asthma.
Can you become a superhuman?
Can the average person become superhuman? The short answer is maybe. Or a better solution is: The number of superhumans among our population will grow exponentially if we can change our ways – a big 'if.'
Certain physical characteristics are better suited in specific sports. Optimum height, weight, and other anthropometric data, including posture and body shape, all contribute to the ability to become superhuman in sport. However, we've all seen the short basketball phenom or the underweight line-backer sensation.
We each can stack the fitness deck in our favor regardless of our anthropometry. We have the choice to consume nutritious foods. We can choose to eliminate smoking, alcohol consumption or recreational drugs. We can opt to exercise and become fit. We can enhance our recuperative sleep. We can raise our bar. Not every person can be a superhuman, but we all can get a little closer by improving our healthspan.
Coach's sidebar: Imagine if big food corporations were solely focused on the most nutritious foods and hydration. Envision advertisers concentrate exclusively on healthy products. I am fascinated by our culture when I see major sporting events completely saturated with junk food, alcohol, and ads for pharmaceuticals. These companies overtly push the poorest nutrition choices while we simultaneously watch our most outstanding athletes perform incredible fitness feats.
Then we watch commercials for those magic prescription drugs that will fix our metabolic ailments. I liken this to rubbernecking at the scene of an accident. Humans are the only animals who don't flee a lousy situation, consume foods that are not suited to them and have rampant metabolic diseases (other than our poor domesticated pets). What are we doing to ourselves?
Unfortunately, Americans choose to throw money at companies that ruin their health. We are casualties of the media's sabotage of our well-being. Yet, the world continues to produce super-humans in sport. And there is always a percentage of our population who consistently make healthy choices. In this world of extreme media and cultural heavy-handedness, those who steadfastly choose to become healthier may be part superhuman.
Our country suffers in epidemic proportions from obesity, diabetes, drug addictions, and more. I believe the root cause of these atrocities is simply a 'lack of focus.' Our citizenry no longer understands where to put their priorities amid the incessant nonsense demanding their attention. We no longer appreciate and respect our miraculous human bodies as a culture.
Suppose our Sports heroes would step up and publicize the benefits of their journey. In that case, they could instill the value of healthy practices instead of endorsing junk food, alcohol, or video games. Regardless of their actions, it is our choice to be a fan or not. We can carefully choose our sports heroes. We can follow those who exemplify humility and never sell their integrity. Seek out those whose story is one of perseverance, sacrifice, and determination. Select your heroes for their positive influence.
The super-human edge
To reach this status, imagine your body as if it were the most essential, precious thing in the world. It is. Consider what it would feel like to be ever so careful as you monitor everything you consume. Ponder how you would go about your quest to improve your sport or your fitness level. This is a laser focus. When creating a healthy path, block out anything that doesn't meet your stringent choices. Put on blinders to the dizzying, never-ending spectacles of unhealthy influences. The world will try to pull you off course. These athletes develop a burning desire and strong motivation. With that focus, nothing can pull you off your path.
Neural-cultivate your "why." Nurture your priorities. Go after your sports or health goals with every ounce of your energy. Try writing down a mantra and put it where you can see it. "I know what I want. I know why I want it. I am laser-focused." Contemplate how amazing you will become when you are 'all in." You'll have the edge it takes to become super-human.
Over the next few days, take notice of everything you eat and drink and map your training frequency. Observe your focus level for each aspect of your health goal. Are you setting an intention of going through the motions? Every small, incremental step will lead to improvement. Your energies will rise. Your clarity of thought will improve. You will find an increased level of happiness that may surprise you. Get started on your journey.
I'm excited further to explore traits in the intellectual and emotional realms. We'll search for ways to pull these characteristics together in the next couple of blogs. Working toward being a superhuman in the scope of (1) athleticism/sport, (2) intellectual/academia, and (3) emotional/psychological can reveal our capabilities of doing things beyond our beliefs. While we may not be able to do anything we want, we can go beyond our self-imposed limits.
Learn. Share. Inspire.
Be well, my friends,